Today I am starting my path to implementing ZTD in my life. Habit 1 is called collect. The focus of this habit is to stop relying on your brain to remember ever task, project, detail, and/or idea in that pops into your head. Your brain remembers tons of information, it also forgets tons of information. At best you think about and dwell on items at times when you can do nothing about them. This happens because something inside of you is worried that you will forget about what ever you are thinking about and there will be some sort of negative consequence. Your brain does not trust you or itself to remember at exactly the right time so it begins reminding you now at the expense of what it is you are trying to do. You are getting absolutely no piece of mind.
Collect works by taking every idea, task, project, or other information that pops into your head and writing it down in a notebook. Which means…. you must carry a notebook around with you at all times. Yes, especially when you go to the bathroom, great thinking can happen there, take advantage of it.
As soon as you get to your home base, be it your office, your home, or anywhere, put the information from your notebook into a location you will refer to later. This means, create calendar entries for time sensitive activities, create tasks for your to do items, email or call the people you want to talk too, and file away any great ideas for the future in a location you will check periodically.
To ensure I stay on track for this habit, I have create a goal tracker page in the back of my notebook. I will work for 30 days to create this habit. For a day to be considered successful I will need to have carried the notebook at all times during the day, written down my thoughts in the notebook, and emptied the notebook at least once into my organization system. Fail on any of those items and the day is a lost cause. For every 5 successful days in a row, I will reward myself with something small like a jacuzzi bath or a nice hike in the hills. At the end of 30 days, if I have completed 27 days I will reward myself with something nice like a trip to the movies with my wife to see the hot movie that is out.
Tomorrow will be day 1. If you are interested in trying along with me, leave a comment. We can definitely get a support group together for helping us all stay on track.