Productivity Tip #8: Clear To Neutral

PT08-Clear to Neutral

Clear to neutral is a phrase that means to set things back to the start.

As with a vehicle, a neutral position means that it is ready to receive direction (a push or pull) to go a specific direction (as opposed to a vehicle in park, drive, or reverse).

Think about your many tools and environments. Your kitchen, desk, workbench, computer, etc.

As we come to a stopping point in our work, sometimes we think it would be better to just leave things the way they are as we are done.

That includes used dishes, unfinished papers, open browser tabs. This seems like a good idea… we’ll just pick back up where we left off!

Honestly though, how often does that happen? The real scenario is more likely that you’ll come back to use the environment or tools and discover that you have a lot of distractions and cleanup in front of you before you can actually get to work.

Another thing that happens when we leave things to get back to later is we create an sense of “incomplete” in our minds. Our brains continue to dwell on that and we may not be able to fully focus on any new endeavor.

The folks at Asian Efficiency even go so far as to say that leaving things in the undone state is one of the biggest reasons we procrastinate. Clearing to neutral will help solve many procrastination problems.

So, whenever you are stopping your work in the environment for a significant amount of time (you finished preparing a meal in the kitchen, or you’re wrapping up work to head home for the day), Clear to Neutral so you can come back to a environment that is ready to go where you want it to instead of one that is already heading in a different direction.

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