The Power of Touching Things Just Once

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Welcome back!

Last time you learned how to save time by grouping similar errands together. This time you’re going to learn another surprisingly simple yet awesome time saver. Namely, you can save time by touching things just once.

Here’s what I mean…

Let’s say you’re checking your email. You find that you have an email from a customer, so you take the time to read it. Then you set it aside to answer it later. When you return to answer it later, you’ll need to re-read it again just to remember what it says. And this just wastes time. It’s better to answer the email when you first read it (i.e., touch it just once).

Sure, this simple example by itself doesn’t waste but a minute or two. But imagine if you checked your email several times per day (perhaps every 30 minutes while you’re online). And let’s suppose you had several emails every time you checked. If you read them all and then set them aside to answer later, you’ll have to re-read every single one before you answer them. Suddenly the “minute or two” can add up to a big chunk of time over the course of a day.

TIP: Of course you shouldn’t be checking your email constantly, as that too tends to waste time. Instead, choose set times throughout the day when you’ll check – and answer! – your email. How often you check it depends on how much email you get that might be urgent. For example, someone who’s running a business online might check it every two hours. On the other hand, someone who just expects to see personal emails may check it once or twice per day.

The email example is just one simple example. However, this idea of touching things just once — meaning you take care of everything at the moment you first touch it – applies to everything.

Let me give you some other examples:

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