Clarifying what everything you have captured is and deciding what you are going to do about it is what allows you to transform chaos —an inbox full of amorphous stuff— into calm —a clear set of well-organized actions. Do it at least once a day.
What is it?
You must define exactly what the stuff on your table is. An outstanding task, an idea for a new project, some useful information, an event you need to attend... It is time to spend a couple of minutes to thinking and writing down what it actually is.
Is it actionable?
- It is something you no longer need:
Throw it in the Trash.
- You do not have to do anything now, but probably in the future:
Save it in the Someday/Maybe list.
- It is useful information:
File it as Reference Material.
- It is something you can do in less than two minutes:
Okay, so do it now.
- You are not the right person to do it:
Delegate it to the appropriate person and keep it on your Waiting For list.
- You have to do it and it requires more than two minutes:
Add it to your Next Actions list or schedule it on your Calendar.