COLLECT is the phase where you need to capture everything that has your attention in leakproof in-baskets.
Your in-baskets can be:
- physical in-trays
- email inboxes
- your head!
Get one physical in-basket and put them all in there. For your emails, print each single email off and put it in your physical in-basket.
The rule is – one item per piece of paper. No lists! Break them down into single items and one per sheet of paper. I know this sounds wasteful but you’ll find it easier to process them that way – trust me!
What you may find is that you need to do what is called a full mindsweep. There may be things on your mind that you don’t know are on your mind. What’s in that cupboard? What’s in that box? What about all that stuff in the garage? If you need help with this try going through this trigger list to remind you of things you need to deal with.
Take a walk round your house. Start in one corner at the bottom, left-most corner near the front of your property and cover the whole house until you’re at the top, right hand corner. Write everything down that you see needs your attention.
You will end up with a very long list but that’s the only way to get everything that’s cluttering up your mind out of your head and down on paper.
You’ll start to feel what it’s like to have nothing on your mind.
Next we can start to PROCESS what you’ve collected!
In the meantime, get an overview of the Five Phases of Mastering Workflow from David Allen’s site for free!