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Motivating. Sympathetic. Pragmatic.
NEW BOOKS SPRING 2019
BECOME THE CEO OF YOUR LIFE!
Our new books Spring 2019 help readers envision and design organizations that are well-positioned for the digital future: highly profitable and deeply humane. They teach our readers how companies can operate more profitably by recognizing the advantage of diversity in companies.
Our books are a smart contribution to the ongoing debate on the future of our working world. Further, our books help you to live an unabashedly passionate life. They show you how you can crack the “crisis code” and take your life into your own hands with positivity and a sense of assertion.
Why you should care? Because too many books are fond of saying what we should do – our books are one step ahead and explain how to actually do it. Peek inside our FOREIGN RIGHTS LIST SPRING 2019!
The Digital Office Kaizen® Workflow
No-one ever achieved efficient office organisation through the use of Outlook alone. Why? Because determining the correct tools necessarily requires prior clarification of the approach. To this end, Jürgen Kurz and Marcel Miller use the Office Kaizen® method as a tool for lean processes in the daily office workflow. Their practical advice book So geht Büro heute! (A Guide to Modern Office Life!) serves as an introduction to the method – and it’s available to read here today.
The Digital Office Kaizen® Workflow
Everything starts with the inbox: the place we receive any and everything to do with our daily work, all bundled up together. As such, the sole function of the inbox is as an interface to the outside world. It’s where we go to see what’s new. Even when it’s sometimes a lot to take in, an effective overview is essential.
Many people use their inbox as a “running to-do list” - but we shouldn’t check emails without also making a decision about what to do with them. Once we open an email, it automatically moves to the processing phase.
Processing means decided on one of the following steps:
- Deleting an email
- Forwarding an email
- Archiving an email
- Actioning an email
- Converting an email to an event/appointment
Deleting, forwarding or archiving an email should generally take less than one minute per email. The immediate actioning of emails should be subject to a time limit of five minutes or less –in other words, any email that can be actioned completely in less than five minutes should be dealt with there and then. Emails that require longer to deal with should be scheduled for a later date, since our day-to-day schedules don’t usually allow for them to be slotted in at the time of reading.
If an email pertains to an event or appointment, it should be noted as such. If it pertains to a task, it should be converted to a task.
If an email contains information we wish to retain for later, there are two different approaches we can take. If it pertains to an event or task, the relevant information (or the entire email) should be copied and pasted in the “note” section of the corresponding event or task. If the information is more complex, it should be pasted in in the appropriate section of the corresponding notebook in OneNote.
If an email contains a file, we must first determine whether the file is to be stored by us or in a team folder. The answer will depend on who needs the information. If a file is relevant to several people in the company, it must be stored in a place to which all relevant parties have access. By saving it in OneDrive and granting the necessary sharing permissions, we avoid storing it in several locations unnecessarily.
Once all emails have been processed according to the above system, we have an overview of what's in the pipeline. A great feeling!
Events and tasks
The management and timing of events and tasks should not be an inbox function. Neither should it be juggled mentally. Instead, it should be carried out in a reliable fashion using the Outlook calendar and the Outlook task list.
Weekly planning of upcoming appointments and tasks
At the end of each working week, we should make a rough plan for the coming week. This should take about ten minutes of our time.
The combined events& tasks view provides a useful overview of upcoming appointments and tasks. We see whether bottlenecks are building up or where we still have free periods of time. Thanks to this, we are able to recognise easily whether we have over-planned for certain days - and can decide in advance which tasks we want to postpone to mitigate these bottlenecks.
As part of our weekly planning, we should also look through our goals and our list of our ideas and reserve time windows for working on them. Such entries can be labelled as “appointments with ourselves”.
Note: Successfully weekly planning means leaving some hours free for unforeseen events. Everyone requires a buffer for workday “surprises”.
Daily planning for upcoming events and tasks
On the eve of each working day, we should take five minutes to plan for the next one. In this case, it’s all about detailed planning. We must check again that we have not planned more tasks than we can actually accomplish. Then, we must decide, “Which task should I start with? Which should be second?”
In other words, we set a task order. In Outlook, this is performed simply by using drag & drop.
The main goal of daily planning is to avoid two main problems, namely:
- That the scope or workload of tasks is estimated incorrectly, causing us to plan too much for each day.
- That priority is incorrectly assigned to enjoyable tasks rather than important ones.
For normal, day-to-day work, upcoming appointments and tasks appear on the right-hand side of the main Outlook view. This is our “management cockpit”. After completing a task, we delete it. Then, the next task on the list moves up to first place.
At the start of using the method, it’s important to get used to looking at both planning tools regularly during the day. Since both are shown in the main view, this is easy to accomplish.
- Calendar: What are my next appointments?
- Task list: What are the next tasks I need to do?
If new tasks arise during the day, they must be added directly to the task list. Because we assign new tasks a due date at the time of creation, we are able to quickly and easily accomplish our weekly and daily planning at a later time, as outlined above. The general principle is that planning occurs on an ongoing basis: at the time each task new task arises, we identify when it needs to be complete and where free slots of time are still remaining.
Tasks that are still pending at the end of the day should be assigned a new due date. When we work with clients, we often see that unfinished tasks are not rescheduled as they should be. Instead, they are marked in red and always displayed for the current day. If, at some point, too many tasks turn red (= overdue), the overview is lost. This is one reason why many people stop using the task list consistently. If the task list is always kept up-to-date - and thus remains clear and manageable - in accordance with the system, it works very effectively.
- About GABAL (PDF 2.599,67 KB)
GABAL provides proven practical knowledge and publishes media products on the topics of business, success, and life. With over 600
experienced, international authors from various industries and education, we inspire businesses and people to move forward.
GABAL is your publisher, because we want to bring you forward. Not with finger-pointing, not divorced from reality, not pointy-headed or purely academic, but motivating in effect, sympathetic in appearance, and pragmatically-oriented toward results.
Our books are aimed at people who are looking for knowledge about current issues in business and education that can be put into practice quickly.
To Benefit Only From The Best
With over 600 experienced, international authors from various industries and education, we inspire businesses and people to move forward.
Most of GABALs authors are highly professional trainers, motivational speakers or executives and are all outstanding leaders in their fields with many year‘s of hands-on experiences, their competence reflected in their success and therefore mirroring GABAL’s philosophy ‘to benefit only from the best’.