Years ago, John Maxwell developed leadership lessons which he distributed via CDs. One of the lessons he taught, which I have never forgotten, is about how important it is that every leader has an organization system. In that lesson, he went on to say that the average executive spends 10 years of his life “looking for stuff”.
When I read that, it occurred to me that, if I had a tight organization system, I could repurpose those years and use them for good and living purposefully rather than “looking for stuff”. This is where I began to discover the 4th fundamental of a great organization system: the reference system.
The reference system allows you to develop a filing system with repositories where you store things that are not actionable today but that you may need at some point in the future. There are many tools you could deploy for a great reference system, and below is a non-exhaustive list of reference tools to explore:
There are many other tips and tools you could deploy in this section. The key is ensuring that it works for you.
One of the most important aspects of developing a reference system is ensuring that the tools you use are easy for you to use. The ideal system allows you not to have to think about where you’ll file something or find something, so that you can easily retrieve it.
As you’re developing your reference system, take the opportunity to purge and simplify as well. The circular “file drawer” called the trash can is a good place to file things to ensure you keep a clean workspace and clutter-free mind so that you can concentrate on what is most important!
Chris Comeaux, President / CEO of Teleios Collaborative Network