Recently I had the blessed chance to participate in a conference call with productivity coach and guru Jason Womack. I asked him the question, what is the number one behavior that leads to low productivity among your various clients? His answer was “Reprocessing.”
Reprocessing is the behavior of processing information more than once. Let me give you an example that I was able to identify in myself right away. During the day I often view emails on my phone. I rarely take the time to reply to emails on my phone. I primarily just check them in case there is something urgent. When I get back in front of the computer I'm essentially reprocessing emails I have already checked once.
How often do you pick up a report or memo in your inbox or on your desk; take a look at it, and then set it aside to review it again later? In fact, you may not want to admit it but there is likely something on your desk that you have looked through several times without taking the inevitable action that is required.
How do we limit reprocessing? I think the answer lies with all the traditional productivity answers. Create digital and physical in-boxes. Set aside time to tackle the high priority projects. Follow the rule of 3Ds; Do it, Delegate it, Delete it.
However you want to think through the elimination process I would recommend we spend a little more time considering our own reprocessing habits and how we might eliminate them one by one. This could easily save 15-30 minutes to high productivity time each day.