Lessons From A Computer Operating System
(Usually somewhere on a Scottish mountain!)
- Do the shortest job first (This is a scheduling protocol borrowed from computer operating systems. Doing the shortest job first means that the average time taken for all jobs to be completed is less. E.g. if you have two jobs to do for a colleague, a 5 minute one and a 5 hour one, having the colleague wait 5 hours to get something that only takes 5 minutes to do makes them cross but if they have to wait 5 hrs and 5 minutes for something that takes five hours to do they think you are wonderful.
- As jobs come in prioritise them into A, B and C priority. Put in trays labeled A, B, C.
Do the A jobs first, then, in spare moments, do the B jobs.
If somebody reminds you about a B make it an A job.
Ignore the C jobs completely unless you get reminded, then make them A jobs.
The theory behind this is that much of what we are asked to do is not that important and the world goes on whether you do it or not. Somebody thinks that something might be handy to have but they can still work without it.
- Turn off the feature that reminds you when emails come in. Look at your emails twice a day only. Most emails don’t need to be looked at as soon as they come in and will only distract you.
- Use the phone instead of replying to emails via the keyboard. It is usually quicker
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