by Stella Denommee
I learned this from my years as a stockbroker. Before the computer age, we had tons of paper notices piled on our desk throughout the day. You could waste a lot of time with paper instead of "smiling and dialing".
We were taught "HANDLE IT ONCE!" I.E. if you pick up a paper, finish the task and throw it out. Don't park it on another pile so you can read it later.
To my surprise, working from home, this works too. For example, Dirty clothes...don't put them on your chair, put them in the laundry hamper. (This avoids going through the house to collect clothes, humming and hawing and sniffing to see if it's clean or dirty....)Coffee cup, don't leave it in the sink, wash it and put it away. (This shortens the time you spend washing, etc.)
So the same goes with articles of interest for your writing project. Don't shuffle to another file. If it's short, read it and act on it, ie. trash or treasure. If it's long, schedule it in your "research" time block.
I hope this is of value to some in cyberspace.
Thanks for this, Stella!
Once when I had to videotape my teaching for a distance education course, I set up the tape on a Saturday to be sure I could work the technology. I turned on the machine and went about preparing for my teaching week.
When I was ready to go home, I thought I should check to see if the camera actually recorded.
To my complete horror it had! It had recorded me as I picked up various pieces of paper on my desk and moved them from one pile to another. Worst of all was that once I had moved a paper, I was as likely as not to move it back to the pile it was originally in. Sometimes I spent more than ten minutes simply moving those stacks of paper back and forth.
I shuddered to think of how much I COULD have done in that time. And of course, how much I had probably wasted in my lifetime with this habit that was so ingrained I had no idea I had it.
I still catch myself doing things like that, but I DO catch myself, and that's a good thing.
Your tip is great. Thanks for the reminder!
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