Step 3 ~ Control

Now it’s time to empty out your "In box"

This is the most time consuming step.  But, when you’re done with this step you will have “Control” of your physical and mental environments.

Specifically, you will have:

  • Completed a bunch of quick easy tasks that have been nagging you.
  • Made a list of projects that you need to work on.  This is important because it gets those thoughts off your mind.  Remember, you’re re-training your mind from being a holding place to a processing center!
  • Thrown out a bunch of stuff that was just cluttering your desk and mind.
  • Filed important reference material that you will need in the future.

In order to enjoy success at this step you’ll need to follow a couple simple rules.

Rules for Controlling your stuff:

  • Start at the top and work down
  • Handle each item once
  • Ask yourself “Is there something I need to do with this thing?
  • If “no” it’s either trash or reference material.
  • If it’s trash, throw it away!  If it’s reference material, put it in a file folder, label it and file it.
  • If “yes” ask a second question, “Can I complete this task in less than 2 minutes?”  If you can, do it right now.  If the answer is “no” put it on a “project list.”