This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

World's simplest productivity method

Matt Cornell, productivity consultant, provides us with The World's Simplest Productivity Method, with Bonus Mini-Processing Examples.  The short form: clear out your inbox regularly (all of them).

Here is his basic method:

  1. Capture all incoming items into a small number of inboxes: email, paper, and voice.
  2. Empty those every day.
  3. To empty an inbox, apply the 5Ds one by one to each item: DELETE, DEPOSIT (file), DELEGATE, DO, and DEFER.
  4. The last three Ds take action and need tracking in a system:
  5. DELEGATE: Hand off to someone else, and track in a Waiting For list.
  6. DO: If the action can be done in a couple of minutes, do it right then.
  7. Otherwise, DEFER doing it for later, and track in either the Calendar or an Actions list:
    • If the action is date-related, put it on the Calendar.
    • Track all other actions on an Actions list.
  8. During the day work the Actions list as your Calendar permits, and review the Waiting For for needed follow-ups.

I'd always considered 4 D's (do, delete, defer, delegate).  Having "deposit" in there helps me with a niggling worry about that stuff I want to keep but doesn't need to be in my inbox.

The fun of productivity measures

Federal Knowledge Management Working Group