A Post-it point of laughability. Also, how I feel accomplished & stay focused at the office.

Posted: 07/31/2013 in Uncategorized

Just wanted to share a little thing with you as a side-note to my regular material. It has nothing to do with running or yoga or aikido. It’s just a little thing that I do. It puts me on the right track in my workday about as soon as I walk in the door – and well, if I can help people start their day a little easier, why not?

Around my day job, I’ve got a bit of a rep for efficiency.  Actually, that rep follows me pretty much everywhere. 

The husband used to call me ‘Queen of Prep’ because that’s romantic around the house because of the way I used to set up vegetables in our fridge*. Often times friends will call me with an idea or half-formulated plan and ask me to smooth it out for them.  If my boss could dissect me to try and figure out how the heck I get things done the way I do, I think he would.

If you want to know how to get something done well and done fast with minimal mess, I’m your girl. Some people got long legs, I got 5’3″ feet of efficiency powers.  (I can’t even come up with a good joke about this.)

Funny thing (to me)  is that the key to most of my efficiency is post-it notes, and my usage of them seems to be the thing least understood by a lot of my co-workers. They get the gist of a post-it, but they don’t understand why I show up to meetings with a blank pad of post-its rather than more official looking tablets and notebooks.  Every time I meet with my boss, I take post-it notes rather than a big notebook.

It’s easy to ignore notes once you close up a notebook. It’s less easy to ignore bright yellow or hot pink post-its that you stuck to your calendar or put in front of your nose on your monitor.

So first, I just make sure I have post-its and a pen with me. Then –

At the end of each day, I make a list on a post-it of everything I want to get done the next day. Doesn’t matter what it is – personal or professional.  Some things carry-over if I didn’t get them done. BUT – I do make sure that there’s one super-simple little thing on there – whether it’s writing an email, making a phone call – 1 SIMPLE THING EVERY DAY. That I can knock out and get done FIRST. Then I cross it off with a big sharpie.

Getting one simple little thing done as soon as I go into the office gives me a sense of accomplishment which carrys forward into the other things I need to complete.

I stick the ‘to-do’ post-it to my computer monitor as soon as I come in and it stays there all day – so it’s always in my peripheral when I’m starting to get distracted.  What I need to get done and what I have done are always right in front of me.

Also, I keep a running list on the top post-it of any question or topic that I need to talk to my boss about (assuming it’s not an emergency). When he swings by to say ‘hi’, I’m prepared for the conversation and not wishing I could remember the 5 things on which I need his opinion. Also, it keeps me from interrupting him with minor issues that I’m afraid I’ll forget. This list helps me get the most value out of our communication time.

You would think from the sound of it that I have post-its everywhere, but I don’t. One on the computer monitor that’s refreshed daily.  The pad of post-its on my desktop. Then two more stuck to a calendar which I use for something else.  (Another tip – I keep my desktop simple.)

So anyway, that’s one of my little tips and tricks that I thought I’d share because people are always asking me how I get so much stuff done. 

* When I got home from the grocery, I’d spend an hour or two washing and cutting up all the vegetables for the week, then putting them in little containers and lining them up in the fridge like little veggie soldiers in a salad army. I could have a kick-ass dinner salad put together in about 3 minutes on any given night.

** Also – post-it did not pay me for this.


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