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Processing: dedicated or in-line?

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  • #16
    Another Example

    OK Here's how I'd handle a similar thing. I'm downtown dealing with the contractors for the building remodel we are doing for our rental building. I get a phone call from the vet who needs me to check something on a ewe with mastitis we have been treating and call her back that day. I write the note on what I need to check and the vet's mobile phone number in my little spiral bound notebook I use as a capture device. When I get home and go inside to drop purse and receipts and other paperwork off in my desk inbox one of the first things I do is pull out my notebook to add the stuff in it to my inbox. I always read the notes as I put them in because often my scribbles are somewhat illegible or cryptic and I can add more info to them as I do that if needed. So I pull off the 4-5 pages of notes I took on that trip and read them as I put the papers in my paper inbox. Most are for things that are not critical so I just add whatever additional words I need to be sure I will understand my note to the paper and toss into my inbox. However, this item is critical. I process it immediately by adding the next action of "Go catch Alaine and check the consistency of the fluid from the affected half of the udder and call Dr. X with results at (mobile phone number)" to the context "outside with help" in the "Deal with 866 Alaine's Mastitis" project and put a due date and time of when I got the phone call. That makes it overdue and so highlighted red so I see it easily. This information is on my iPod touch in Omnifocus and I carry it with me all the time. The data are also on my desktop mac. While my husband and I are getting some water and deciding what to do next I let him know I have an action I need his help with that I need to do today. He's got something he has to do before that so we agree that I'll get the crooks and jug panels and meet at the pasture where the ewe is in 30 minutes. We do, I get the check done and while we still have the ewe caught I call the vet on my mobile phone from the pasture. That way if the vet needs any additional info while I am looking at the sheep I can get it without the stress of catching her up again. I take a few more notes of stuff and we let the sheep go.

    So in my case I do some almost pre-processing regularly at logical breaks in my routine and when I see something coming in to in that needs a fast response I go ahead and do the full processing at that time.

    In your case I'd process the notes when I reached my destination and discover the issue and deal with it.

    Comment


    • #17
      Kudos

      Originally posted by Roger View Post
      Personally, I've found the best way to deal with this sort of thing is to stop being a victim/responder of my Inboxes, and to take ownership and control of them.

      If I've got a level of inputs from all sources that exceed my ability to deal with them all, or that makes me unhappy, then it behooves me to take control, make choices, and throttle things back to a level where I am happy.

      I'm not sure why some people seem to think that's impractical, impossible, immoral, or all of the above. Maybe that's a topic for a new thread.

      Cheers,
      Roger
      I appreciated these comments. Thank you.

      As for my own processing, I do in-line processing on small tasks that require no additional thought. For example, if I remember I want to buy bread, and I already have an appropriate list to jot that reminder on, I will type/scribble it in and move on with my day. Most of these are common tasks that are part of daily maintenance and living.

      On the other hand, if the item will require any more attention that dropping something into an existing and appropriately labeled bucket, then I usually gather those for dedicated processing time.

      Curiously, then, if I get behind on dedicated Processing, I will have all my tiny things in order already and the bigger items waiting for attention.

      The single biggest thing is actually to DO that thinking at some point. For a few years, I gathered all sorts of stuff--maybe even over-collected--and did not Process regularly enough. As a result, my system was not current or complete, so I'd miss stuff even though I felt like I was trying to do GTD.

      I have read on the forum here of some people who will simply process everything in-line. When they get off a phone call, they will put all of the information in the appropriate permanent locations and refuse to move on to the next task until there is "no residue". The approach has its appeal.

      Comment


      • #18
        Secretary in law office

        Originally posted by Mic View Post
        I assume people who work with a lot of incoming calls from clients have these situations all the time. Think of a secretary in a law office receiving dozens of calls a day from clients who want all sorts of answers regarding their cases. She will need a special form or board or whatever to put all of those Today-to-be-finished-projects. No room for "I process my inbox once a day" attitude. What would you suggest her to do?

        Of course it is possible to take it easier and tell the client that - One of the lawyers will get back to you with answers within the next week or so - but it well could be that our standards would not permit such an answer

        Mic
        I like this example, as it very much relates to my daily grind. Often my day will reshape itself without any input from me, due to new meetings or cancelled meetings, etc.

