Friday, October 30, 2009

My Other Inboxes

You have to get used to having multiple inboxes. Essentially, everyone is going to have a series of places where they keep things that need to be dealt with later.

I keep a list of my inboxes and how to process them so it forces me to work through the list.

Here's a more detailed version of what I do and how I do it.

1) Phone messages: My secretary has a little area where all my written phone messages are kept. I return the calls and then put the messages into the case file. If they don't have a case file, I file them under incoming calls.

2) Incoming Calls folder: These are calls from people who have not hired me. I call them back after a few days and ask them if there's anything else I can do to help them. After a week or so, I file those messages under "Old Calls". I never revisit "Old Calls" unless someone calls me and says, "I spoke to you a few months ago".

3) My wallet: I put receipts and business cards in here. I empty it out once a day into a folder for that month's expenses and another folder for business cards.

4) My desk: At the end of the day my desk is cluttered with numerous files that I've been working on. At the beginning of the day I clean it off and file everything.

5) Inbox/Outbox: My secretary and I each have a physical inbox where we put documents that the other person needs to address.

6) Briefcase: I empty my briefcase every day and make sure each document is dealt with.

7) Calendar: It's important to constantly look at my calendar so I know how to prioritize my work.

8) Home: I have a little table at home that I put all work things on that have managed to make it to my house. I put the work items in my briefcase and then process them at the office.

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