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Effective time management is an indispensable skill. In Time Management Fundamentals, Dave Crenshaw explains how to sensibly allocate time in order to achieve greater productivity. Dave details a set of principles for staying organized, consolidating the workspace, keeping a clear mind, and developing a time budget. Also covered are techniques for managing a full inbox, processing email, and reserving time for the most important activities. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you've completed all the training up to this point, you'll understand how critical it is to process. Processing is simply the act of deciding what the next step is to completing something, when you're going to do it, and where its home is. "What, when, where" processing is at the heart of everything you need to do in order to master your time. In this video, I'll provide a brief overview of the "what, when, where" system. Then in the next videos, I'll analyze each part of the system in greater depth. The first step of the "what, when, where" processing system is to take one item from one of your approved gathering points.
Remember, an approved gathering point is one of those six places where everything that you do should be put. When it comes time to process, you pull out one item and begin processing just that one item. That's very critical that you take only one item at a time. If you pick up two or three items or halfway through processing one, stop and pick up another your switch tasking, which is going to cause you to have switching costs, make more mistakes, and increase your stress. So pick up one item and ask yourself the question.
What is the next step, meaning what's the next step it takes to move this thing toward completion. The second question you ask yourself is, when will it be done, meaning when during my available time should I do that step? Should I do it now? Should I do it later? When is that time? Then finally, ask yourself the question, where is its home, meaning where does this thing belong? Should I file it away? Should I stuff it into a drawer? Should I throw it away? Get in the habit of asking yourself these three questions every single time you pick up an item during processing: What is the next step? When will it be done? Where is its home? In fact, when processing in the beginning, ask yourself these questions out loud.
What is the next step? When will it be done? Where is its home? Condition yourself by repeating this over and over until you get to the point that you can't pick up a new item until you heard yourself asking these three questions. What is the next step? When will it be done? Where is its home? If you consider these three questions, you'll realize you're already processing. Everyone has to process. You have to answer these questions or nothing gets done. However, if you haven't been following a system like this, you've probably haven't been doing it consciously; you've been doing it on the fly without deliberately making choices. You're switching throughout your day answering the what, when, where questions haphazardly, and it's causing you to lose significant amounts of time, make lots of mistakes.
It's causing you stress. What we are going to do is rather than processing randomly throughout the day, we're going to have a set time and a set place to go through this processing. This will help you process quickly and with minimal effort. It all begins with these three questions. What is the next step? When will it be done. And where is its home? In the next videos, I'll discuss each question in depth.
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