        When I am moving fast, and an important input bangs on the door and hollers to be let in--usually in the form of text messages and phone calls--I may scribble a note to myself on my UCT. If I have enough time, I'll type a quick reminder in my Calendar "Processed notes re XYZ yet?" If I don't even have enough time to scribble into my Calendar, I will try to concentrate for a moment and make a mental note of the priority to Process sooner rather than later. "When I get back from this meeting, I will need to get that file faxed over ASAP". The imagery can help, like in DA's jogging example re if you don't have a UCT with you.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by JohnV474 View Post
          If I have enough time, I'll type a quick reminder in my Calendar "Processed notes re XYZ yet?" If I don't even have enough time to scribble into my Calendar, I will try to concentrate for a moment and make a mental note of the priority to Process sooner rather than later. "When I get back from this meeting, I will need to get that file faxed over ASAP". The imagery can help, like in DA's jogging example re if you don't have a UCT with you.
          Hi John,

          I didn't see DA's jogging example - where did you see it?

          But anyways, If I don't even have enough time to scribble a few words into my calendar, I usually can't concentrate for a moment and make a mental note either.

          And besides that, a mental note would not be that bad when you're jogging, but if you are in the middle of a meeting/phone call/conversation - I think DA would recommend you to appologize and make that scribble in your calendar.

          Not to mention situations where I have many of these at the same day. I wouldn't want a few mental notes in my RAM. I can't stand it.

          Mic

          Comment


          • #20
            Mental notes and jogging

            I believe DA's jogging example may have been in the Getting Things Done Fast! audio CDs. Basic idea: if you are out jogging, with no pen and paper, and think of something you need to remember, imagine yourself doing walking through your door and doing that thing or writing it down right away. This will help set up a trigger when you walk through the door to be reminded.

            Let me fill in a few details on how I use the "mental note" idea: it is an emergency-only tactic that I use when I am in a position that making a note is impossible. Like you, if I was in a meeting, I would scribble down the note.

            This occurs most commonly when I am actively driving in busy traffic and get an urgent call. I will carry the mental note with me until the first moment of relief. At the next light or exit, I will get out my UCT and pen and scribble the quick note (or my phone but is slower).

            Note that the mental note idea is very temporary, and emergency only, storage. Occasionally I have had to be moving at full-speed due to some emergency or deadline, but if I have time to go to the bathroom I can get the note scribbled. It only takes 4 seconds to get out my pen and paper, write a reminder, and put them back... but sometimes I don't have 4 seconds to spare for 20 or 30 minutes.

            I can't think of a situation where I have had to carry more than one thing this way, but it's theoretically possible. It's pretty hard to forget such a thing because usually the item is so emotionally charged it sticks well. Again, on better thought, I should have included that this was an emergency tactic for when neither in-line nor dedicated time is possible.

            Comment


            • #21
              when jogging...

              [QUOTE=JohnV474;90518]I believe DA's jogging example may have been in the Getting Things Done Fast! audio CDs. Basic idea: if you are out jogging, with no pen and paper, and think of something you need to remember, imagine yourself doing walking through your door and doing that thing or writing it down right away. This will help set up a trigger when you walk through the door to be reminded.

              Just bring a recording device with you. I keep one in a small fanny pack and capture as I go along. No capturing, well then, the recorder goes back in the fanny pack. Some of the best ideas come when out on the road or on the trail...

              Dave

              Comment


              • #22
                Any idea for windsurfing?

                Originally posted by Mic View Post
                But anyways, If I don't even have enough time to scribble a few words into my calendar, I usually can't concentrate for a moment and make a mental note either.
                It is not always about time. Up to now I haven't found any Ubiquitous Capture Device for windsurfing but I can concentrate to make a mental note even while I am planing.

                Originally posted by delittlehales View Post
                Just bring a recording device with you. I keep one in a small fanny pack and capture as I go along. No capturing, well then, the recorder goes back in the fanny pack. Some of the best ideas come when out on the road or on the trail...
                Any idea for windsurfing?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Is GTD only for bright IT people?

                  Where are the replies from the secretaries about this?

                  Mic

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                  • #24
                    Not jogging or windsurfing!

                    Originally posted by Mic View Post
                    Where are the replies from the secretaries about this?
                    I do not know. Maybe they are not jogging or windsurfing

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      maybe they ARE

                      Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                      I do not know. Maybe they are not jogging or windsurfing
                      or... maybe they ARE jogging and windsurfing right now, and not reading the forum

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The secretaries and GTD

                        Originally posted by Myriam View Post
                        or... maybe they ARE jogging and windsurfing right now, and not reading the forum
                        or .. could be the secretaries did not find out yet the way to answer all the requests for information with mind like water, so they are too busy to join the discussion right now.

                        Did any of us come across a GTD-ier secretary?

                        Mic

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