Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting the most from a notepad, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- A notepad is a flexible gathering point you can take with you wherever you go to jot down ideas, notes, and action items very quickly. The notepad is a little bit unique in that it combines some of your hand-written notes with no direct action required with other concrete action items that need to be processed. First, let's talk about what kind of notepad you might use. There are two main options. Digital and paper. Many tablets or phones allow for hand-written or quickly typed notes into a notepad program.
For instance, currently, I'm using Evernote to gather hand-written notes, take pictures, or even record voice, or written notes to myself. If you're quick with technology, using a notepad app like this can be very effective. Just make sure that whatever you use it syncs across all devices. Otherwise, you may end up accidentally creating more gathering points. Some of my clients prefer the feel and ease of a paper notepad.
This is easily combined with the portable inbox inside a padfolio. This makes it simple to carry both gathering points with you wherever you go. Some people also have had success with a very small notepad. Such as this one, here. You can find these notepads at any office supply store or online, at a reasonable price. This is nice because you can easily carry it with you in your pocket wherever you go. Whichever one of these notepads that you use, here are a few best practices for gathering items to the notepad.
Number one, because notepads will often combine general information with actionable, unprocessed, tasks, make sure that you clearly indicate action items. Separate them from just your general notes by using some sort of a symbol. In my case, I use an open check box which lets me know that I need to process it. This is very different than completing it and I'll show you later how you process these items. The second best practice is that when you get back to your inbox, or to your office, if you're using a paper notepad, rip off all the pages, and bring the notepad to blank.
Then, put all of those pages into the inbox This makes it easy for you to not have to remember to go back and look through the notepad to find all those action items. This practice gives you a blank slate each day. Helping you to not multitask and be distracted by other, unresolved items that you've written down previously. The third best practice is if you're using a digital notepad, to move items after they are processed into a separate archive folder.
Process them the same way you would email, which is something I'll cover later in the course. Take a moment right now and decide what kind of notepad you're going to carry with you wherever you go.
Learn how to get more done in the shortest time possible and avoid the obstacles and distractions that can get in the way of good time management. Dave gives practical strategies for increasing productivity in three main areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter in your workspace; staying mentally on task and eliminate the to-dos you have floating in your head; and developing a time budget to get the most done during your workday and focus on your most valuable activities.
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- Finding your productivity style and motivation
- Understanding the principles of time management
- Avoiding the pitfalls of multitasking
- Narrowing your gathering points
- Consolidating email and voicemail accounts
- Practicing mind-clearing techniques
- Choosing and using calendar software
- Saying no with tact
- Mastering the what, when, where processing system
- Processing email vs. checking email
- Maintaining productivity gains
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: This course was updated on 07/09/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover understanding the focus-chaos scale, as well as the Microsoft Office option. In addition, the following topic was updated: maintaining your productivity gains.