Get your Electronic Life Organized

By Jendayi Harris

I had a friend who was always on screens, so much so that her eyeballs dried out.

I compassionately laughed for a week. I share this because we are in a digital age, which most of our action items aren’t from paper, but email, not from phone calls, but text messages, not from post it notes, but random places on our computer. In other words, screens.

Think about it, what’s the first thing you open up to in the morning or at your desk? Research shows over 50% of working American adults, check email first thing in the morning, when they roll out of bed! To manage life on paper in this digital age will leave you scattered and chaotic.

McGhee Productivity Solutions is a firm that handles how to be productive electronically, not just at work, but also at life. Our modern work day is made up of meetings, emails and tasks. A successful electronic organization system has five components to manage the workflow.

  • First, a successful tool has a place to capture commitments such as an action area for tasks. When we have one place to capture commitments we don’t feel scattered or like we’ve forgotten something. Many leaders have 150 action items circling their brains. A more effective way to handle these tasks and get more sleep is to get them out of your head into one focused area for action management.
  • Second, a successful tool needs a place to capture reference items such as email folders or a notes feature so you can find what you need with ease. Studies show it takes upwards of 2 hours a day to find things we put away electronically. We don’t have time for that.
  • Third, a successful tool needs to have a place to handle events and tasks on the calendar. When you open your day to the calendar, you set yourself up to be more proactive, rather than reactive by opening to an email view. Plus, tasks and events scheduled on the calendar have a 70% success rate of completion.
  • Forth, the best programs integrate all of these areas in a seamless way so you have one place to refer to not ten. Given that an estimated 85% of Fortune 500 Companies utilize Microsoft products, Outlook is the preferred way to capture requests. It’s a surprise to our clients how integrated tasks, calendar, email, and folders are on Outlook compared to other tools.
  • Fifth, the program has to function well on your cell phone. Things pop up that are work related when we least expect it. The more places you have to go to find things, the more time you waste. Seconds add up and steal from life areas you’d rather offer your attention.

Create a system to stay organized with a tool you currently use. There’s a million apps out there, but less is certainly more. If you’re curious to learn more, contact me.