What’s Your Bermuda Triangle?
You’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle, right? It’s the area approximately connecting Miami, FL and San Juan, Puerto Rica and the Bahamas where a host of unexplained disappearances of boats and planes have occurred since 1493 when Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to the New World. It’s reported that readings from compasses and other navigation equipment are not reliable because this is one of those areas where magnetic anomalies exist and therefore planes and vessels can end up off course… or worse as the stories are told.
Could your office or your office day sometimes act very much like the Bermuda Triangle? Maybe just a part of your office or your day can be considered your Bermuda Triangle. What would it be?
Do your papers and emails vanish in mysterious ways? How about your to-do lists? These can vanish quite easily in a disorganized environment. I know many folks who have a dozen to-do lists on legal pads, but they cannot find most of them.
Even if you’re office is fairly organized, it’s just as easy to get lost when time disappears, or you’re not sure where you are with projects or you’re not sure what you should be doing next. You may think that you’re working your biggest priority at the moment, but if you can’t find to-do lists, files or emails then how can you be sure you’re on course?
Could the disappearance of any of these be the cause of missed deadlines, forgotten tasks or missed goals? Perhaps.
If you feel off course on most days and you’re not reaching your desired destination, then you could be experiencing the effects of your own Bermuda Triangle. Your environment may be inhibiting you from getting the right readings on your direction and can leave you feeling disoriented or lost.
Next time you’re sailing or flying through your day, think about whether or not your office environment and your systems and processes for managing tasks, time, email and paper are keeping you on course. Remember these three critical points to help you stay on course:
1.) Simplify your surroundings. The less you have, the less you have to manage. Having fewer things around you will help you fight distractions that can take you off course. Be selective about what you keep, accept or commit to.
2.) Make sure you’re getting the right readings from you’re systems, which should direct you to your hottest priorities. These include the systems or processes you use for handling paper, incoming mail, email, voice mail, tasks, calendar appointments, contacts, etc… If you’re lacking systems in any of these areas, then you’ll be more likely to lose track of time, commitments and priorities. Get systems in place so that you can stop thinking about HOW to work so you can start DOING the work.
3.) Make little changes one at a time. Positive improvements will build on one another. Focus on one area at a time and there will be a gradual increase in your control as you work towards a more efficient office and a more productive work day.
If you’re not careful, things and time can easily vanish, leaving you unprepared, unproductive and stressed out. Or worse, your motivation and enthusiasm for what you do could vanish too and then where would you be?
If you can get out of your own Bermuda Triangle, no matter how you define it, then you’ll be on a safer and more productive course leading you to success!