Did you see the article about a $1.26 billion default judgment against PepsiCo awarded because PepsiCo didn’t respond to a lawsuit in time (posted at Yahoo Finance)? PepsiCo argued it was improperly served and asked the court to excuse a corporate bureaucratic mistake — a secretary put the letter aside and didn’t tell anyone about it because she was “so busy preparing for a board meeting.”
If you’ve ever been overwhelmed at work you know how
easy it is to put something aside thinking “I’ll get to this later.” How can you engage in better risk management to avoid a costly mistake like this?
Use Your In Box as a Tool. It’s very easy to focus on the task at hand and let everything else pile up. Keep an in box or other “inflow” system on your desk to keep track of new things that come in so they don’t fall through the cracks.
Stay Current. Establish a set time each day to review your in-box, no matter what you have going on. Early in the morning and before you go home are good times to review your inbox so you stay current.
Organize New Items. Create file folders for new items that land in your inbox if they aren’t part of an existing project or client file. That way all of the paper work related to one subject stays together.
Prioritize. Even though it’s easy to focus intently on one project it’s just as important to readjust and re-prioritize as new things land on your plate. One way to prioritize is to number, in order of importance, the files you created for those items in you in box. Place the files on a stand up rack on your desk in order of priority to keep you from reviewing or handling more than once the materials you receive. Carve out time at the beginning, middle or end of your day to handle your new priorities.
Know Your Limits. Know how much work you can handle and when you need to delegate or ask for help.
Dedicated to helping busy people get out of the overwhelm mode, for a limited time I’m offering complimentary reviews of your organizational systems to help you stay out of overwhelm, streamlined and risk free.
I welcome your comments.