The Clipboard and the Pencil…and Organizing the Work
by Dwayne Phillips
Overwhelmed with many tasks and people? Grab a clipboard and a pencil.
This one may require a clipboard with a bigger clip that has a bigger capacity than most, but the basic tools will suffice.
There are too many tasks and too many people. Emails and text messages and notes from here and there are flooding in a piling high in my mind. And then someone asks me, “What about that thing I asked you last week? Is it finished?” Huh?
For each message, write a note on a piece of paper and clip it to the board. Scribble on that piece of paper. Write just enough references and pointers so details can be found. Date every scribble and record all names. When the inevitable question arrives, flip through the paper to find the answer. Scribble the facts of the question on the paper. When something is finished, remove the paper from the clipboard and place it in a file for later reference.
The clipboard is scalable (a word folks like to use these days). When there are many items in the air, the pile of paper is larger. The pile is smaller when there are fewer items of urgency. There are always more pencils available as well as blank pieces of paper.
The clipboard is portable. No matter the location, the clipboard is at hand. No power? No problem. No battery? No problem. No WiFi? Same answer. Many questions, and they all have the same answer.
Of course people think it odd to be walking about with a clipboard of papers and a pencil (if possible, carry the pencil behind an ear for affect). People will not think it odd for a person to have answers for every little thing that occurs.
Try it. It has worked and will continue to work.