I’m late to the blog this week. I admit it. David Allen’s newsletter finally got me moving. I’m a big fan of his. His newsletter is about purging the old to make room for the new. Right on.
Getting ahead of falling behind
This time of year I spend on business planning. What worked this year and what didn’t? What was missing? Where will I spend my time next year? Where will I make my money? What projects do I want to take on? What excites me about 2011?
This starts with sitting on the floor and taking out every file in my file cabinet and cleaning it out. If I haven’t looked at it and don’t need it, it gets tossed. If should be scanned and filed, it is. The most useful items are put at my fingertips. I go through my electronic files and make a file that says “2010” and I will put all 2010 documents there. That folder will live in a folder called “Historical”. If I really need it, I can find it. (I rarely need it. It’s just too easy to save electronic stuff.) I put on music, sing, and purge. I love making room for the new.
I’m often asked how I manage to do so much with so much clarity, confidence and focus. Where do I get the time? How do I remember it all? This annual ritual of coming casual to the office, sitting on the floor, and sitting quietly through my thoughts is what makes that happen. I know where I’m going to spend my time, I know what has priority for me, I know where my information lives. When a request or a question comes across my desk, I know how to think about it, I know whether to say yes or no, I know where to go to get the answer. It’s not so much about orderliness as it is about efficiencies. I want room in my life to do what I want. (Searching for things isn’t one of them. However it is snowing, and I’m ready to ski.)
If you’re lucky enough to be in a business that’s quiet during the holidays, take the quiet time to clean out the old and make room for the new. I wish you great productivity, insight, creativity, and excitement for a new year coming.