David teaches me in Chapter 2 there are five stages of workflow, (1) collect, (2) process, (3) organize, (4) review, and (5) do. Interestingly enough, I learned the minute I attach a “should,” “need to,” or “ought to” to an item, it becomes an incomplete. David says most people are not successful when trying to get organized because they are trying to do all five phases at one time. I am certainly guilty of that. A rule I learn in Chapter 2 is if something takes less than two minutes to do, do it now.
I have my collection tools in place, I have a notebook, email, and voicemail. When something comes up, I determine if it is actionable or not. If it is not I throw it, add it to a holding folder, or add it to my reference folder. If it is actionable and will take under two minutes to accomplish, I do it right away. For items that will take longer I defer or delegate. If I defer, I add the task to my calendar on a specific date and time. When my calendar alerts me it is time to do that task, I do it. Projects are broken down into tasks and those tasks are handled in the same way as other tasks. Then at appropriate intervals, I review all my lists and projects to ensure everything is going as I have planned it.
I am starting to feel more organized. I believe this system will be really successful, but I must continue to use it with everything I collect so nothing falls through the cracks.