• James Walton

How to Eliminate the Waste of Looking

Ask yourself, where do I keep things like this?

If you can be consistent in answering that question, you'll have a better chance of getting to the content quickly. The time spent finding and retrieving the object/file/document/tool doesn't add value, only the having and utilizing the object/file/document/tool to solve a business need. 

Therefore, work hard to eliminate the waste of looking.

Work files will naturally go in the file infrastructure on your hard drive or network drive. But what about the notes you take in your meetings, or web articles you read that you’d like to recall later, or the research findings from books you’re reading? Again, apps like Trello and Evernote are custom built for these purposes and are incredibly effective. Here’s my go-to set of apps (all free!) for organizing all my stuff:

  • I use Trello to keep track of all my to-do lists. I also keep lists of people’s names I’m trying to remember, books I’ve been recommended to read, thoughts for blog posts, goal tracking for each quarter, and so on.

  • I use Evernote to keep track of upcoming meeting agendas and notes from those meetings, all my research notes from classes I’m taking or books I’m reading, etc.

  • I use Pocket to keep track of interesting web pages or articles that I can read later. I’ve got thousands of searchable articles in my pocket that means I never don’t have anything awesome to read.

Disclaimer: my StrengthsFinder report shows as my top two strengths, Input and Learner. So I have no choice but to be drawn to efficient systems of codifying and retrieving information. You are likely wired very differently.

Still, having a reliable, comprehensive system in place answers the question, “where did I put that?” If you’re consistent, then the answer is wherever you put things like that. Doing so help eliminates the waste of looking.

0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

4 Actions to Increase the Performance of Your Team

Join those who already receive these posts directly to their inbox. Subscribe here. Here's 4 quick steps to think more clearly about performance management in your organization. 1. Articulate your goa

Get a Global View of Your Calendar

From our ongoing fight to crush chaos in the events of our daily lives comes this simple reminder: get a global view of your calendar. Not just your work calendar, but your social calendar, your meal

5 Questions to Improve any Process

Once you've arrived at the end of a work project, take a moment and ask: What steps did we take? In what order? What was the intended outcome? What was the actual outcome? Knowing what we know now, wh