# Taking inventory of your gathering points

## Video: Taking inventory of your gathering points

Let's begin helping you live the principle of space. We'll start by finding out how many gathering points you have. Remember, a gathering point is any place where you gather unprocessed items, things like email, tasks, to-dos, ideas, busywork, assignments, projects, and so on. Unprocessed means you haven't clearly decided yet either what to do with it, when to do it, or where is its home. If any one of those three things are missing--what, when, where--then the place where that item is is a gathering point.

## Taking inventory of your gathering points

Let's begin helping you live the principle of space. We'll start by finding out how many gathering points you have. Remember, a gathering point is any place where you gather unprocessed items, things like email, tasks, to-dos, ideas, busywork, assignments, projects, and so on. Unprocessed means you haven't clearly decided yet either what to do with it, when to do it, or where is its home. If any one of those three things are missing--what, when, where--then the place where that item is is a gathering point.

We've provided you with a very simple worksheet you can use to determine how many gathering points you have. On this worksheet, for each type of gathering point that you have, add one. So for instance, in the example at the top of the worksheet, you'll see voicemail. If you have three voicemail accounts, such as a personal voicemail, cell phone voicemail, and work voicemail, then the number you put there would be three. Go ahead and pause this video and then after you complete the gathering points worksheet, come back and I'll discuss your results with you.

Great! You've completed the Gathering Points worksheet. For many people, that worksheet is a real eye-opener. Let's take a look how your gathering points number compares with the average results that I've seen through the years of doing this exercise with clients. The average person prior to completing this course has between 30 and 40 gathering points. So if you had a number somewhere between 30 and 40, that's about average. The lowest I've seen from someone who hasn't completed this time management course is 12.

I would expect someone with the number around 10, 11, 12 or even lower, to be close to falling into that zen master time management personality. The highest number I've ever seen is 161 gathering points. If you're in that range, it's a significant number, and we have a lot of work to do, but we also have the greatest opportunity for improvement. Now that you understand where you fit on the scale of gathering points, I'll tell you the target number that we're going to shoot for in this training.

The number of gathering points that you want to strive to have at the end of this training is six. In the next videos, I'll explain what the six gathering points are and steps you can take to get to that number.

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#### This video is part of

Time Management Fundamentals

52 video lessons · 63561 viewers

Author

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1. ### Introduction

3m 31s
1. Welcome
51s
2. Getting the most from this course
2m 4s
3. Using the handouts and exercise files
36s
2. ### 1. Laying the Groundwork to Become Productive

3m 35s
1. Making a lasting change
1m 44s
1m 51s
3. ### 2. Understanding the Obstacle to Productivity

6m 16s
3m 12s
2. Understanding the consequences of multitasking
3m 4s
4. ### 3. Introducing the Three Principles of Productivity

7m 48s
1. Understanding principle 1: Space
2m 46s
2. Understanding principle 2: Mind
1m 47s
3. Understanding principle 3: Time
3m 15s
5. ### 4. Principle 1: Space

26m 17s
1. Taking inventory of your gathering points
2m 37s
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. ### 5. Principle 2: Mind

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. ### 6. Principle 3: Time

14m 2s
1. Choosing the right calendar for you
4m 4s
3m 55s
3. Saying no to others
3m 5s
4. Saying no to yourself
2m 58s
8. ### 7. Equipping Yourself for Action

4m 21s
1. Preparing for action
4m 21s
9. ### 8. Gathering to Your Inbox

14m 12s
1. Preparing to gather
2m 40s
6m 30s
3. Gathering to your inbox: Elsewhere
3m 49s
4. Dealing with full inboxes
1m 13s
10. ### 9. Understanding Processing

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
4m 4s
7m 27s
4m 36s
11. ### 10. Processing Email

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. ### 11. Your Time Budgeter

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
3m 18s

1m 38s
1m 38s
14. ### Bonus

3m 0s
1. Dave Crenshaw on getting himself organized
3m 0s

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