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  • Visible Inbox

    At my cockpit, my physical inbox is the middle drawer, above the foot hote in my desk. Any letters, papers etc that need to be processed go in that drawer, rather than on an "in tray" on my desk.

    Advantages:

    * Doesn't take up space on my desk
    * Is the right shape and has reasonable capacity
    * It doesn't "look at" me!

    Disadvantages:

    * It doesn't "look at" me!

    Do folks reckon it's better to have an on desk in tray that screams at you if it isn't regularly processed?

  • #2
    Originally posted by LordCope View Post
    Do folks reckon it's better to have an on desk in tray that screams at you if it isn't regularly processed?
    Not necessarily. If you stand at a traffic light, do you pull Wikipedia on your smartphone to check wether you should cross the street when the light is red or green?

    Let's assume something here, ok The same goes for the review habit. You have to regularly do it automatically. You have to review the calendar at least once per day, you have to review your action lists and you just have to review your inbox to process it's contents.

    You cannot rely on reviewing a reminder to review reminders to remind you to review. At some point you just have to get in the habit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Stephen,

      I have my inbox on my desk as quite a lot of my work comes from others placing items in the box, so it needs to be accessible. I have been trying to train my colleagues to place the items in the box, rather than just "somewhere" on my desk if I am not there!

      At home, my inbox is less conspicuous and sits behind me (when I am seated at my office desk) on a set of shelves. It is more out of sight and gets emptied less often. If you find that you are missing things due to a lack of processing you may want to make your inbox more obvious...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LordCope View Post
        Do folks reckon it's better to have an on desk in tray that screams at you if it isn't regularly processed?
        For me I know that an inbox that isn't in my face all the time will never get processed so yes, for me I must have it out visible, and small enough that it becomes obvious when it's full. An inbox that is too big gets so full that I just give up on processing it. YMMV

        I also think that I ams somewhat of a visual organizer, I do better when I can see things not have them hidden away. I am trying to re-work my desk space so that I have neat places for the visual reminders of projects and also for the large physical project support material that is common in my world. I'm thinking of building some cubby hole style shelves so each active project has a place for the items for it easily. Ot else getting some clear plastic totes that I can stuff entire project materials in. Still debating on that.

        Comment


        • #5
          I prefer having my inbox placed so that I do not see it when I'm concentrated at working on one thing but do see it as soon as I take a short break and look up from whatever I'm doing. That means that it (ideally) doesn't distract me when I'm trying to focus, but that I can't ignore it either. Very specifically, this is (at least for the moment) at arm's length at about a 45 degree angle.

          Comment


          • #6
            To drawer.. or not to drawer?

            Originally posted by LordCope View Post
            At my cockpit, my physical inbox is the middle drawer, above the foot hote in my desk. Any letters, papers etc that need to be processed go in that drawer, rather than on an "in tray" on my desk.

            Advantages:

            * Doesn't take up space on my desk
            * Is the right shape and has reasonable capacity
            * It doesn't "look at" me!

            Disadvantages:

            * It doesn't "look at" me!

            Do folks reckon it's better to have an on desk in tray that screams at you if it isn't regularly processed?
            Hi Lord Cope,

            Interesting question! I do think that it does something for me to have the in tray on top of the desk for a few reasons:

            -It gets my attention when I walk in, so it reminds me I need to process
            -Because it is visible, I am more likely to keep it neat and avoid stray (important) papers getting shoved to the back
            -If others need to leave something at my desk for me, it prevents people from cluttering my work space by leaving things on my keyboard, or chair, etc.

            That being said, many people work better when their space is free and clear. If you have the discipline to check that drawer every day at a couple of specific times a day, or if you put a tickler in your calendar that reads "Process Drawer!" that pops up on your screen, then perhaps using a drawer might be more useful for you. I know that I need things in my view in order to get attention

            All the best to you!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mthar1 View Post
              I prefer having my inbox placed so that I do not see it when I'm concentrated at working on one thing but do see it as soon as I take a short break and look up from whatever I'm doing. That means that it (ideally) doesn't distract me when I'm trying to focus, but that I can't ignore it either. Very specifically, this is (at least for the moment) at arm's length at about a 45 degree angle.
              I agree with mthar1.

              Ideally, the inbox itself (or a reminder to process it) will be placed (or timed)
              so that you see it when it's a good time to do processing, and you don't see
              it at any other time. Reality may differ somewhat. Not seeing it too often
              is important, to avoid reinforcing a habit of not doing anything
              with it when you see it.

              I have mine placed pretty much behind me across the room. I generally see it
              when I'm arriving, getting up or moving around. I also often come to a time
              in the afternoon when I've just finished something or
              feel like a change of activity, and may
              think of processing it then without needing a visual reminder.

              Comment

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