Capture

Collecting our inputs into tools we trust

This can be the quickest win when beginning to implement the programme.  If we master the capture process, the subsequent stages (2 to 5) have a good chance of following on.

Effective capturing reduces those stressful occasions when we forget something really important and can even improve the quality of sleep.  The capture tools can be low or high tech – as long as we trust them.

The best practice is to capture the very first time something comes to you.  In addition, to trust our capture tools they should be processed to empty frequently (more of that in stage 2).  

To refine the capture process, review the sample scenarios in the accompanying exercise.  

Pro Tip
Mobile phones can be multiple capture tools in one (which is both good and bad).

How many ways do you capture on your phone? Using the reminders app, the calendar, sending yourself an email, taking photographs, built-in notes, using dictation, a shopping list app. The more places you use, the more places you have to check when you are clarifying later.

Braintoss is a great solution to convert items captured multiple ways on your phone into a single funnelled system.

Watch the video (2:23)

So which were your best and worst tools?

Keep using the good ones, and stop using the bad ones or change how you use them.

Research has shown the least effective capture tool is our memory! (See Zeigarnik Effect and more recently, Ovsiankina Effect.)  Capturing into other tools doesn’t make the brain lazy, instead it frees the mind to be creative.  However, the mind won’t let go of something if it doesn’t trust the external capture tools but rather constantly nags us until we’ve completed the associated action.

There may be times when we shouldn’t capture.  Question number 2 in the exercise relates to those hallway moments.  You may not have an appropriate capture tool with you in this scenario.  

Consider pushing it back, asking them to send an email as a follow up.  Of course, this isn’t always possible; it may be inappropriate to casually tell certain people to email you or you may be responsible even if they forget to email, in which case you still need to capture!

Key behaviours:

  • Capture, capture, capture as the day is going by …
  • Into tools that you trust …
  • As many as you need …
  • But as few as possible … 
  • Get them back to empty regularly …
  • And know when not to capture!
What refinements are you going to make to your capture process?  Comments below …

The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.

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