How to improve your response times to overwhelming events and stay calm? Are there proven techniques to respond to avalanches of events fast and peacefully?
Caching, well known technique in software engineering, can be successfully applied in day-to-day duties to cope with stressful situations fast and peacefully.
Wikipedia on Caching:
…a cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access…
… Cache have proven to be extremely effective in many areas of computing…
J.D. Meier on Caching threats (as a result of improper use or lack of caching):
… Increased memory consumption, resulting in reduced performance…
What falls under "frequently accessed data" category? Daily to-do tasks and related information, thoughts, meeting summaries, follow-ups, blog drafts. When coping with all these ineffectively I feel stressed and as a result my productivity is way far from peak performance.
Following is simple design and implementation of my personal caching practices to improve my responsiveness and thus my performance.
There are few requirements to successful cache implementation:
- Must be easy and fast to access.
- Holds only recent, not stale, information.
- Must be disposed or filed when no more needed.
I use Outlook 2007 to manage my cache, the items I use frequently.
Tasks. My inbox is my primarily cache of incoming tasks. I never use Outlook’s Task’s functionality since it violates requirement of simple and fast access. Task can be incoming mail or self post (Ctrl + Shift + S). When the task is created in My Inbox I tag it with one of my life projects – the categories. When the task is completed it is filed and disposed from the cache.
|To make these caches easily accessible drag these folders into "Favorites" area in Outlook|
Using caching technique I improved my response times dramatically. I also never get stressed when asking myself what’s the next action when:
- Preparing agenda for the meeting with my boss or either colleague.
- Working on specific project.
- Authoring next blog post.