Recently, I (April) posted this question in our STEP Mastery Facebook group:
What would you think about a quick class called ‘Command Central in an Hour’–where I show you how you could build the whole thing using file folders and pieces of paper (or digital notes) and then we just started processing things together? Would that sound fun? Scary? Exciting? Crazy? What’s the first thought that comes to your mind?
The response was HUGE. Today, we are so excited to share a portion of that class with you–so you can get your STEP Command Central built today! Go ahead and gather these supplies, and then let’s dive in!
What You’ll Need:
- 9 file folders
- A small stack of blank paper
- Box or container to hold incoming papers
- Banker box, basket or bookshelf (for files)
- Sharpie (or something to write with)
Tip: If you don’t have blank file folders on hand, you can easily reuse folders by turning them inside out!
Ready to build?
Engage Daily – 0:00-4:15
If you don’t have a calendar in place, simply do a quick online search for “printable calendar” and print something off. Or you can use Google calendar–get the app here! Just get a calendar, super simple.
For your Next Actions List, take one piece of paper. Write at the top, “Next Actions.” Down the side, you can draw simple images, or write out the words:
- To Discuss
This doesn’t need to be your permanent Next Actions List. Remember, we’re just keeping it simple for today. If you want to look into something different for the future, you could use:
- Franklin Covey’s Compact Progressive Task List (I prefer these….)
- A large Post-it (easy to stick inside a planner or notebook)
- Calendars 5
- And more….
If you don’t have your emails to zero, we have a free training you can check out here!
And then simply designate the landing spots that you will check each day. This is pretty much all you need to check daily.
Engage Weekly – 4:15-10:40
I love my Weekly Review! If I am worried about something happening next week or have a bunch of information to process, I know I will take care of it during my Weekly Review. That way, these things don’t have to sit on my mind–I know I can trust my system.
Here’s how to quickly build the parts of your system that you will review weekly:
Inbox: This is super simple. You just need a container or box to hold papers that come in each week. Don’t worry about going out to buy one–one of those boxes that holds cans of green beans will do!
Current Projects List: Label a Post-it note with “Current Projects” and put it on your first file folder. Inside your folder, you will keep two sheets of paper. Label the first with, “Current Projects,” and then down the side:
The second is for your “Next in Line” projects.
Routines: Label a Post-it note with “Routines” and put it on your second file folder. Then take a blank sheet and label it as follows:
Along the top, this stands for:
And down the side:
Waiting: This is just a simple folder labelled with, “Waiting.” Then put a blank paper inside, where you can write down things you are waiting for.
Goals: Label and put a blank paper inside.
Read / Review: This folder is empty, ready to add things like newsletters, manuals, etc.
Engage as Needed – 10:40-end
Filing Cabinet: This is where you will use the banker box, basket, or bookshelf to hold files. (If you already have a filing cabinet, feel free to use that!)
Support Materials: Label this folder and leave it empty, ready to hold any papers related to your Current Projects or routines.
Tickler: Label and put a blank paper inside. Typically, I use 12 folders labelled with each month, but you don’t need to start with that. Just start with this one.
Someday & Incubation: Label 2 folders with “Someday” and “Incubation.” You can put a blank page inside each, to write down your ideas, if that feels helpful to you.
Your 9 folders are labelled as follows:
- Current Projects
- Read / Review
- Support Materials
You’ve created sheets of paper for your Next Actions List, Current Projects List (and Next in Line), and Routines. You have an Inbox to hold incoming papers and a box to hold your files. And that’s it! You’ve built your STEP Command Central! Congratulations!!
We’re in the middle of collecting 25,000 photos of STEP Command Centrals. Want to be part of the movement? Even if you’ve just built the basic set-up described above, YOU can join Club STEP! Simply take a photo of your new STEP Command Central, and then click here or on the image below to learn how to send it in! Prizes and fun are on the way, and you won’t want to miss this! (Scroll to the bottom of that page for the submission form.)
And if you want to go deeper and really learn how to USE your STEP Command Central, more coaching, support, and the full “Command Central in One Hour” video is inside our Steps to Everyday Productivity (STEP) program. Click here to join our free training and learn more!