Recapture Time by Touching Everything

I’m trying a new strategy of touching everything. (Sounds a little odd but that’s part of its charm.)

Usually I break my day into large blocks of time, trying to squeeze all the minutiae into one or two of them, and otherwise focusing on a given task until it’s complete. But completion often takes longer than expected (like when “one more e-mail” becomes five), so those methods can lose their effectiveness.

Thus I’m trying something new: Tending to as many different items as possible, regardless of whether they’re completed. It’s not my original idea, but it works.

Mornings - my most productive time - are still for deep work, and ideally I get back to it later in the afternoon too. Meanwhile, I spend at least ten minutes on everything else on my list, even if that’s not enough to finish a given task.

The reason this works is that it infuses small, dispensable gaps of time withe new purpose. These small increments eventually accumulate, into a new webinar, or law journal article, or completed tax return, or shiny new website.

Two months into the year, when resolutions may have faded, this strategy could help get them back on track.