Monday, July 5, 2010


One of the things that I face after a long bout of travel is to deal with the things that seem to accumulate on my desk while I am gone.  I handle most of the crucial business tasks from the road but, there are some items that end up in various piles on my desk that require my attention when I can.

One of those items is to go through the seemingly endless pile of trade publications for items of interest.  I suppose that I could leave this task for someone else, but I've found that I pick out things that others deem irrelevant.  It isn't that my eye is any better or worse than theirs, it's just that I have things in mind that items occasionally fit that aren't obviously related to my job.  One thing that might fall into this category is things that illustrate points that I want to emphasize in a presentation.  They don't have to be directly related to the specific subject -- just good illustrations of a point.

Some of the other things for which I look when scanning the publications are 1) articles directly related to my business, 2) articles written by others in my business, 3) articles written by or about friends, 4) advertisements related to our business, 5) advertisements of competitors (mere pretenders), or 6) items referring to customers or prospective customers.  Hmmm....that doesn't leave much.

I sometimes will cut articles out of the publications and put them into 3-ring binders.  This is primarily reserved for articles specifically related to our business -- especially research.  Occasionally I will scan a particular article and e-mail it to others.  I sometimes will cut out an ad from a competitor and place it in a file.  I will visually scan or sometimes read thoroughly, any articles about customers or prospects.

It doesn't seem like a big deal until you consider how quickly the publications pile up.  I faced an eight-inch stack this morning.  It took about one hour to get through them.  That included all of the activities in the previous paragraph.

The key is to handle them once, then "chunk" them.  Don't put them aside for later; deal with them now (although now sometimes gets delayed).  If you have to pick them up more than once you are wasting time.  I don't know about you, but I never seem to have enough of that!

No comments: