Mailbox, inbox, text messages, VM’s, DM’s, notifications, the list goes on with the insane amount of collection buckets we have these days! This week I heard Bernie Stoltz (CEO Fortune Management) speak about this topic and I wanted to share his four step approach. To be productive in this world we have to focus our energy on what maximizes our best efforts.

Bernie referenced the RAFT principle in regards to systematically controlling our collection buckets.

1. Refer it! Forward to appropriate decision maker.

2. Act on it! Follow the two minute rule. Respond and handle the communication within two minutes. Read, Reply, Done.

3. File it! Leave it in your inbox, schedule a task to complete it, and set 30 minutes aside to handle it.

4. Trash it! “Nobody got time for that!”

Bernie added two additional rules to live by when it comes to systematically tackling the barrage of messages.

A) Respond to text, email, voicemails, etc within 24 hours.

B) Touch everything once. Touch a topic or message once and be done.

It’s important for us to have freedom in our headspace to be creative and think. It also allows for us to be at 100% peak performance as much as possible.

Small steps towards creating these daily habits will lead to heightened productivity and clearer thinking. Something we could all use more of.

After listening to Bernie this week, today I decided to clean a different collection bucket I’ve been neglecting. My room! Now that I’m done (car included) I instantly feel liberated! Remember that feeling after you completely cleaned out the closest (Cue Eminem song). Or remember that time when you cleaned out the storage on your phone or computer. There is something calming about knowing where everything belongs. Icing on the cake, I found a iPhone portable charger that I must’ve been given at a conference. If that wasn’t all, I cashed in a cool $21.54 to the Coinstar (coin collection machine). Added bonuses I didn’t foresee.

Small steps daily can achieve success. Celebrate the small wins like cleaning out your collection buckets and finding twenty dollars or giving your mind freedom space! Bernie also mentioned, “The definition of a goal: not attainable by normal behavior.” Today my goal was to clean up and pull out the things in my life that have been swept under the rug. Yet, normal behavior would’ve kept things cluttered how they were. Consciously, I decided to take the first step.

Added value, when we prime our subconscious each morning we frame our days to live out our best selves. Subconsciously if we start each morning with a system to get us in the right state of mind we will take action quicker and more effeciently. For example, on your ride to work or school, tell yourself I’m going to prime my thoughts for greatness. Our thoughts are things! When I heard this intially I thought it was smoke and mirrors. I tried it on Friday; I cranked up JT, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and rocked out! Astonishingly, it worked! I walked into a crowded room of loose acquaintances and felt like a million bucks talking to people with energy and enthusiasm! Do it! Remember, the key to creating a positive state of mind is to remind yourself of what your grateful for in your life. The key to conquering daily goals is to start with clean collection buckets and a positive state of mind.

Once you’ve completed one goal tackle your next goal or set another one up. Next, I plan to clean up unfinished business while reconnecting with an old professor.

Create a ripple effect in your life by taking small steps towards productive habits.

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