I think I just invented a new word. Com•pel•e•ment |comPELement| (noun) 1 element used to compel one to action.
So many organizing efforts are focused on containing items out of sight and out of mind. There are, however, things that we need to make a point of acting on, that should NOT be hidden. Quite the opposite. We need things to stick out like a sore thumb to compel us to action. Those are the compelements. Here are some examples.
To do list
The old stand by. Crossing stuff off the list makes us feel like we are getting a lot done, but we tend to cross off the easiest stuff first and the bigger, more important goals keep getting rewritten on subsequent to-do lists. Under the cover of a notebook, however, the to-do list is about as compelling as folded clothes in a drawer.
Setting an alarm on your smart phone can be a great way to alert you to certain fixed events. If you depend on this for everything, however, it’s hard to get a sense of what’s coming and many alerts may take you by surprise. It may happen so often that you are not able to act on all the actions you are alerted to.
It’s all very well to collect your compelements as to-do’s on your computer monitor, but do they still feel compelling when you open another program or that screen saver pops up? Of course not.
A classic compelement collector. Problem is, if there a large collection of compelements all over the board, then NONE of them may have a compelling effect. There is no focus with a bulletin board.
Post-It’s on monitor.
OK, I often see these compelements in my line of work. In fact, I see them a lot. The problem with these is they always take a secondary role to what’s on the monitor and often tend take up residence there for days and weeks, sometimes longer.
This is my choice, one that I shared last week in The Weekly Round Up. The task collector stands out, so you MUST notice it. Tasks can be simply re-prioritized by moving simple Post-It notes around. Long term projects can be broken up and worked into your weekly schedule so that they are remembered and realistic. The task collector is a compelement that is as compelling as you need it to be.
What compelements work well for you?