- It shouldn’t take long - 15 to 45 mins at max
- Your should accomplish three things:
- Clear your digital workspaces
- Update your available tasks
- Decide on your priorities for the week
- Those are all essential, not ‘nice to have’. They must all be done.
Basically, you’re clearing up each categories inbox to determine where you’re going to zz invest your time throughout the week.
- Email: emails from other people
- Calendar: calls and meetings at specific times
- Desktop/Downloads: files and downloads
- Notes: digital notes you’ve saved
- Tasks: my to do’s
- Go through your email, starting at the latest emails first and open all of them
- Move quickly, touch lightly
- Decide what action needs to be taken with each email and add that to your task list with a link back to the email.
- DON’T DO THE ACTION NOW
- After the task is added, archive it (E or CMND + E, IDK)
Add quick actions to the beginning of the task like: (doesn’t have to be on every task, but the more the better)
- schedule: /s
- call: /c
- text: /t
- email: /e
- film: /f
- write: /w
- edit: /ed
- review: /rv
- plan: /p
- talk to ___ : / tt
- read: /rd
- listen to: /lt
- list: /l
- waiting for: /wf
- decide: /d
- idea: /id
- Start by scanning your calendar two weeks into the past, looking for follow up actions. If you find one, add it to your task manager
- Next, look four weeks into the future and see what you need be planning for/aware about. If you find something that needs to be done or planned for, add that to your task manager
- If you haven’t already, create a folder structure on your laptop in PARA. Save the four folders in the documents folder so they don’t take up space on your desktop.
- Clean up your desktop and downloads folder using CMND + SPACE to preview each file and drag them into the corresponding folder within the PARA folders.
- If you no longer need the file, press CMND + DELETE to move the files to the trash
- This is like Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” method but for a digital workspace.
- Get Desktop and Downloads empty
- Right click on Trash > Empty Trash to clear that space
- Maybe double check you don’t have any files in there you need on accident. Once it’s emptied, it’s gone.
- Go to your note taking app and check the inbox
- Add action items to your task manager from the Inbox and archive that note
- Open your task manager. You should see an extensive list of task/to do’s here that has been copied from the previous four sources.
- Go down the list and make sure each task is actionable. If not, change what the task is.
- Next, Ask yourself, 'Is the task a:
- High Priority - does it need to happen this week?
- Medium Priority - can this happen next week?
- Once the priority is determined, assign it to an area or project
- When the inbox is empty, move to scheduling which tasks you will do this week. They should be something that:
- You can take action on
- You need to take action on
- You want to take action on
You can add them under headings of when they need to be accomplished.
Now you have a clear, organized list of tasks. Your inbox, desktop, and calendar and clean and reviewed, and you know exactly what to work on when you have some white space in your calendar.
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