Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tip #3: Four Ds to Declutter Your Desk

We know how easy it is to let emails and papers pile up on your desk or in your inbox. The following Four Ds of Decision-making will not only reduce clutter but also increase your productivity. You may want to share this one with your employees and colleagues!

The principle of the Four Ds is that you must do one of the following upon receiving an email or other item. By deciding what to do upon receipt, you avoid the temptation to say, “I’ll deal with it later.”

Delete – Ask yourself if this email or paper contains information you can find elsewhere? If it’s a duplication of information, then you can safely trash it.

Do – Is it an item that will take just a couple of minutes to do? Take a moment to do it and you won’t regret it. There’s no point setting it to the side if you can do it quickly. Take care of it and then you can probably delete it. Tip: If the item is something you need to read such as industry articles and news sources, create a “To Read” file and set aside time each week (or day) to read. As you’re reading, don’t just flag pages to come back to later – if you find an article contains information worthy of keeping, tear it out and file accordingly.

Delegate – If you can’t delete it or do it quickly, you may need to delegate it to an employee or colleague. Maybe it’s an item that shouldn’t have come to you in the first place, or it could be that you’re not the right fit for what needs to be done. If it’s an email, forward the email to your team member and request confirmation that they’ll take care of it. Then, you can safely delete the original and move on.

Defer - Lastly, after deleting, doing and delegating, there may be some items that only you can do and that will take a little longer to do. First, determine your deadline for the item and then put it on your calendar to do in light of the deadline. By deferring items according to deadline, you’ll be sure to first complete the items that are most important. For example, instead of spending useful time on something that you have three months to complete, you’ll be able to focus on the task that is due next week.

As a candy and chocolate maker, you have so many things coming to you in one day. We hope today’s tip will help you create order out of what could be chaos.

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