Task management – How to handle incoming tasks

What the heck – does this never stop?

New emails are coming in, new ideas and to-dos are coming up, someone wants you to do something, …

You’re constantly distracted, and it’s hard for you to focus because of all these to-dos coming up all day and you ask yourself:


How to handle all these incoming tasks?

Well lovely, if this is you keep reading …

First, set up inboxes.

There are different types of inboxes you’ll need:

• Physical inbox: for all your paper stuff

• Notepad: if you like to jot things down on paper

• Digital inbox: note-taking app; if you’re more a digital person

• Email inbox

Whenever something comes in or comes up, put it in an inbox.

For example:

• Emails – easy, they are already in your inbox

• Paper invoice – physical inbox

• An idea comes up – notepad or note-taking app

• A to-do comes up – notepad or note-taking app


At the end of your workday take 15 minutes to go through your inboxes

Include this in your daily Shutdown Ritual!

Have a look at each item in there and ask yourself:

Is there an action required?

If your answer is NO

• Trash (these ones are the best ;-))

• Reference material – file it

• Someday / maybe list – if you want to come back to it later

If your answer is YES, ask yourself: What is the next thing I have to do?

• When it takes less than 2 minutes – DO IT!!!

• When it takes longer than 2 minutes – put it on your to-do list (if it’s just one step) or project management tool (if there are more steps). Check out this blog post to learn more about the difference between to-dos and projects!

Don’t be too strict with the 2 minutes rule. But you get the idea – if it’s quickly done – DO IT!


This simple and easy system helps you getting control over all your incoming tasks and to-dos!

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

* This system is partly from David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done”.


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