This week, weâ€™ll focus on creating the habit of putting things in their proper buckets.
The important thing here is to create the habit of spending just 10 minutes doing this. You don’t have to have the “perfect” habit â€” you can expand and improve each week. Just do the 10 minutes (you can do 15-20 if you feel like it that day, but only commit to 10 minutes).
The Organize Session
Block this off in your calendar â€” let’s say 8am every day, block off 15 minutes (even if you only do 10 minutes).
So the habit is to put things into their proper buckets.
Each day, spend 10 minutes in the morning when you start work doing one of the following:
- Review: Spend some time reviewing your task list and any other tools that should be reviewed. Put things where they belong â€” and if you don’t know where they belong, make a decision on it.
- Parse: When you do email or process new messages in messaging services such as Slack, parse each inbox it so that each message becomes a task or piece of info goes in the proper bucket. Tasks go into the task list, articles to read go in the read later tool, appointments go into your calendar, etc.
- End of day: If you have 10 minutes at the end of the day, do an afternoon review as well â€” look through your task list, and other tools, and make sure things are in order. Put things where they belong if theyâ€™re not already. You donâ€™t need to get through everything, as youâ€™ll do another review first thing in the morning, but itâ€™s nice to leave with a little bit of order.
This is about getting into the habit of reviewing and parsing. Review your task list, review your inboxes and unread messages, and put things where they belong.
- You don’t have to do everything! Just do 10 minutes in the morning, with an optional 10 minutes in the afternoon. Let go of the rest, if you don’t feel like doing it all. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed â€” it’s just 10 minutes.
- Don’t skip over things. Pick one thing up (virtually) and put it where it belongs. Take a minute to decide where it belongs if you’re not sure. It will pay off in the long run with other similar items, and you’ll be forming a good habit.
- Encourage yourself. You can do it. One little bit at a time. Feel grateful when you’ve done something. It can be discouraging when you have a lot of things in disarray, but you’re just forming the habit right now.
- Breathe. Take your time. Enjoy the process of organizing. Smile. One thing at a time, that’s all this is.