Published By Todd Lucier on June 3rd, 2005 in Compass Connections
Clutter makes it difficult for me to get things done. Two years ago I picked up a book in the airport when I read on the back cover the invitation to – Empty your Inbox.
At the time, I was floundering in information. Numerous projects, inquiries that needed to be responded to and the information to complete tasks was making it difficult to get work done. I couldn’t see the end, that I was so desperately seeking to find. If someone could show me how to empty my inbox, that would be a big step in the right direction.
Not only did I accomplish emptying my inbox, I also got the rest of my life organized in such a way that I could find things I needed and complete projects in much faster time than ever before. David Allen’s Book, Getting Things Done was a life changer – Davidco.com
Key principles that I’ve put into practice in my life include:
1. Make decisions on things as soon as possible. I gather the info I need and make a decision. Putting off decisions clutters up my mind and leaves little room for new ideas to sprout. Indeed, the non-decided-upon item will keep coming to mind, invading my conciousness at all times and places until I commit to action. My mind becomes tranquil.
2. Attach an action to items that come into my inbox and write actions down. If it takes less than two minutes, I just do it. If it’s action that is obvious it goes into the “@Action” folder as is. Sometimes I need to think about it for a while and make a separate note on what I need to do. If its reference material that I will refer to in the future, it gets filed alphabetically in a project folder. Do yourself a favor and get an instant electronic labeller – getting organized is fun! Otherwise, it’s recycled paper! When my inbox is empty – or nearly so, I have time for reflection and consideration of new opportunities.
3. If the action has a time attached to it, like a meeting by phone, deadline, bill payment time, or other calendar event it gets written into my calendar. I’ve found my computer calendar in outlook just doesn’t work for me.
4. I’ve created a tranquility zone on my desk! My workspaces are sometimes used by other people and it is important that I have control over my world. A small turtle (an important symbol for me) sits on my desk keeping clutter at bay and focusing my attention on things that matter.
5. Each day starts by identifying the items requiring less than two minutes of my time, followed in non-specific order by items which take a bit longer.
These are just a few of the many, many great ideas I’ve learned about getting things done.
In short, my inbox is usually empty and I have no trouble locating the information I require, when I require it. Without the book, there are three simple things you can do tomorrow to give yourself some tranquility.
Just think about it: What one thing is currently intruding on your thoughts through the day, what action step can you commit to, in order to deal with it?
Just think about it:What items have been in your inbox for a long time that would take less than two minutes to deal with? Why not take action on it?
Just do it:Create a tranquility zone on your desk or in your workspace.