Are There Carry-Overs In Your Business?
Early in my career - in the ancient days of paperwork, I was working for a large mortgage company. To say that the office was a mess of paper piled high in "in and out" boxes and on every available surface, would be a polite understatement. Early one Monday morning we were introduced to a new CFO. He walked around our massive office peering over mountains of paper to greet each loan processor warmly. Then he went to the front of the room, asked for attention, and announced a new efficiency plan he called..."No Carry-Overs".
THE FIRST STEP in No Carry-Overs was to have us "handle" every piece of paper tucked into each nook and cranny...that day! He insisted that some action must be taken on everything before we went home. Nothing could be filed for a later date and nothing could be left till tomorrow. We worked till after midnight that first day, but when we finally turned out the lights and went home the office was cleared of paper.
THE SECOND STEP was to remove all drawers from the desks and have them placed somewhere in storage.
THE THIRD STEP in his No Carry-Over Program was to position his assistant at a little desk outside his accounting office door. All future paper flow was routed through her, and she parceled out the work to each processor based on her estimate as to the processor's ability to complete the work that same day. To my amazement...it worked! Every new file was touched the day it was received. She had no paper on her desk either.
THE FOURTH STEP was to tour the office every evening at the close of business ensuring that every piece of paper that had been admitted to the office was disposed of. Our massive office was clear of paper.
I admit that, initially, we were skeptical. Very quickly, however, we were converted by the common sense of his "no carry-over" philosophy.
The dark age of paper is long gone. However, the common sense principles of the No Carry-Over Program are perhaps even more pertinent today.
Top Ten Principles of Organization
1. Control work in to control work out.
2. Complete all of "today's" work today.
3. Take immediate action to advance each task.
4. One omission is two mistakes.
5. Time every task.
6. Set rigid boundaries.
7. Plan each day and stick to your plan.
8. Audit yourself or your department at the close of each day.
9. Progress (not completion) is your most important product.
10. The day is over when the work is done.
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