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Processing question 1: What is the next step?

From: Time Management Fundamentals

Video: Processing question 1: What is the next step?

Let's take a close look at the first question of processing, which is, what is the next step? When processing, it's critical that you figure out just the next action step, just the next thing you must do to move this item, this piece of paper, this email--whatever it is you have in front of you--forward, toward completion. Make sure that you take the time to think about this, and make a decision. It only takes about five to ten seconds of mental effort to make a clear decision about what the next step is.

Processing question 1: What is the next step?

Let's take a close look at the first question of processing, which is, what is the next step? When processing, it's critical that you figure out just the next action step, just the next thing you must do to move this item, this piece of paper, this email--whatever it is you have in front of you--forward, toward completion. Make sure that you take the time to think about this, and make a decision. It only takes about five to ten seconds of mental effort to make a clear decision about what the next step is.

But many people jump over determining the next step. It's part of the reason why items get stuck in the inbox forever. A person picks up an item, they sense that something is needed to complete it, and then they put it back in the inbox. Please don't do that. Once you've decided what the next step is, ask yourself, is this something that I want to be doing with my life? That may sound like a very broad question, but it's very common for people, particularly in an information- overloaded world to get themselves engaged in things they really don't want to be doing with their life.

They overload themselves with activities simply because the activities presented themselves, not because they made a conscious choice to participate. So if it doesn't fit the things that you want to be doing with your life, then disengage from it, find a way to get out of it, find someone else to fulfill the obligation, or just plain tell yourself, "I'm not going to waste any more time working on this thing." Also, be aware that the next step may be 'waiting for', meaning you're waiting for something to come to you.

Waiting for is a type of action. When you get to the next step of processing, which is when it will be done, you make a decision about how long you should wait. But sometimes, the next action is to just simply wait. Also, consider, should this next step be delegated to someone else? Many of the tasks that you do, while they're important, are not necessarily things that you should be doing. Perhaps, someone else is better qualified to do them, or perhaps it's a more valuable use of someone else's time, where your time is more valuable when spent doing other things.

And finally, when considering the next step, remember that if you do decide to delegate something out to someone else, whenever you delegate out, it's always 'awaiting for in', meaning if you do delegate you also need to create a next step for yourself reminding you that you're waiting for them to complete it. A 'delegate out' always means a 'waiting for in'. So, in summary, when you ask yourself what the next step is, make sure that you focus on just the next action step.

If it isn't something you want to be doing with your life, then disengage from it. If you need to wait, waiting for is a type of step or action. Sometimes the best next step is to delegate it to someone else. And whenever you delegate something out, that always creates a 'waiting for in' for yourself.

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This video is part of

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Time Management Fundamentals

52 video lessons · 60262 viewers

Dave Crenshaw
Author

 
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  1. 3m 31s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Getting the most from this course
      2m 4s
    3. Using the handouts and exercise files
      36s
  2. 3m 35s
    1. Making a lasting change
      1m 44s
    2. Finding your personal motivation
      1m 51s
  3. 6m 16s
    1. Addressing the myth of multitasking
      3m 12s
    2. Understanding the consequences of multitasking
      3m 4s
  4. 7m 48s
    1. Understanding principle 1: Space
      2m 46s
    2. Understanding principle 2: Mind
      1m 47s
    3. Understanding principle 3: Time
      3m 15s
  5. 26m 17s
    1. Taking inventory of your gathering points
      2m 37s
    2. Narrowing your gathering points
      3m 46s
    3. Setting up an inbox gathering point
      2m 23s
    4. Working with a portable inbox
      2m 49s
    5. Getting the most from a notepad
      2m 35s
    6. Consolidating multiple email accounts
      2m 34s
    7. Consolidating multiple voicemail accounts
      2m 56s
    8. Establishing a wild card gathering point
      2m 47s
    9. Separating work and personal gathering points
      2m 21s
    10. Taking the next step toward controlling your space
      1m 29s
  6. 11m 24s
    1. Selecting your mind clearing options
      5m 13s
    2. Clearing your mind using mental triggers
      3m 23s
    3. Setting a mind-clearing schedule
      1m 54s
    4. Taking the next step toward keeping your mind clear
      54s
  7. 14m 2s
    1. Choosing the right calendar for you
      4m 4s
    2. Using your calendar effectively
      3m 55s
    3. Saying no to others
      3m 5s
    4. Saying no to yourself
      2m 58s
  8. 4m 21s
    1. Preparing for action
      4m 21s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Preparing to gather
      2m 40s
    2. Gathering to your inbox: At your desk
      6m 30s
    3. Gathering to your inbox: Elsewhere
      3m 49s
    4. Dealing with full inboxes
      1m 13s
  10. 31m 2s
    1. Mastering the "what, when, where" processing system
      3m 11s
    2. Processing question 1: What is the next step?
      3m 22s
    3. Processing question 2: When will it be done?
      4m 33s
    4. Processing question 3: Where is its home?
      3m 49s
    5. Filing made simple
      4m 4s
    6. Processing your first inbox
      7m 27s
    7. Setting your processing schedule
      4m 36s
  11. 18m 31s
    1. Applying "what, when, where" processing to email
      1m 53s
    2. Setting up an email resource folder
      2m 58s
    3. Creating email rules or filters
      4m 14s
    4. Processing email
      5m 8s
    5. Processing email vs. checking email
      4m 18s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Understanding "you time" vs. "work time"
      4m 9s
    2. Establishing "most valuable activities"
      2m 44s
    3. Identifying your most valuable activities
      3m 39s
    4. Budgeting time for your most valuable activities
      4m 11s
    5. Using your time budgeter
      3m 18s
  13. 1m 38s
    1. Maintaining your productivity gains
      1m 38s
  14. 3m 0s
    1. Dave Crenshaw on getting himself organized
      3m 0s

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