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Do you have piles of paper stacked on your desk?

How about on the floor or your office? Piled on shelves?

Do you sometimes feel you are least productive in your office because there are so many things waiting for your attention?

If you answered yes at least once, you may feel frustrated but you are not alone!

With technology have come greater resources and capability, but it also means juggling more.

I’m going to share a secret I came across a couple of years ago that dramatically freed me up and exponentially increased my productivity and results.

Very simply – for any piece of information, task or paper that crosses your desk – touch it once (and no more).

Sounds easy? Not really, you will have to completely change your habits.

For example if you read an email and then tag it to come back to later, chances are you have 20 to 30 (or more) tags waiting for your attention.

Or you read something and put it aside to read it when you have more time and all of a sudden you have stacks of paper to get back to covering your desk.

The issue really is the dramatic increase in volume of material we have to deal with – but you have the same amount of time and attention.

It has become more important than ever to priorize what we spend our time and energy on.

The power of “touch it once” is that you have to really evaluate whether you should invest some of your time in what you are looking at or not.

It’s nice to think we can handle everything, but the reality is if you are looking at and working on everything that crosses your desk, you are letting some things (that may be very important) slip through the cracks, or you are so busy being busy you miss great opportunities.

Okay, so we’re on board – endeavor to touch everything only once.

When I first started implementing “touch it once” I was immediately overwhelmed!

I didn’t have enough time to deal with everything and needed more structure to decide how to deal with the stuff.

This is where the 3 D’s came in.

The 3 D’s are:

  • Do It
  • Delegate It
  • Dump It

That’s it! When new material crosses your desk, do it right away, delegate it to someone else or dump it (dump it in a trash bin, not on a pile on your desk!).

Sounds simple? It really is, however it does take time to change your habits.

I still sometimes have a pile that accumulates on my desk (one though – not multiple). My rule of thumb is to have my desk cleared off by end of day on Friday so I start with a fresh desk Monday morning.

To Your Success!

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