Touch it Once: The Cadence Call for Productivity and Time Management

By Kevin on January 24, 2012 in Time Management

10:00am. My hour of power for health is complete, and I’ve finished an hour of focused writing time. Time to open my email accounts…deep breath.

The Google alert on my own name shows that my previously scheduled blog post went live this morning. I hop over to to make sure it’s all good and notice a typo (“they” should read “my friend”). Damn, I’ll have to fix that in a few minutes after I scan the rest of my emails.

“No! Touch it once,” my inner voice reminds me. I quickly open WordPress and fix the typo.

Next email is from a freelancer giving me his EIN number so my accountant can prep a 1099. I’ll have to send that along with a note to my accountant later.

“No. Touch it once.” I hit Forward, add a few lines and off it goes.

Next email. New invoice from an advisor. “What?! I wasn’t expecting this,” I think to myself. Double-click the PDF. Yep, it’s right. Damn, I just finished paying bills yesterday. I’ll have to stack this for my next scheduled bill pay session.

“No. Just do it now. Touch it once.” Fortunately he takes credit cards. Open the form, type in my info. Email it back. Good, only 3 minutes.

Next email.  I joined the Pennsylvania Society. Somebody needs to know if it’s a non-profit or not. How the heck do I know? Who can I pass this onto? Oh,

“touch it once.” I open a new tab in my browser and go to their page. Quickly scan 2-3 of their pages. No mention of 501(c)3 status. Reply to email: don’t think so.

Hmmm, I should write a blog post someday about how the voice in my head chants “touch it once” as I clear my inbox each morning. Yeah, that would be a good one. Wait!” Open WordPress, start typing the new blog post. Title, “Touch It Once.”

Touch it once. Touch it once. Touch it once. It’s the cadence call of efficiency and productivity.

Whether I’m going through my paper inbox on my desk, or the email inbox on my computer, if the item at hand can be taken care of in less than 5 minutes I do it right then and there. If I can delegate it, I’ll do that. Otherwise I’ll schedule time to complete it.

Touch it once.

[Now clicking the Publish button]


Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.

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