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Do you have piles of paper stacked on your desk?

How about the shelves, or the floor of your office?

Do you sometimes feel like you are the least productive person 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 developing technology, we have greater resources and capabilities, but it also brings more juggling.

I’m going to share a secret I came across a couple of years ago. It 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 return to later, chances are you have 20 to 30 (or more) tags waiting for your attention.

Or you put an interesting article aside to read it when you have more time. All of a sudden, you have stacks of paper waiting for your attention covering your desk.

The issue is the volume of material we have to deal with increases dramatically – but the amount of time and attention we have stays the same.

It’s now more important than ever to prioritize what we spend our time and energy on.

The power of “touch it once” lays in evaluating whether you should invest your time in what you are looking at, or not.

It’s nice to think you can handle everything, but the reality is different: if you are investing your time in everything that crosses your desk, you are letting some things (that may be very important) slip through your fingers. You are so busy being busy that you can miss great opportunities.

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

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

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

This is where the 3 D’s came in.

  • 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 pile though – not multiple). My rule 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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