I know that a lot of our community members want to build an entire STEP Command Central (links below, if you don’t know what we’re talking about!), but sometimes it’s fun to just learn a couple of parts at a time. That’s what we’re going to do today!
The Inbox and the Incubation Folder are two simple things you could create today—and I promise they’ll help you start getting a hold on all the piles of clutter. 🙂
When I was growing up, we would throw our school papers, field trip forms, receipts, birthday party favors, sticky notes, etc. on any flat surface we could find.
Our home always felt like a mess, and my mom was the only one who seemed concerned about it.
I didn’t realize how overwhelming that was until I had my own home and family. All of a sudden, I was stressed out of my mind over all the random details that kept slipping through the cracks. And I couldn’t even enjoy being at home because the visual clutter kept calling my name—in every single room.
I remember Eric came home from work one day and wanted to sit on the couch and hold me. I snapped, “Then who’s going to clean up all this stuff? Who’s going to manage all of the family things? I can’t rest! It’s fine—you just sit there and take a break. I have too much to do.”
My Command Central has solved this, but here are two components that can at least get you moving in a good direction.
First, the Inbox.
Instead of spreading incoming items all around your house, you give them ONE location (your inbox) where they can land.
I keep my inbox upstairs near my desk, and I ask Eric and the children to either put papers in a specific spot on the kitchen counter—or on the main surface of my desk. Then I do a quick review each night and clear those spaces.
Anything that can be handled in two minutes or less gets done right away.
Anything I can quickly review is then recycled.
Anything that needs more than two minutes of my attention is noted on my calendar—and then put into the inbox (or another appropriate spot in my STEP Command Central).
Anything that can wait until my Weekly Review goes into the inbox.
Second, the Incubation Folder.
There are SO many things that we keep because we might need or want them. All of those things are incubated.
These are not items that have required actions, like bills or important events to calendar.
These items also do not have ANY associated obligations. If you never look at them again, you’ll be fine.
But the beauty of the Incubation Folder is that it takes the “excess” off your mind, frees up visual space, and keeps items safe, in case you do decide you want to do something about them.
I empty the Incubation Folder once every month or so.
All right, that’s it! Any questions/comments/thoughts?
LearnDoBecome Challenge: Get a simple box to serve as your Inbox, and tell your family/associates to only use THAT for the papers that come into your life. Then get a file folder/magazine holder/some container to serve as your Incubation spot. Use it generously, and enjoy!!
P.S. We’ve been enjoying all of the inboxes that are turning into “cat beds” and then shared in our STEP Mastery Facebook Group. Ahhh, so funny!
- A STEP Command Central on Every Desk–and What That Means for YOU
- Links to My STEP Command Central Resources
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