EFFICIENCY BUILDER. A collection of trash lying idly around–that’s clutter. The funny thing is that, it’s a “collection.” For some reason you intentionally collect the trash and let it idly about your life. It’s planned wastage, and it’s stupid. Worse is that, many people are unable to sort what’s trash and what’s useful and trash the trash and keep the treasure. Sometimes, they even trash the useful. No kidding.
For instance, there is this company that meets each year. Meetings are where plans are supposed to be discussed and weighed. But these yearly meetings are mere company rituals done to be able to say that the company has annual meetings. However, no actual planning is really done. Nothing is accomplished except reviewing and adapting programs that have been traditionally done year in and year out, regardless of whether the programs help the company hit its goals or not, that is, if there are any goals worth hitting at all.
Improvement in any undertaking means regularly reviewing your activities and weeding out things that don’t contribute to your goal. Sometimes, it also means adding things that help you keep up with targets and updated with relevant developments. It’s useless to meet and keep the same programs and activities even if they prove to be nothing but trash. Why meet at all? I’ve seen how lots of folks are unwilling to let go of old programs or traditions even if they’re nothing but garbage. I’ve seen this in many private corporations, churches, and especially in government. They love to keep clutter.
It’s really like editing an article. You keep re-reading and re-reading, scratching out clutter and everything that does not belong to it, until what you have is a concise write-up–not too long or too short–but packed with everything it needs to deliver the right message, nothing more, nothing less. If you can define your whole enterprise in 2 to 3 short sentences, it’d be better. Unfortunately, many people think the more words, the better, (the more the happier) not realizing that often all they have is roundabout clutter.
Many churches, for instance, love keeping big membership even if the membership hates anything purely of the bible. That’s the worst clutter of all.
Clutter is like the flabby fat that bulges around your tummy. You call that better? Trim and fit is always the best. You put in just what you need and develop it to its potential. No clutter.
Even in public speaking, I have the habit of saying only what needs to be said. Many people feel they have to say something more when they can’t find anything else to say. I tell them, stop right there because that is the cue that the talk should be over. Anything else added is clutter–flabby fat around the belly. But you wouldn’t believe this–a lot of public speakers or preachers fear short talks. They think effective talks have to go on for hours and hours.
If you need to meet as a company for planning, make sure it’s really “planning.” A plan is a strategy to solve a problem in simple and effective ways. If you meet again next year for planning, then it’s a strategy to solve a problem in simpler and more effective ways–and so on. But if after planning you come up with the same ideas and solutions you had last year, it’s not planning–it’s a plain and silly waste of time.