Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting your mind clearing options, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- The second principle I recommend you practice in order to improve your productivity is to have a mind that is clear, a mind uncluttered with to-dos, action items, and unresolved ideas. To accomplish this, you'll want to have a system, ready at a moment's notice, to clear your mind of any unresolved items that pop into your head. In the previous chapter on the principle of space, I shared the six approved gathering points for you to use to keep your physical space organized.
The wonderful thing about these six gathering points is that they can also be used to keep your mind clear of clutter as well. When an idea comes into your head, get it out of your mind as quickly as possible and put it into the most convenient, approved gathering point. For instance, if I'm at my office and suddenly remember I wanted to hang up a new picture on the wall, I can write myself a note to hang up a new picture and toss the note in my physical inbox.
If I'm away from my office and remember an unresolved task to deliver a report to a coworker, I could also write a note and put it into my portable inbox, or I could make the same note in my paper or digital notepad, the third approved gathering point. Perhaps I'm at the store and see something I want to research online when I can focus on thinking about it. Perhaps I could send myself an email. Maybe you're driving while you think of a project you need to work on at home.
It's not appropriate to write or type something by hand, but you could leave yourself a quick voicemail message while waiting at a stop light, and finally, you can keep your mind clear by using any wild-card gathering point you chose in the previous chapter, such as sending yourself a text message or leaving a message for an assistant. One suggestion; if you find over time that you're better at working with one of these gathering points than another, for instance you process email faster than you process your physical inbox, then try as much as possible to put your unresolved ideas into that favorite gathering point.
Play to your strengths. Begin cultivating this habit immediately. Did something come into your mind that was unresolved while you were listening to this video? Put that idea into an approved gathering point right now. The more you practice doing this, the more conditioned your brain will become to keeping itself open, more creative, ready to communicate with others, and more focused.
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.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- 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