Eat That Frog! Part 8 of 9: Cleaning the Space and Getting At It

October 27, 2009 by  

cluttered-deskWorking at work rather than playing at work can help you get your work done so that you go home and have none to do.  The more we are efficient at our work the less time we have to spend there.  Even though I myself enjoy my work, I do not want to sit mindlessly at work for the sake of being there.  In fact, my 5:30 pm yoga class compels me on most days to get out of the office on a timely basis.  That habit has taught me the discipline of being more efficient at work so that I do not have to occupy my personal time at night with work activities.  For example, if a patient does not show up or I have a few minutes at lunch hour, I will shoot a video on a topic that comes to my mind.  I typically have the video shot, captured, edited, labeled, and uploaded by the time I am leaving my office.  If not, I have 80 to 90% of that done so that all I have to do when I get home is hit a single button and leave my computer.  Radical efficiency is everything.

How do we accomplish that?  Well, first we need to clear the space in front of us and make sure everything is well organized for us to start work.  Too often we have a cluttered work space or no work space at all.  We are sitting right in the middle of office traffic so that we are prone to mindless conversations at work that only serve to undermine our productivity.  Even a few interruptions can be enough to create a stoppage of work flow that can significantly undermine work efficiency.  As we discussed, planning is everything.  Having the right work space is one of the first steps in planning.  However, if planning stalls progress, the other admonition of just starting should be recalled:  a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Take that step.

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7 Responses to “Eat That Frog! Part 8 of 9: Cleaning the Space and Getting At It”

  1. Heather on October 27th, 2009 10:59 pm

    This is my expert subject! ;)
    Dr. Lam, you are really good at time management! Great points!

  2. dr. lam on October 27th, 2009 11:01 pm


  3. Mysteryagain on October 28th, 2009 10:26 am

    Great post! we often forget how important is to get organized so when we have free time, we organize our time well! :)

    Of course, in order to organize things we have to declutter and let’s be honest… if there is a big mess, say, in our office/home, etc. it’s discouraging: we often don’t know how or where to start and end up feeling so overwhelmed that we give up too soon before we did enough as to see a significant change… and keep on living in a “mess”.

    Tips I learned somewhere (can’t remember, and probably not from the same source) is:

    a) instead of seeing the “whole picture” of what is chaotic and try to know and work at finding the right place and use for each item, we see shortly the “whole picture”, tell ourselves what “things” are the most important for us to do more and better things even if there still is some or a lot of “mess” around us, and do something about those things. Not even try to organize it all soon, that is. It is setting ourselves for discouragement. One little or two little things a day can do wonders in the long term. Especially if we organize first what is more important to have well organized so we can be more efficient… the organization of the rest will happen more naturally and fastly.

    b) set a time, say “10 minutes”. As soon as we see something that is out place, or has to be done or organized, think if it can be done in 10 minutes (or some other amount of time we find not overwhelming)… and if it will take that time or less, then, go ahead and not even think much of it. Do it. Get rid of “it” ASAP. The load of things to change and organize will not keep on growing nor getting more chaotic if we do that.

    c) be realistic and if there is a lot of chaos, instead of looking for order, period, seek for an organized chaos :) . That is, for example, classify objects or things to do and put them in categories: “to do”, “to store”, “in the doing”, “to reevaluate what to do with”.
    Say, if we were arranging our closet:, make a pile where we put all the items to keep, another for all the items we still don’t know whether to keep or give away or what (what we are unsure about, and other of what to get rid of. That way, we will still have piles, but at least the chaos will be organized enough as to introduce with steps a) and b) small changes that will be more noticeable right away.


  4. nord on October 28th, 2009 6:02 pm

    Great points. You have a knack for selecting best photos to accompany these subjects. This one hurts the eyes though. I feel compelled to clean it up. hmmm. ;)

  5. dr. lam on October 28th, 2009 10:27 pm

    thanks guys! glad my other blog buddies are along on the ride! great points MA! thanks nord!

  6. Heather on October 28th, 2009 11:17 pm

    Yipee!!! Blog buddies!! Great points, mysteryagain! I think it is important to have a place for everything and to aim to keep everything in its place. If there’s not a place for everything, there’s just too much stuff and whatever it is, has got to go…lol Nord, I am SO with you!!! I feel like grabbing five trash bags and having at it!…LOL Yes, Dr. Lam picks great photos!!!

  7. Heather on October 28th, 2009 11:18 pm

    lol I don’t think the person that has that office even has access to his/her computer…lol

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