Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Narrowing your gathering points, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- 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. I refer to these as "approved gathering points." The gathering points you choose. I'll begin by outlining the six gathering points I recommend my clients use. Then in future videos, I'll discuss each approved gathering point in greater depth. The first one is the 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. 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. Understand, a portable inbox is not the entire briefcase. Rather, it's one spot within the breifcase, or it's one pocket within your planner. The third gathering point is a notepad. Notepads can be either digital or paper in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use whatever medium and form works best for you. Notepads are unique in that you're going to have a combination of unprocessed action items with just general notes.
The fourth gathering point is one email inbox. You may have multiple email accounts; however, we want them all to go into one inbox or folder. this will save time from having to check many different accounts. You only need to go to one place to see all my unprocessed email. It's typically easy to make this happen with just a few changes in your settings. 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 not required, but given to you as an option. 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. Later in this chapter, I'll give you some guidance on how to select a wild card gathering point that fits your unique needs. Let's begin by exploring the first approved gathering point: your physical inbox.
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