Developed by personal productivity expert Peggy Duncan, the COPE method focuses on rationalizing work and getting rid of all those worthless activities that result in a great waste of time. Besides, it is strongly supported by technology and Duncan gives clear instructions on how to use it more efficiently.
What does COPE mean?
COPE stands for Clear-Organized-Productive-Efficient and it is much more than a simple list of buzzwords.
According to Peggy Duncan, you can save up to two hours per day if you organize your desk, your computer and your inbox. Ok, it’s easier said than done, but relax. The expert gives you the key, not just hot air.
More work done in less time? Yes, please!
The motto of this method is ‘Spend less time working, but get more done’.
Perfectly clear, isn’t it? These are some of the strategies and practical advice she gives:
- Organize your office. It’s not easy to change your habits if you don’t change your environment first. Spend some hours getting rid of all those items that you no longer need (old papers, excessive office supplies, manuals you never look at…). Anything that you haven’t touched for a month… out!
- Organize your tasks. It’s just plain common sense: plan your tasks, arrange them accordingly to their priority, and write everything down. Duncan claims that you can manage your whole life just by using Microsoft Outlook, though there’s a wide range of tools such as calendars and planners at your disposal.
- Create samples and templates. Those small tasks that don’t seem to take too much time are actually huge productivity sinks. The solution? Create your own personal templates and group them into thematic folders. For example, if you repeat the same kind of email or report more than twice, make a template and use it whenever you need to.
Your inbox: that door to hell
As the expert tells in this interview, most employees surveyed believe that email is what makes them waste more time. It is ‘Hell’, as some of them call it. The thing is that most of us create an account and simply deal with a constant flow of messages, without setting up any other configuration option. Her advice to make it work?
1) Follow the ‘Closet Law’. We’re completely sure that you don’t mix shirts and pants in your closet, do you? Then apply the same logical principle to everything, including your inbox. Start by checking the main categories, modify whatever you need and then subdivide them as you like.
2) Get rid of SPAM! Get yourself some software to eliminate SPAM and prevent you from getting more. This will allow you to deal only with ‘good mail’.
3) Who’s afraid of the ‘Delete’ button? Apart from the information you are obliged to keep by law (and there is also software to remind you about that), there’s no rule that says you have to keep everything you receive. Delete fearlessly, and you’ll feel amazingly relieved.
As you can see, the key to this method is Organization. The more organized everything is, the faster you’ll find the information. If you need more help with your files and projects, do not hesitate to use Kiply and start managing your time better. Your free time is just around the corner!