I magine you collect, enjoy, and share treasures, valuable treasures as scare as time, as important as relationships, and as irreplaceable as your reputation. Imagine you carry a treasure collector to capture treasures you find in the course of daily living. This treasure collector would be always present, yet not intrusive.

Treasures?

These treasures are not fanciful dreams nor are they unattainable or exclusive. These treasures are your ideas, your time, your relationships, and your reputation. Practically these are logistics, to-dos, appointments, and commitments made on the fly. Additionally, these treasures are ideas that come when walking, driving, or showering. They are special events to consider, birthdays you intend to acknowledge, people you want to contact, and questions you intend to answer.

All the many things you hold in your head hoping and imagining you will remember and all too often realize you forget can strain relationships and damage your reputation. Continually holding something important top of mind to insure you don’t forget it costs you scarce time and attention.

Three Steps to Protecting Your Time, Relationships, and Reputation

1st: Acquire and carry a treasure collector.

2nd: Spot treasures and place them in the treasure collector. At the point of capture you don’t spend any time examining or thinking much about the treasure. That comes later.

3rd: Review and distribute regularly your daily treasures to their designated containers.

Treasure Holder

A treasure holder can be a small notebook, note cards, or a phone note-taking app. It could be a combination of all. Choosing and designing something to become your treasure collector is very doable. 

Essential Belief

Embracing and fully believing that regularly collecting your treasures is the BEST way to honor all your commitments, save time, AND develop a peace of mind that can only come when you don’t have to rely on remembering important things at the right time and in the right place.

Reality! You are living with unnecessary stress and confusion when:

• To-dos, action items, and appointments are embedded in emails.
• Ideas, and critical information on meeting agendas and other documents are filed (or not filed) in multiple places.
• You reply on your memory to follow-through on others’ requests and/or retain information shared in conversations throughout the day.
• Potential opportunities and future commitments are in your head relying on environmental cues or your memory to trigger you at the exact right time and place.

This unnecessary stress and confusion comes from using your mind, your most valuable asset, to do what it’s not designed to do–hold ideas and deliver them at the right time and place.

Transformation Skills Needed:

• Treasure spotting skill
• Treasure collecting skill
• A system of treasure storage containers
• The daily practice of reviewing and distributing collected treasures

Treasure Spotting

You likely already have the treasure spotting skill. Practice will quickly sharpen it. For clarification, you’re NOT treasure hunting rather treasure spotting. Treasures emerge naturally and randomly throughout your day. Treasure hunting, on the other hand, is frequently inefficient and elusive.

Treasure Collecting

On the other hand, treasure collecting is a challenging skill. If you’re like most potential treasure collectors you’ll resist developing this skill. You may imagine it’s unnecessary, or silly, or too much trouble. Warning! If you don’t commit to and practice this skill regularly, you will greatly limit the number and type of treasures you will ever collect. And remember treasures are as scare as time, as important as relationships, and as irreplaceable as your reputation!

Treasure Storage Containers

Creating a system of treasure storage containers requires thought, experimentation, and some practice, but once created, maintaining the containers isn’t difficult. You will occasionally update and modify this container system as your treasure collection grows and changes.

Daily Processing Practice

Reviewing and distributing collected treasures is a daily practice. You likely already have the reviewing and distributing skills. Finding and honoring time for this practice consistently will be the challenge. Make this a priority since the value of the treasure can diminish as it remains in the treasure collector unprocessed.

Treasures abound but without a treasure collector, their lives can be short. You may already be adapt at spotting these treasures in your life, but rather than capturing them you imagine that they will remain visible and readily accessible when you need them because when you spot them they are clear and obvious. I trust you have enough experience to know that these don’t remain clear and obvious.

Treasure collecting (my term) is the lynch pin skill of “capturing” in David Allen’s GTD methodology. I provide more on that skill in Exponentially Grow Your Success Rate with ONE New Habit. This habit of treasure collecting (capturing) is transformative!

Igor Ovsyannykov