Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Paper and Tidiness For Success

QA works in a lot of different areas - our desks, our conference room, other conference rooms, the lab. 

My single biggest productivity tip? Keep it all clean.

My second biggest productivity tip? Keep pen and paper readily available in each area.

Cleanliness first.

We're all adults around here. You'd think we'd keep a workspace clean. But pictures of messy desks and the rise of the organization industry say I'm wrong. Nonetheless, keeping a clean workspace lets us all work together effectively. If there's space on the table for our laptops, we can actually use them. If we have to look through a stack of 50 CDs to find the three that actually have today's build on them, we're wasting time. So keep it neat and we'll find more time to do the actual work (instead of just shuffling stuff around).

And paper.

Most of the time, we don't use much paper. Sometimes, though, it's essential. Have an idea and need to sketch it out? Paper should be right there for you. Caught a glimpse of an error message on a terminal? Quick, grab a piece of paper and write it down; you may or may not catch it again. Having paper around - at least for me - sometimes makes the difference between forgetting and really having the information.

They're small things, really, and low effort. It takes almost no time to keep a workspace tidy (once it gets there). And it takes very little effort to put a notepad and pen in each workspace. It doesn't take a lot of gains to make it worth it. Little things can make work life a lot smoother.

What do you try to do to make your workspaces better?

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