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The Personal Efficiency Program: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Win Back Control of Your Work, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-37131-2
272 pages
December 2008
The Personal Efficiency Program: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Win Back Control of Your Work, 4th Edition (0470371315) cover image

Description

A practical guide to getting organized, beating procrastination, and working more efficiently

The Fourth Edition of The Personal Efficiency Program continues the book's long tradition of helping overwhelmed professionals get their work lives organized to become more effective and efficient. Readers will learn how to stop procrastinating, stop feeling overwhelmed, and start feeling good about their work lives. This new edition contains new chapters on e-mail and meetings, as well as new content on portable communications and how best to utilize tools like cell phones and Blackberries. As always, this edition features Kerry Gleeson's proven, effective program for helping anyone get organized and become far more productive.

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Table of Contents

WORLDWIDE OPPORTUNITIES WITH PEPWORLDWIDE XV

PREFACE XVII

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS XIX

INTRODUCTION 1

Origin of the Personal Efficiency Program 2

How to Work 4

CHAPTER 1 Executive Summary 5

Get Organized 7

Habits and Routines 10

Batching Work 11

Planning 12

Continuous Improvement of the Process (Kaizen) 13

CHAPTER 2 Do It Now! 15

Why the Personal Efficiency Program Works 17

Start with Your Desk or Work Space 19

Overcoming Procrastination 21

Not Everything Can or Should Be Done Now 30

Build Decisiveness into Your Work Habits 31

Establish Do It Now Work Habits 32

Perfection 33

Discipline 34

Follow-Up for Chapter 2 35

CHAPTER 3 Organize It Now! 37

A Soldier’s Story 39

Cleaning Out the Clutter 39

Where Does Clutter Come From? 40

Why Clutter Stays There 41

Out of Sight? 42

Don’t Overlook the Obvious 42

Start with the Basics 44

Your Office Toolbox 44

Become Familiar with Tools as They Come on the Market 46

Organizing Files—Beginning with Paper 47

Working Files 48

Tickler System 50

Setting Up Your Personal Working Files 51

Your Personal Reference Files: Note Things to Do as You

Come across Them 52

Archive Files 54

Tips—What to Keep, Where to Keep It, and What to Throw Away 55

Tips for Improving Your Paper Filing System 56

Filing and Labeling 56

Organizing Electronic Files 58

Where to Begin—The Computer’s Operating System 59

Back Up Your Hard Drive 60

Naming Electronic Files 60

Let the Computer Find Your Documents for You 63

Organizing E-Mail 64

Steps to Organize E-Mail 65

Creating and Organizing Your E-Mail Address Book 65

Organizing Bookmarks—Web Pages You May Wish to Access in the Future 66

Organizing the Computer Desktop to Access Applications and

Files Easily 67

Using Search Functions 67

Organizing Other Media 68

Summary 69

Follow-Up for Chapter 3 70

CHAPTER 4 Do It Routinely 73

Keep a Time Log 75

Electronic Time Log 76

Overcome Information Overload 76

Beyond the In Basket 80

Batch the Routine Work 81

Schedule and Avoid Having to Decide 82

Parkinson’s Law and the Allocation of Time 83

Blocks of Time 84

Batching Telephone Calls 84

One More Thing! 86

Batching E-Mail 86

Paper Mail/Memos 87

Reading 89

Weekly One-on-One Meetings 89

Daily Meeting with Administrative Assistant 90

Dealing with Interruptions 91

Respect Other People’s Time 92

Making It Work 92

Pitfalls 94

Follow-Up for Chapter 4 95

CHAPTER 5 Plan It Now! 97

Purpose of Planning 99

Planning Principles 101

Prioritizing—Task Management 101

Time Management 102

The Time It Takes to Plan: Is It Worth It? 103

PEP Planning Process 103

Daily Planning 104

Weekly Planning 104

One More Reason to Schedule a WRAP (Weekly Review and Action Plan) 106

Shaping the Diary—A Monthly Planning Process for Senior

Executives 110

Project Implementation Planning 111

Criteria for Project Planning 113

Implementation Mapping 113

Planning in Microsoft Outlook/Lotus Notes 115

Planning on a Computer 116

Microsoft Outlook/Lotus Notes Calendaring 117

Strategic Planning 117

Goals 118

Personal Goals 119

Values 120

Values on a Personal Level 121

Visualization—What You See Is What You Get 122

Follow-Up for Chapter 5 123

CHAPTER 6 Dealing with E-mail Now! The Single Biggest Challenge for Most People 127

