Test Driving a New Workflow

Inspired by Leo Babauta's The Power of Less, I've been test driving a new work flow based on the book's 12 Key Habits to Start With.  I began with the first four:

1. Set your 3 MIT's (most important tasks) each morning. 

For me, this is a simple one.  I set my important tasks before I leave work at the end of the next day.

The next ones were harder.

2. When you work on a task, don't switch to other tasks.

3. Process your in-box to empty. 

4. Check e-mail just twice a day. 

I admire Babauta's work; so, I decided I would give it a try.  I processed both my home and work electronic inboxes all the way to done, so I would start with a clean slate. Then I began my new work flow. One task.  All the way to done.  (Or at least as far as I could take it without needing additional input.) I turned off MS Office's prompts that show when new e-mails come in; then set reminders on my phone for 10, 2 and 4 to check e-mail with a final reminder at 5 to process the in-box to done.  (For those of you who remember— yes, those are the Dr. Pepper hours.)

And here is the thing.  After a week-long test drive, it works.  I am more focused.  Not being sucked sideways by every electronic distraction has its advantages.  Not only that, but I didn't realize how time consuming it was to use my in-box as a task list.  I wound up reading things multiple times to remember what it was I was supposed to do with it.  Now, I only have one daily task list— the one that lives in Evernote.

As for numbers five through 12 on the key habits?  Small steps.  Small steps.  

1 comment

Shannah said...

I can't believe we're working through the same book! I haven't written my review yet because I'm still processing what I'm going to apply to my life and what I'm going to let go by. Focus is my one habit - I'm, ahem, focusing on it with varying levels of success.

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Maira Gall