Welcome to part two of my Productivity System blog series. Before you jump in to this post, be sure to read Part 1. Afterall, you wouldn’t watch Back to the Future II without first watching Back to the Future, right? RIGHT!
Now that you know about the CAPTURE system, I’m going to walk you through the next step – CONVERT. Honestly, this is the step that most people are missing. So many clients and employees I’ve worked with have notebooks full of notes but are completely befuddled by what tasks they need to get done.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in to how to CONVERT your notes to action.
CONVERT: Turns Notes Into Action
After the meeting is over or when I’m done taking notes, I’ll move my tasks to a digital platform – ASANA. It’s a freemium service and you get a ton of great features and tools without having to pay.
"But, Ross, in the CAPTURE phase you just told me all about how analog is better than digital - why are you now putting tasks in a digital platform? Sometimes I feel like you're a big liar."
Allow me to explain. The CAPTURE phase is the foundation for this entire system. The CONVERT and RECALL are greatly impacted not only by the quantity of information but, more importantly, by the quality of information. It’s the classic “bad data in, bad data out”. If you are not actively engaged and collecting quality information in the CAPTURE phase, then all the activity that follows will be ruined or flawed. That is why my CAPTURE phase is analog – to ensure that I’m getting good data in so I can get good results out.
Also, putting all your tasks in one place (in this case Asana) that you can access anywhere eliminates the on-going terror and anxiety of “what do I need to do next?”.
This is integral to the alleviating the subliminal stress of disorganization. As David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, wrote:
Your mind will keep working on anything that’s still in that undecided state. But there’s a limit to how much unresolved “stuff” it can contain before it blows a fuse.
Keeping that concept in mind, once I move my tasks to Asana, I need to mark it in my notebook so I know it’s been “resolved” by being captured or completed.
If it’s been completed…
Sometimes by the time I get a moment to update my tasks that I’ve accomplished one or two of them. If that’s the case, mark the task box with an “X”.
If it hasn’t been completed…
Add it to Asana (in the respective project) with a due date. If you happen to be a manager (or if something you need to do is dependent on someone else) then you can also log the tasks that were assigned to others in the meeting and shared with the entire group. Once this is done, mark the task box with an arrow – this lets you know that this task has been CAPTURED and is in Asana.