What do you do with your Brain Drop Box once you have completed it? In the last blog post I wrote How to do a Brain Dump (Brain Drop Box) with Tula XII I chatted about ways that you can start organizing your mental clutter, and the best way to do that was to participate in a Brain Drop Box. But what do you do once you have finished that part? What is the next step? I have developed a simple phrase to use to help you determine what to do next and to help you get all of those thoughts you just put onto paper in an organized fashion so that you can start tackling that task list. Let’s learn all about the TRADE Method.
Now friends. I have read Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog about a million times, and I absolutely adore it, but I needed something a little more structured then the woulds, the coulds and the shoulds. I needed to have an acronym that would get me super organized and get that task list under control. This is why I developed the TRADE Method. It is an easy way for me to remember the bits and pieces of organizing my task list on a regular basis.
T – Top Three:
This one is super easy!!! It is taking a look at your brain drop box and determining what your top three tasks for the day are. You can break down by appointments, tasks that have a deadline, or tasks that are helping you move closer to a bigger goal.
R – Routine:
These are the routine tasks in your day. This will include, the chores, the meal planning, making beds, doing laundry, taking out the garbage, and washing dishes. It will also include those chores that you change each day, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping and mopping the floors, cleaning out the fridge etc. This is a great way to stay on top of the household chores and making them a part of your everyday routine.
A – Action:
These are the tasks that require you to take some kind of action and fill in the other nooks and crannies in your day. Grocery shopping, running errands, planning for family activities, working on your business, taking care of your “not top three” tasks, but ones that don’t necessarily have a time limit and therefore can be done when you have time in your day.
D – Delegate:
This is where I hop back into Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, because I think these last two steps are super important because they help to make the planning process more balanced. The first is to delegate. If there are tasks on your to do list that can be done by others that can alleviate some stress from your day then it is okay to ask for some assistance. Teaching young children how to do their laundry, take out the garbage, or care for a pet are some of the easier ones. But this also would consistent of asking a spouse for help, a co-worker, or maybe someone you are on a planning committee with, depending on the task you need help with.
E – Eliminate:
This doesn’t mean to eliminate it completely. What it means is to take stock of the thought as it comes to you, and file it on a task list that is further out that the current one you are working with. If you have a thought come to mind about something you want to do in the future, don’t dismiss it. Acknowledge that it came, find it a more permanent home on a To Do Later list, and save room in your head for more pressing issues. The elimination part is super important for this process because if you don’t take into consideration that thought it will keep nagging at you until you give it space in your mind. And if you aren’t in a place where you can do anything about it, all it is doing is adding to anxiety and overwhelm. Bless and release it to a new home.
This method of to do list organization is something that I use everyday with my Tula XII inserts. I am mindful in my Brain Drop Box, and take into consideration each of these steps when I am organizing my task list for the day. My favorite insert to use for this is the Brain Dump Weekly, but there is also the Top Three Weekly which will serve the same purpose. You can also use a To Do List or a To Do Now/Later List as well to help gets those tasks organized into a more approachable manner. Check them out below:
If you are interested in learning more about your planning style and want to find out more information about what needs you might have and what planner style is right for you. Check out the Cannin Plannin FUNdamentals Masterclass called “Let’s Start Planning“
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[…] of the way that I personally organize my to do list, with the TRADE method I don’t feel the need to use the now/later version because those later tasks don’t even […]
[…] the TRADE method: this is a method of task list organization that I created which makes it possible for you to […]