How Disney Trash Cans Relate to Efficiency

disneyLiving in Florida means that I occasionally visit Disney World.  If you have been to a Disney park, there is something that you might not have noticed, mostly because it is not there – TRASH!  Disney parks are kept to a very high cleanliness standard.  Walt Disney himself observed that if trash is left accumulate, it will quickly sour the experience.  He figured out that by keeping garbage cans no more than 30 feet apart, the public would naturally throw out their trash.

So, what does this have to do with efficiency?  David Allen used this fact as a jumping off point for an observation on his blog about how keeping a high standard is actually easier to maintain than it would first seem.

“That’s true around our houses and offices, too. If you’ve already broken the code, and left unclarified, unorganized “stuff” lying around, you’ll easily (let’s say even automatically and unconsciously) leave more of it.

“When my inbox is at zero, it’s so much easier to keep it cleaned up. As soon as it starts to get semi-out-of-control, the chaos seems to speed up exponentially. …

“Keeping things sorted makes it a heck of a lot easier to keep on keeping things sorted.”

Read the rest on the Getting Things Done blog.

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