When you begin to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, you are faced with a slew of pieces scattered randomly. The first thing you’ll want to find are the ones that have smooth edges – the edge pieces – because they will allow you to build the puzzle faster.
Sure, there may be a few pieces you find during the process that don’t fit that description, but even if you manage to put two or three of them together, they don’t have anything to tether them to the puzzle as a whole. Not until the edges are in place. Once you’ve created the frame from all of the edge pieces, then you can start to build out from there.
Building your own workflow is no different.
In order to fit your workflow (or work style) into whatever it is you’re trying to do – whether it be for an organization, your own company, or even for your family, you’d be better served to put the edge pieces in place first. They’ll give you that framework you’ll need to put things together faster and better.
So…what are the edges in your work and life? The easiest ones to identify are keystone habits. Routines that you keep every day that bookend your day. The things you do before bed and the things you do first thing in the morning. Those are your edge pieces. They help you put things together every day because even though each day turns out differently, you’ll always have those routines to mark the day’s beginning and end.
If you’re trying to make improvements on your productivity, try starting from the edges. No matter what approach you take or app you use, those edges will help keep you anchored and give you the best chance for putting the puzzle that is your day together more effectively and efficiently.