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Where Is That File?

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If you were to wander into your files on your computer, would they all be organized? You may want to get a handle on it before you end up sabotaging yourself!

When I am putting away the clean dishes in my kitchen, I know where to place them. There is a shelf for plates, a shelf for drinking glasses, a drawer for silverware, a drawer for cooking utensils, a cabinet for cutting boards, etc. There are not two drawers where we keep forks.

But yet, when I am looking for a specific computer file, well let’s just say that I know what directory it should be in! My computer directories are organized, at least compared to what I have seen from others. But yet, I can select any folder on my computer, look at the list of files, and I won’t know what some are without opening them. I don’t believe that I am the only person that has encountered this situation. I can do better at organizing and naming my files. Too many times I let programs automatically name my files. Maybe you too have a photo named CIMG3098.jpg.

files lost productivity

© Flickr user Güel – Centro de Wellness Murcia

Why am I even writing about this? Last week my hard drive crashed. I lost my most recent data. I did have a backup of most. Trying to recover has caused me to reconsider the amount of organization it takes to be efficient on a computer. I can put away the dishes in my kitchen quickly. Getting to the same level of efficiency in putting away files takes a bit more planning. The benefit comes from finding the file you need, at the time you need it. It should keep me from screaming, “Where is that file?” Hard drive crashes happen. My recovery plan will include better data backup, and better file organization. This event is an example of how to turn set backs into improvements. I have learned some lessons. Can you learn from my mistakes?

One of the main reasons you want to keep your files organized is to stay productive. How can you maximize your workflow if your thoughts and work are scattered? Is leaving your computer in a state of disarray a form of self-sabotage? It very will could fit into that category. Ashley Lee talked about the effects that self-sabotage has on productivity.

If we find ourselves self-sabotaging here and there, perhaps its effects won’t be astronomical on the overall state of our productivity. However, the difficult part is recognizing when self-sabotaging is more than just an occasional indulgence. After all, given some of the examples above, it’s easy to see how little routine changes and behaviors can morph into bigger problems as the aftermath unfolds. Problems that can develop from self-sabotaging could be things like lower quality of work, stress and an inability to focus. But continual self-sabotage can lead to even deeper issues like low self-esteem, loss of motivation, loss of trust and accountability, or even job loss.

It can be really overwhelming to look at what’s slowing you down at work. Not only do you have to realize and accept it, but you also have to figure out how to change it. That can seem like a task far too big to handle sometimes. Ashley took away some of that anxiety by laying out some tips we can use to break free from the clutter and do it without losing our heads:

    1. The Pomodoro Technique is a method of intense focus for 25 minutes at a time.

    2. Change your environment: Countless studies have shown that there are subtle ways in which your surroundings are affecting your ability to focus.

    3. Document Highs and Lows. Take time to discover your most productive times of day. Get to know your habits and schedule.

    4. The two-minute rule. If a task takes less than two minutes to accomplish, you should do it immediately.

    5. Turn off notifications and limit browser tabs.

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown


Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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