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Small things can make a BIG difference
11 March 2013, by , in Random Thoughts, 1 comment

I continually surprise myself when I make what are seemingly minor changes in how I do something and find that it has a huge impact on my efficiency, effectiveness, or mindset (or all three!).

Some simple but telling examples:

  1. We’ve got small recycle bins from our waste removal company, in which we are supposed to collect our recyclable garbage. The bin is large enough for two or three empty milk jugs and some empty boxes, and that’s about it. As a family of 6, we always fill it and then some. Which made hauling our recycling to the curb a chore. So I called the garbage company and asked them for another bin. They replied “You can get a large roller bin instead, which holds about six times as much as the small bins.”

    Hallelujah! Problem solved. And now I’m no longer frustrated or annoyed by my recycling. I actually almost like doing it. Almost.

  2. I’ve written elsewhere about the wondrous joy of desktop label printers, like the Dymo. Suffice it to say that a simple and seemingly minor fix is an incredible hassle-saver.
  3. Filing. Thanks to the “paperlite” office, I don’t have nearly the filing I used to. But I still do have paper I have to file, and I detest doing it. But I find that when I do take the time to file (usually late on a Friday afternoon), I feel much better about myself and my office surroundings. There’s a level of closure when the paper moves from the pile in the “to file” file to the actual drawer files.

These are three  examples of simple changes that have had a profound impact on my psyche, if not my actual workload. I’d like to hear from others about the small changes they’ve made that have had a big impact in their lives.

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1 Comment on "Small things can make a BIG difference"

David Janes - 11 March 2013 Reply

I take a cue from David Allen when it comes to filing: I try not to have a "to be filed" box at all. When it comes out of the inbox, if it needs to be filed it gets a folder and a label right then and there. Otherwise, it hits the round file or is scanned. This is more of an aspiration than something I am able to do 100% of the time, but on weeks when I've kept to it, I do notice less stress.

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