Tolerations are those little irritating nuisances that crop up throughout the day. They don’t seem worthy of our attention so we just keep working around them. They’re small – like the filing cabinet drawer that is so tightly packed we avoid simple filing tasks for fear of creating hangnails. Or the printer that needs a reboot after every tenth print job.
Taken in isolation it may not seem worth our time to deal with these tiny details – but allowing them to remain has a negative and cumulative effect. They add unnecessary frustration to the day and they reduce our overall effectiveness. But the biggest reason to dedicate time to removing tolerations is the sense of power that ensues.
Over the course of a day make a list of all the little irritations that impact your productivity and sense of accomplishment. Then pick just one or two to eliminate. Some examples:
- things that don’t work properly
- a poor filing system
- over commiting
- poorly aligned drawers
- insufficient lighting
- running out of paper
- missing phone numbers