As I’ve worked with hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe, I’ve noticed one KEY “rule” that most of us never learned when we were growing up/becoming adults/taking on more responsibility. It’s this:
Don’t use the item ITSELF as the reminder to DO something about it.
Here are a few examples of some of the items I’ve had floating on my desk to remind me of tasks that need to get done:
An envelope, reminding me I that I have photos to mail to my sister.
An insurance form, reminding me to call our insurance about an error.
A vehicle form, reminding me that we need to take our car in to get serviced.
And a lightbulb, reminding me that I need to buy more lightbulbs!
To reduce the clutter from piling and ensure that these four tasks get done, I simply take these items and put them into my context-based next actions list. Mine is organized into five categories: Home, Computer, Errands, To Discuss and Phone.
The envelope would go in my home category since I have all the items here to gather and mail the photos out.
The insurance form would go in my phone calls list since I need to call the insurance and inform them of the error.
The vehicle form could go as an errand, but I can’t drive myself to the shop to drop off the car since it probably needs to stay awhile. So I would actually place it in to discuss to talk with my husband about setting a time where we could go together and get that done!
And the lightbulb could either go on my errands list, or on my computer list if I want to order it online.
By extracting the tasks from these items and putting them onto a list that I check every day, I can reduce and get rid of these visual cues that have accumulated, and have some peace of mind knowing everything will be taken care of now that I’ve got them all down in one place that gets frequently checked!
I hope that this was helpful for you—and if you’re excited to go further and learn how to create a seamless system to help you track all the projects, tasks, and ideas you’re excited about, we’d love to show you how to build a full STEP Command Central!
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