Keep things in a trusted place

The secret to getting your stolen time back

Have you ever fallen into this trap: You’re lying awake in bed, scrolling on your phone, hooked on a piece of content. You know you need to go to bed and when you look at the clock, it’s way past your bed time…

If I’m honest, this has happens to me too often. I’ve stayed up past midnight more than once reading, watching, or listening to great content. I’ve been wondering what should I do with content I want to read, watch, and hear—but simply don’t have time for? There will always be plenty to consume.

In other words—what if I could develop a way to organize a list of JUICY content to consume later, instead of when I should be sleeping, or doing something else.

The following “system” is something I’ve adapted from Gretchen Rubin, David Allen, and Steven Robbins:

Step 1: Choose your “trusted place”

The first step is to choose one trust a place. We all need trusted places for items—physical and digital—in our lives.

What’s a trusted place? A trusted place is somewhere you can easily remember to look when you need something. Too often, we don’t have “official spots” to keep our stuff, so kitchen drawers get filled with junk, closets cluttered before guests come over, and too many apps pile up on our phone. This adds residual clutter and causes us to feel disorganized, even if we’re usually tidy.

This is true for both the items in our house, and digital items we want to consume. It is important that we learn to choose ONE place, rather than scattering things haphazardly.

Think of where you usually put your keys. Happiness expert and behavioral researcher, Gretchen Rubin, says that we will live happier lives if we simply pick one, trusted spot to store and important items, like our car keys.

So many times in my life, I have “lost my keys,” simply because I did not them where I usually do… which for me, it is on my kitchen counter. That is the usual place I know to look, so when they’re not there, I go nuts and pull my hair out. (Sound familiar?)

Step 2: Put things in your trusted place

Once you choose your trusted place, it’s important that you put things there quickly. When you see something you want to read—practice the action of getting the link copied to your “place.”

It doesn’t matter where you keep this. It matters that it’s a place you trust and will revisit often.

My trusted place for content is Evernote. But using Apple Notes, OneNote, or even OmniFocus could be just as handy.

Step 3: Revisit that place often

Once you have your trusted place, and you PUT things there, you must revisit that place. If you have too many places to look, this may be a difficult step. But if you only keep things in a very specific place, you’ll save a lot of time searching and meet your goals faster.

Since I use Evernote to also keep track of other information (lists, scans, etc), I have this open automatically every time my computer turns on. It’s always ready for me to use, no matter what. I’ve made revisiting easy. You can do the same. Make it EASY for you to find what you need by creating a shortcut and keeping it easy to find.

In your phone, that might be on the first page of apps. For me, it’s adding it to the “dock” at the bottom—so I can find it on EVERY screen.

Question: How do you store content to read later? You can leave a comment by clicking here.