A. Physical Proximity:
“What if things are in
a different place?”
- Put trash can under the table so good stuff doesn't drop
into it by mistake.
- If you use three hole punchers a lot, leave it on your desk with an open space in front of it.
This saves you from moving papers around whenever you need it.
It is also a hassle when paper is punched wrong.
- Always put your keys in one place
Don't put anything else there.
This saves you from having to look around for things.
- If you find that you have to take extra effort to put things where they SHOULD be,
find a place that is close to where you are when you
have to USE that item. For example, leave keys close to the door.
- If you are right handed, use your left hand to point and
click with the computer's mouse.
This frees up your right hand for writing.
- Before you buy something, think about where you will put it and
what you need to do to make room for it.
“What if actions are done at the same or a different time?”
Dilbert's Laws of Work
“If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
Do activities which require similar conditions together:
- Use separate receptacles to sort recylables
as you throw things away.
- Always lock doors from the outside
rather than setting the lock from the inside.
This way you know you are not locking yourself out.
- Plan your trips to do several tasks.
Put items you have to a COPY folder, then copy several
items at once.
This saves you going to the copier several times.
- If you wear contacts which have to be taken off each day,
put them on immediately after you come out of the shower,
when you know your hands are clean.
- Prepare food after you take off your contacts.
You'll only have to wash your hands once!
- When cutting up an onion, you'll lose fewer tears if you cut the root end
“What if there is
more (or less) of this?”
“What if people
know more (or less)?”
- Periodically (at least once an hour) stop and refer to your Personal Plan
—your To Do List with a specific time when
you will do them.
- Leave a note when you remove something. Example:
“12/1/98 Took the M. Smith Archive folder.
Will return Dec. 18.
— Jack Snow 310.320-7878”
- On documents you create, write the file name
where the source document can be found.
If it's not so simple, then the file name on the
document should be the file name of the document
with instructions on how to change it.
- Write up instructions on how someone can take over for
you in case you are out ill.
Thos who take the time to write instructions usually
report that it was worth the time because
you will probably find ways to streamline how you are doing things.
- Draft up a “Will” so that if you die,
people are not left wondering what you prefer.
This will save them much grief and hassle.
- Attach a sticker on each piece of equipment telling who and how to call for help.
Many service companies do this.
“What if more (or less) people
- Leave a place cleaner than you found it.
Leaving a mess for others to clean up
is both a safety hazard and inconsiderate.
- Put up a sign. This alerts others so they don't make matters worse.
“Toilet doesn't flush. —Jim Smith 3/9/99”
- Store extra water, food, lights, batteries, septic toilet, etc. in case of natural disasters
(earthquake, power outage, etc.)