Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Thinking there must be an easier way? There is.

When I work with my clients - whether they need help with their home space, office space, clutter clearing, computers or whatever - one issue that arises time and time again is that we so often don't know what we don't know. We struggle with a process or a technique because that's the way we've always done it - not realising that a change of approach can make life so much easier.

My challenge is "If you find yourself thinking 'There must be an easier way', then trust me - there always is."

This is especially true when using a computer. A great example of this was when I was asked to help a colleague on a completely unrelated difficulty ("it won't print", I think), and discovered that he was keeping a grid of numbers in a Microsoft Word table - and then using his calculator to add up the totals. I copied and pasted the table into Excel (which he'd never used before ["only the Accounts department use that, don't they?"]), put in an extra row for the totals above his manual totals, copied in the automatic formulae, and hey-presto: all the calculations happened as if by magic. (Not only that, but he discovered that a large number of his own manual calculations had been incorrect.)

My colleague was flabbergasted by how much time he had previously wasted by trying to do the computer's job for it (and, in this case, doing it less accurately). As the office in question was at a local council, this was effectively tax-payers' money that was being wasted every time he took three times as long as necessary to perform this particular task.

The point was that it really wasn't my colleague's fault. He had never been shown how to use Excel as a tool; the fact that he'd discovered Microsoft Word tables on his own was quite an achievement. He didn't know that he didn't know. If he'd known that he didn't know, he could have asked the IT department to help him out. I only discovered the situation by mistake, and was able to save him time in the future that was vastly in excess of the time it had taken me to train him in the solution.

Does this apply to you? Are you struggling to operate processes that seem to be taking forever? Is it too easy to make mistakes?

If so: please let me help you. I can promise you faithfully that if you brainstorm a few regular processes that are causing you to struggle, in a fairly short time I will be able to provide solutions for the majority of them; and if I can't, I'm likely to know somebody who can.

Computer processes are the most likely area where this situation arises, but it's not unusual for the same to apply with the arrangement of furniture, storage, filing or any other objects in the home or office.

Remember: if you think there must be an easier way of doing something, there is. Just let me help you to find out what that easier way might be. Contact me today - and let's find it for you.

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