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How Do You Get Control of Your Task List? CHOP it Down to Size

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Bubble UP! just released a new 5.5" x 8.5" note pad called the Next Action Bubble Pad. After using these pads, you will never look at your task list the same way again.

What's Different? Similar to the Bubble Planner, the pads use a unique Bubble Map design. While Bubble Maps are extremely popular in Europe, they are just starting to catch on in America. Although this is the first tool that I've found that tie them into time management.

For me, the Bubble Map design has several huge advantages over the list format. First, I can write down the tasks as I think of them without being concerned about where I put them as your mind automatically assigns them priority. Additionally, the format itself seems to act as a magnet for ideas. By the time I finish brainstorming, my mind feels refreshed and renewed. Finally, even when I am not looking at the page, my mind remembers what I need to do. This is a phenomenon that I've never experienced with the list format.
What's Next? The revolutionary aspect of these pads are the advanced filtering technique called CHOP. Besides being a catchy acronym, CHOP is a tool that will virtually eliminate procrastination. Here's how it works:


Think. Download everything that is on your mind. Write it all on the Bubble Map.
Act. For each item that you put on the Bubble Map, decide the very next physical thing that you must do to bring the item to completion. Essentially, give your list a verb. This is actually a very spiritual concept. This is the precise moment that you convert your thought into a physical reality.
Place. Assign each "Next Action" a place. This is where the powerful forward motion takes place. Each Action will be given one of these categories:
Computer Action,
Home Action,
Office Action, or
Phone Call.
Within each cateogory, you can also rank them either by color or number. By breaking your tasks into these places, you are able to spend blocks of time in one place, which significantly improves your efficiency. One by-product of multi-tasking is an exponential increase in transition time. Transition time is the time it takes for your mind to switch its focus from one task to another unrelated task. This is wasted time.
How Does It Work? By CHOPping your tasks down, you make what you have to do manageable. Although there are many causes to procrastination, this is a solution that works every time. It creates a tangible, attainable micro-goal. Our minds are superb at reaching goals when they are well-defined.

Behind the scenes, the CHOP method combines both sides of the brain. Since the Bubble Map design engages the right side of your brain, which thinks primarily in pictures. The logical nature of CHOP recruits the left side, which loves structure and organization. The result is that you utilize more of your brainpower in everything you do.

Although I knew that the pads would improve my productivity, I wasn't expecting the amazing increase in ideas that they have spawned. It is truly a powerful tool.
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