Sometimes I think that we are all in an asylum. The amount of attention that is pulled from us to read, reply and do things easily fatigues our senses. All those decisions and urgencies have to be dealt with because we are part of information exchange, deal making and project work. It is relentless and insane.
If you play it loose, the sheer weight will simply overwhelm you. But the onslaught of work to get done can be hard to keep up with.
It’s a bit of a paradox, but if you want more freedom, you have to have more structure. Discipline and order around your work gives you readiness and the ability to manage the workload. Structure affords you the freedom in your life to be more leveraged.
It takes strategy and forethought to be structured, however. You have to look at how you work. If you simply accept mediocrity in your workflow and setup, without better structure, then how can you expect to thrive?
Some simple ways to create structure are to eliminate all those unuseful logins you tried out or are not using. Every login is something that takes bandwidth, and you have to manage each system. With those remaining logins you can use LastPass to make it easy on yourself to get in and out of systems with speed.
Then stick with a platform. I have coached my clients to stay in Google Apps as much as possible. You have integration between tools, you can move with speed, and you are able to find what you need without spending a ton of time trying to keep up with how things are organized. You simply react, move and search.
You can also get out of the paper management business. Avoid being a person who scans as well. That takes a lot of time. Use a service like Shoeboxed for receipts, business cards and documents. You simply send in your paper in a Netflix like envelope, and then everything becomes searchable. Easy and keeps the decks clear. Keeps you moving.
There are other systems as well that can afford you more speed and structure. But it starts with your ability to see the connection that more structure equals more freedom.
What can you add more structure to for more freedom?