Maintenance = moving forward

By johannatime On April 11, 2014 Under Getting Organised

Applying maintenance is amongst the most undervalued, underestimated and invisible aspects of productivity and smart working. By maintaining your work organisation, you prevent overwhelm and you tackle procrastination before it occurs.

There are days sometimes when you think you did nothing, because you worked on e-mail backlog or culling your files. Or whatever it was you did, it was in order to keep up with the crazy pace of the day. Depending on how and when you do that, of course, this is often a sound decision. You applied maintenance, and without maintenance, you go backwards.

Maintenance or wasting time?

There are important things in your work and life, and they all need maintenance in order not to get neglected and eventually destroyed. Here’s some examples or maintenance activities that are fine to spend your time on:

  • Purging files
  • Decluttering your office
  • Clearing your desk and (computer) desktop
  • Keeping your inbox under control
  • Checking in with valued members of your professional network
  • Doing a weekly review
  • Working out

Needless to say, there are ways to waste your time on (so called) maintenance, too:

  • Reading all of your twitter and facebook feed to keep up with the news
  • Staying ahead of office gossip (my advice is not to engage in gossip at all)
  • Any cleaning, shopping or maintenance you can delegate
  • Keeping up with the latest TV shows/fashion/gadgets if that is not your professional business

Another way to look at maintenance

In case you thought maintenance is always a waste of time, I have this way of looking at it:

First of all: what is the risk, or the damage if you don’t? Your backlog gets worse and it will take you a disproportionate amount of time to fix that later on. You’ll start making mistakes, or your systems will just fall apart. In many businesses from airlines to professional cleaners, maintenance is a core activity!

Second: If you manage to maintain your personal work organisation, you’ll stay current and in control. In fact you invest in a strong foundation to excel in the things you were hired for.

And last but not least: you have responsibilities. And whatever you’re expected to look after, that’s exactly what you need to maintain, including your health, your relationships, your finances in order to keep going in life.

It is ok, in fact, it is very necessary to spend time, energy and money on maintenance!

So have another look at your work

  1. What is it that needs more maintenance in order for you to excel in what you do?
  2. What distractions can you identify in your life that you can now confidently neglect in order for you to save time?

I’m curious to know what you need to maintain in order to stay in control, and what your decisions are about the things you will ignore. So please comment below:

Johanna Jansen



1 Trackback

  1. Why filing should be a joy, and how to do that! | Time Mine
    April 22, 2014 9:09 AM

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