There are 168 hours in a week and you feel as though you’re always busy. Try as you may, you can’t add any hours to a week unless it’s daylight savings and even then you have to pay that back later in the year.

Where did all my time go

What are your options to redeem the time?

  1. Quit your job and neglect your responsibilities.
  2. Sleep in 5-minute power-nap intervals throughout the day so you can stay awake longer.
  3. Leave society entirely and go live in the woods.
  4. Acquire the power to control Space, Mind, and Time itself.

The answer, of course, is C D!

Okay, so we aren’t actually controlling Space, Mind, and Time itself, but rather, these are the three principles Dave highlights to teach us how to use our time more effectively.

Organizing your Space

Clearing your Mind

Budgeting your Time

How Does Organizing My Space Minimize Switchtasking?

Here’s your first vocabulary word:

Gathering Point

A place (physical, mental, or digital) where your unprocessed tasks gather.

A few examples of Gathering Points include:

  • Email
  • Desk
  • Social Media
  • Text Messages
  • Voice Mails
  • Mailbox
  • Apps
  • Conversations
  • Memos
  • Drawers, Shelves
  • To-Do List
  • Calendar

Take a minute to think about your typical workday and where you collect all of your tasks for the day. The examples above are the most common, but if you tend to be unorganized you will find your gathering points add up quite quickly. Using Dave’s Gathering Point worksheet as a guide, I counted a total of 76 Gathering Points. I knew this was a high number, but I didn’t have any clue as to the number I should aim for.

50? 35? 20? 15?

Nope.

6 is all you need.

Physical/Main Inbox

A large box where you can put items that need to be processed. If you can’t deal with something in 5 minutes or less or are otherwise occupied at the moment, put it into the physical inbox.

Portable/Secondary Inbox

The same concept as the physical inbox, except you bring it with you wherever you go. A backpack, a document holder, whatever you want as long as you designate a specific space for it. When you get home, dump it in the main inbox.

Notepad/Sticky Notes

Need a reminder to schedule a meeting? Write a note, stick it in the inbox.

Email

Because it has become such an integral part of business today, it gets its own category.

Voicemail

Optional depending on your field of work. I substituted this for Slack.

Wildcard

Can be anything you want – whatever you find useful. I decided to use Todoist since it is cross-platform and I can add to it easily whether I’m on my Macbook, Windows Laptop, iPhone, iPad.

Easy, right?

All of these principles focus on minimizing the amount of time we spend switch-tasking. As we master these principles, we will begin to free up our schedules so we can use our time for the things we value more.

where did all my time go?

Whenever you are presented with a new task, item, or idea that needs to be processed, try to get it into one of the 6 approved gathering points. It may feel as though you’re now just putting everything into a box and not really solving any real problems, but things will start to come together as we work our way through Clearing Your Mind and Budgeting your Time.

~Ryan Inman