During my examination of how information comes into my life, I found that there was a much larger amount of potential “inboxes” than I had thought. My task was to list all of these input spaces and see if the number could be reduced, and then make sure that each of them get processed.
In this post I will tackle my physical inboxes.
- Home on desk
- Home by door
- Office in a bag
At the start of this exercise in 2005 I had the following physical inboxes: one at my client, one by the door at home, one on my home desk, and a traveling one I kept in my “office in a bag.”
I have encouraged everyone to send everything to me electronically. I can’t remember the last time someone actually had a physical object for me. I think we can consider this inbox as closed.
The in-box by my door is a problem. It ends up being a dumping ground for everything. Unfortunately, it is the only place that the mail ends up when it is brought into the house. I have incorporated into my walking-in-at-the-end-of-the-day routine to pick up anything there and bring it with my briefcase upstairs, where both get deposited into my home office in box. This was a change I made back in 2005 and it is still working well. The home office inbox gets emptied (almost) every night.
Traveling In box
My traveling in box was used to cart information back and forth to work. Since my client files remain at the client, these were usually support paperwork for things I was doing at lunch. I minimize what is in there by figuring out what I am going to do the night before, and only carrying the necessary paperwork. Most days I don’t even bring the portable office with me to work.