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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.
In order to manage time effectively and reduce the number of switches that take place in your day, you should strive to have six or less gathering points. These will be your six approved gathering points, the gathering points you choose. I'll begin by outlining the six gathering points I use, and recommend. Then in future videos I'll discuss each of my gathering points in greater depth. The first one is an inbox meaning a physical inbox. A physical inbox is the place where everything that is physical and unprocessed should go: papers, receipts, magazines, books even cords, cables-- things that haven't been put away. Everything should go into this one physical inbox. Because you don't ever want it to be too full, I recommend that you have a reasonably large inbox.
The second gathering point is a portable inbox. The portable inbox is simply the mobile extension of your inbox. It's something that you take with you wherever you go, with the rare exception of maybe a night on the town or perhaps swimming. But all the rest of the time, you should carry a portable inbox with you. Understand, a portable inbox is not the entire briefcase; rather it's one spot with in the briefcase, or it's one pocket within your planner. I use a portable inbox like this.
The third gathering point is a notepad. Notepads come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever form factor works best for you use that. Notepads are unique in that you're going to have a combination of unprocessed action items and just general notes. The fourth gathering point is an email inbox. Now if you're like me, you may have multiple email accounts. However, all my email accounts funnel into just one email inbox.
That saves time from my having to check many different accounts. I only need to go to one place to see all my unprocessed email. You could do this with almost any email program. It's very easy to retrieve email from other places with just a few changes in your settings. This will save you a considerable amount of time from having to check email at multiple places. And the fifth gathering point is voicemail. Voicemail is still a necessity for most everyone, but you only need to check one voicemail account at most.
In a future video, I'll show you some steps that you can take to minimize the number of voicemail accounts that you have. And finally, the sixth gathering point is left open to you; it's the wild card. There are several different options that could work, but you want to choose the one that will make the most sense for you. This could be a raw task list where you're just listing to-do's. It could be text messaging, it could be a dedicated personal assistant, or it could be a social media web site inbox.
You can also choose to be even more productive and efficient by choosing to not have the sixth gathering point. You'll just make sure that everything goes into the other five. But in order to keep this program flexible, I'm going to leave the choice up to you. In a future video, I'll give you some guidance on how to select a wild-card gathering point that fits your unique needs. So, in summary, your six approved gathering points are one inbox, one portable inbox, one notepad, one email inbox, one voicemail, and one wild-card gathering point, if necessary.
Continuing on, I'll discuss the first gathering point, the inbox.
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