Part One: Take Control of What You Get 130

The More E-Mail You Send, the More You Will Receive 131

Push to Pull 131

If You Have Administrative Support 131

Technical Solutions 132

Change E-Mail Address 133

You DecideWhen to Handle Your E-Mail 133

CCs and “Reply All” 134

Part Two: Managing and Processing Information Efficiently 134

Add-In Applications for E-Mail Programs—Organize Information 134

Setting Standards 135

More Standards 136

Processing Information 136

The Four Ds 137

Turn Off Notifications 138

Instant Messages 138

Pending Folder 138

Setting Reminders 138

Read Faster! 139

E-Mail Rules of Thumb 139

It Is No Easy Task! 141

Follow-Up for Chapter 6 141

CHAPTER 7 Follow-Up and Follow-Through! 143

Persistence 145

Persistence, Routines, and Habits—Doing What You Don’t Like to Do 146

Forget Remembering 148

Preoccupation and Time 149

Organize Efficient Follow-Up Systems 150

Paper Follow-Up 150

Logbook 151

Electronic Solutions to a Logbook 153

Calendar Systems 153

Electronic Solutions to Follow-Up and Follow-Through 154

Combination Paper and Electronic Calendaring Systems 156

Work Groups 156

Follow-Up and Delegation 157

Delegation—Using Your Electronic Tools 159

Exceptions to the Rule 159

Make Follow-Up Part of the Work Process 160

Follow-Up for Chapter 7 161

CHAPTER 8 Do It Right, Now! 163

Apply This One Principle, and That Is All You Need to Do 165

Why Quality? 166

Kaizen 166

PEP—A Practical Tool for Quality Improvement 167

6S 168

Identifying Your Customers and Their Needs 169

Workplace Kaizen 170

Benchmarking 171

Focus on Prevention 171

Project-by-Project Improvement 172

Continuous Change 172

Summary 172

Follow-Up for Chapter 8 173

CHAPTER 9 Do It Now! —FromWherever You Are! 175

Evolving Work Environments 177

Why Now? 177

What Is a “Mobile Work Environment”? 178

Working Out of a Home Office 178

Common Denominators 179

The Proper Work Tools for the MWE 180

Work Issues in the MWE Home Office 181

Common Issues FacedWorking in the MWE 182

Work Issues in the MWE 184

Follow-Up for Chapter 9 184

CHAPTER 10 Be a Do It Now Manager! 187

Management by Walkabout 189

Examples of PEP Walk 192

Why PEP Walk Works 193

Had I Known! 194

Face-to-Face Communication 195

Follow-Up Method 196

Delegation 196

What Does a Do It Now Manager Do? 197

Concentrate on the Process of Work 197

Don’t Be Tied to the Desk 198

Start with Yourself 199

Electronic Tools to Enhance Your PEP Walks 199

MBWA in an Alternative Office 200

Summary 201

Follow-Up for Chapter 10 202

CHAPTER 11 Making Meetings Effective 203

Part One: Cutting Down on the Number of Meetings 207

Meeting Analysis 207

Go. See. Confirm. 208

Part Two: If You’re Going to Call a Meeting, Run It Right 210

Well-Run Meetings 211

During Meetings 213

After the Meeting 215

Summary 215

Follow-Up for Chapter 11 215

CHAPTER 12 Maintain It Now 217

Entropy 219

Maintenance and the Work Cycle 220

Make It Easy 222

Should You Be Maintaining It in the First Place? 222

Preventive Maintenance 223

Maintenance and Do It Now 223

Make Maintenance a Habit 224

The 21-Day Challenge 224

Maintenance of Common Files 226

Maintenance and Travel 226

Maintenance and Continuous Improvement 228

Periodic Catch-Up 229

Minimum Maintenance 229

What to Do When It All Goes to Pot 229

Follow-Up for Chapter 12 231

EPILOGUE

Just One New Habit 233

RECOMMENDED READING 235

INDEX 237

ABOUT PEPWORLDWIDE 247

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Author Information

Kerry Gleeson is founder and CEO of the Institute for Business Technology (IBT) International, which has offices in twenty-five countries on five continents. IBT has worked with many Fortune 500 companies, as well as thousands of other companies around the world. An expert on white-collar productivity, Gleeson has advised executives from such corporations as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Unilever, IBM, and Ernst & Young.
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