Productivity Tip #6: The Power of One – part 2

Productivity Tip #6: The Power of One – part 2

Posted on December 15, 2010

In my previous post I gave an everyday example of how The Power of One will save time in reading of your e-mail. In this post I will give another day to day example which illustrates the Power of One.

Its a waste of time to have the same thought twice. Think a thought only once. The category of thoughts that I am referring to is the “Thinking of Doing” type. For example these thoughts could be like …

  • I need to work on a business proposal
  • I need to reply to that important e-mail
  • I need to get my car fixed
  • I need to rent this movie
  • I need to call the customer

If any of these thoughts are repeated twice then David Allen of the GTD fame calls it a waste of time. If you keep on having the same thoughts again and again then your creativity is lost. The mind is kept busy with these “endless loops” of thoughts and so it does not open up for that creative idea/thoughts to flow easily. Even if creativity is not needed then also it is a waste of time. So, what’s the solution?

The solution is to have a simple system of capture. This system should make it easy to capture and then retrive the information when needed. So, when a thought crosses the mind of “doing something” then it needs to be captured right-away in a system that is readily available and which can be trusted.

The solution can be low-tech and/or high-tech. I am using a low-tech as well as a high-tech solution depending on the situation. Low-tech solution is a small pencil and 3×5 index cards. This low-tech solution is handy and available all the time. High-Tech solution is to use EverNote a free web-based solution to capture bookmarks, pictures, notes etc., There is a free app in iPhone for Evernote that I use often to take pictures of the things that I want to buy later or of a book that I want to read later or just a plain text note as a reminder. There are many other similar tools for capturing and then retrieving information. Evernote seems to be more user-friendly in my honest opinion.

The idea is to capture the thought in a trusted system so that the thought is not repeated. Having the same thought twice or more is a waste of time unless you like that thought. These types of thoughts are more in the “Dreaming” category than the “Doing” category. So, any thought in the “Doing” category needs to be captured someway or the other.

In conclusion, use the Power of One to be productive by having a thought only once and then freeing the mind of that thought by capturing it immediately in a trusted system.

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