Stick It and Don’t Let It Go!
MysteryShrink Shorts: Best Tip to Save Time and Frustration
There are plenty of good books and endless internet articles on managing your time and staying organized. Lots of excellent information. Too much information, actually. We end up with lists and plans and more lists and we don’t end up incorporating any of the great ideas into our daily behavior. So, here’s the one tip I picked up decades ago that has actually made a big difference in my life.
It’s simple. It’s basic. It can look silly. It works.
“Only handle any piece of paper (or electronic message) ONCE.”
Whether it’s a letter or now an email or a note. Once your hand or eye touches that message—do not put it down. If it is electronic, the best thing is to copy immediately. Keep that message actually on your person until you have completed everything that is required. Stick it in your waistband. Make all needed phone calls now. If you’ve done all you can, tape the paper to a door or other surface. Put it in your pocket and put in your pocket tomorrow and every tomorrow until everything to do with that message is completed.
Everything. The task can be as small as calling for a dental appointment or as complicated as doing your taxes. Doesn’t matter,y oh kings and queens of “I’ll do deal with that when I have more time.” Guess what? That ‘better time’ never happens.
DO NOT PUT IT IN A PILE. If you put it in a pile, you will end up picking up and putting down the same piece of paper many times. Then you will let it slide to the bottom. Then you won’t be able to find it when you must have the information.