Touch It Once

Touch It OnceIt’s estimated that you waste 30% of your life “touching” things more than once.  For instance, how many times have you put a dish in the sink when the dishwasher is literally 2 feet away from you?

So instead of taking the 2 seconds to put the dish in the dishwasher right then, you put it in the sink for later, where it will take you 2 minutes or more to realize and redo it… or maybe longer if the dishes pile up.

Email is another example… so is paperwork.

Most people “check” email just to check it.  They generally have no intention to ACT on any of the emails right now.  So they check them, look through what’s going on, and instead of “handling” the emails (responding, trashing, delegating) right then, they wait until later, where it builds up more.

Why not just check email when you know you’ll have an opportunity to take care of everything in the inbox?

The same thing can be said for doing things right the first time.

We all like to do “just enough”.

The problem is, it’s NEVER just enough.  You have to go back and do it better.

For example, I remember cleaning my room as a kid.  I’d do what I thought was “just enough”.  I KNEW it wasn’t clean, yet I tried to get it to pass anyway.  Of course, my dad always disagreed.  And we’d have to go through 3 or 4 “just enough” iterations before it was done to his satisfaction.


And make no mistake, I knew what my dad considered “clean”… yet we still had to play this game.

“But Brad, I’m an adult now…”

How many times have you half assed it at the gym?  Knowing you’ll have to basically REDO the workout because you put no effort into it…

How many times have you opened a bill and not paid it RIGHT THEN, even when you have the money to easily do it…

How many times do you shuffle papers around your desk, re-reading them to try to prioritize them… once again… yet the pile never gets lower, because nothing ever really gets done?

Make it a goal to only touch things ONE TIME.  Touch it, decide what needs to ultimately happen with it (you handle or delegate), then DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME…

You will save more time doing this than almost anything I’ve ever seen…

Plus, dishes never pile up, which means a happier household  🙂

(This can also be extended to projects.  Touch a project once.  Stay on it until complete.  Don’t jump back and forth between them.  Focus your attention and get it done right the first time… or as “right” as you can without feedback before you start something new)

Give it some thought…