Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wish I had more hours in a day!”? As busy professionals, we’re all looking to find more time. Because we can’t magically add hours on to a day, it’s more important than ever to make sure that we are as efficient as possible while we’re at work. But how can we become more productive throughout the day? The “Touch it Once” principle is the answer!

When I first read about the “Touch it Once” principle, it totally made sense and was a game changer for me! The “Touch it Once” principle is all about efficiency and making the most of every minute within your day. The best way for me to describe this is to apply it to e-mail because I think we can all agree that e-mail eats up a lot of time during the day. Applying this principle to e-mail means upon opening an e-mail you should be able to do one of three things:

  1. Respond right away.
  2. Forward to a colleague.
  3. Delete.

If you can’t do one of the three things above then skip it and move on to the next email. There is no reason to read and re-read an email over and over again. It takes too much time doing that. Applying “Touch it Once” means you take care of something right away instead of saving it and going back to it time and time again. This commitment to decisive action eliminates wasting time throughout your day. The best thing about this principle is that you can apply this concept to anything in your life!

touch it once

Another example would be applying this principle to simple daily tasks that come up during the day such as opening your mail. Most of the time, you know how much a bill will be so why open it until you are ready to pay it? There’s no need to look at it more than once. Give “Touch it Once” a try and just watch how many minutes you can add back into your day!