- There are a lot of things in our lives that cause us to get distracted, to be unproductive, and to get frustrated and overwhelmed.
- Using the 4Ds – Do it, Delay it, Delegate it, and Destroy it – is a very helpful way to reduce the extra noise and work in our lives.
- Taking the time to identify our frustrations and distractions and then categorizing and organizing them can help us reorganize our lives and feel a lot better.
When I was in the military, we performed a drill where you had to put your gas mask on in a very short period of time. To do it correctly, you had to do about four or five steps in order, and if you missed any of them, you could end up dead. You really didn’t want to go off and do different things or waste time because in a real-life gas attack, the gas would kill you.
I look at this example in terms of how we can become very unproductive in our lives when we have lots of things going on around us. I’m not talking life and death situations, but situations where you can get the frustrations out, get away from all the disorganization in your life because of technology, apps, and everything else coming at you. How can you sift through the noise and become more efficient and productive, where things are done as smoothly and quickly as possible?
Let me introduce you to the 4Ds. It was taught to me almost 30 years ago, and they stand for:
Do it – You only want to touch something once, so if it makes sense to do it right now, then do it right now.
Delay it – Perhaps this is not the right time, or the item is not urgent enough. Maybe it’s not important enough, but move it to the back burner and return to it somewhere down the line.
Delegate it – Lots of things in our lives are not ours to do, but sometimes we feel like we should do them. If it’s not yours to do, don’t do it! Delegate it to someone else who’s either better at it, or on a different team at work, or perhaps if it’s your personal life, a spouse or other family member.
Destroy it – Let it go, be done with it, and don’t do anything more with it.
As I mentioned, I’ve been using this for 30 years, and it’s extremely effective. It helps many times when you get overwhelmed or overloaded with a lot of things. It can help you feel like a huge weight is lifted off you, and just allows you to be less frustrated, more organized, and you’ll feel a lot better.
So, next time you’re thinking about making life a little simpler, think of the 4Ds.
Until next time, enjoy!