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Training My Wife to Use My Inbox - And It's Working!


Frequently - at least once a day - my lovely wife will bring something up while I'm working, usually an important thing that needs action and tracking. For example, an appointment with our elementary-age daughter's teacher, a decision to make (attend a town meeting), a phone message to return, or a problem on her mind. What drives me nuts is that she interrupts me at the moment she thinks of it. Why? Standard GTD: It interrupts my flow, and I immediately feel the stress of taking on the responsibility of taking care of it. Ouch!

Of course the solution is for her to use my stacking inbox shelves. She's now consistently doing so, and it feels sooooo good. I still need to (gently) reminder her when she starts telling me something actionable, but she gets it


Related: These Are The Inboxes Of Our Lives, in which we tally all the places things collect in our lives, along with some surprises. Also, to the right is a link to my previous office's setup (the current one is similar), with annotations!

I'm curious: Have you set up inboxes at work and home? How have you trained your colleagues and family to use them? Are you guilty of interrupting them when something occurs to you? Finally, in the category of Behavior modification, what have you found that works well? I had Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training recommended to me, though I've not read it...

Reader Comments (2)

What has worked for me is saying "thanks", taking the item and dropping in in the inbox. If it's a to do item, I write it on a piece of paper and drop that in the inbox.

Now she uses the inbox all the time.

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDon Schaffner

Good idea, Don. I don't think of powerful, yet less confrontational methods like this. Much obliged. P.S. Thanks for the link to [ Hug Time | http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316114944?ie=UTF8&tag=masidbl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316114944 ] - [ YouTube - Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLTD5_7Pl6Y ].

October 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

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