“Exceptionally organised”. It’s the kind of thing you automatically write on every new iteration of your CV, without really thinking about it. But are you? Do you enter the office each day with a deep sense of calm, knowing exactly what you have to do and when you’re going to do it? Do you never miss a deadline or forget about an item on your to-do list? Do you never run out of time?
For most of us, the answer would be a sheepish “probably not” or even a stunned “no way”. The truth is, we’re living in a highly over-stimulated era in which both working and off-duty life is disrupted by the constant pinging of mobile phones, 24-hour digital media and instant global communication. Plus, says efficiency expert Mr David Stiernholm, the many freedoms that have been brought on by advances in comms and technology have left us without the fundamental structures that we enjoyed in the professional world of yesteryear. “Now, more than ever before,” says Mr Stiernholm, “it is possible for us to work anywhere and anytime. This demands that we ourselves set the limits and the structure that suit us, our personality and our role in the organisation we work in.”
For anyone wondering just how they should do that, Mr Stiernholm has the answers. A born planner (he admits that, as a child, he used to draw up schedules that included appointments like “Rest, 15 minutes”), he has spent more than a decade working as what he calls a “Struktör”, that is, a sort of organisational guru to business large and small.