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processing best practices, tips?

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  • processing best practices, tips?

    I was curious how others work through their 'in' boxes and process stuff. I tend to take each item, realize I need to do something with it this week, then put it on my projects list and then move on to the next item, and then go back and decide the next actions all at once. I think it helps me prioritize my actions when I see what I need to accomplish this week all in one spot. However, I'm also wondering if it's just another way of procrastinating on deciding what to 'do' with the item.

    Is there a mental benefit to taking each item and deciding a next action before it ever goes on to a list?

    Even though I'm very familiar with the GTD methodology, I'm still admittedly a newbie when it comes to actually implementing, so the majority of my stuff is urgent or overdue.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jennytg3 View Post
    I was curious how others work through their 'in' boxes and process stuff. I tend to take each item, realize I need to do something with it this week, then put it on my projects list and then move on to the next item, and then go back and decide the next actions all at once. I think it helps me prioritize my actions when I see what I need to accomplish this week all in one spot. However, I'm also wondering if it's just another way of procrastinating on deciding what to 'do' with the item.

    Is there a mental benefit to taking each item and deciding a next action before it ever goes on to a list?

    Even though I'm very familiar with the GTD methodology, I'm still admittedly a newbie when it comes to actually implementing, so the majority of my stuff is urgent or overdue.
    Did you read this post: How-to-turn-aspects-of-GTD-implementation-into-(a)-project(s) I think there are common parts

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jennytg3 View Post
      ... then move on to the next item, and then go back and decide the next actions all at once. I think it helps me prioritize my actions when I see what I need to accomplish this week all in one spot.
      This kind of picked my eye. My first thought was you may be doing it harder than necessary to yourself because you are actually processing everything twice. After all, your next action in project X probably don't affect much to what is your next action in Project Y. (I think priorities should not be thinked when deciding next action, because priorities are more for Do phase.)

      I have no idea what works for you, only you can find it out. I'm just offering my thoughs.

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      • #4
        I process each item using the steps defined in the GTD workflow diagram. Top item first, one item at a time and that item is glued to my hand until I make *both* the outcome and action decisions and park the reminders in the appropriate places.

        I make my decisions about what to focus on each week during my weekly reviews. I also realize that the world can radically shift at a moments notice, so as long as my system is current and complete I can adapt. I don't put a great deal of focus on planning anymore for that very reason.

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        • #5
          where I get stuck in processing while organizing

          I just get paralyzed...

          If I need to do some thinking and research to determine the next action and I do not know when I will have the chunk of time to do this without looking at what else I am committed to doing. So the potential project ends upon SDMB or with an n/a of identify 1 to 2 hours to research. I just never seem to get to these SDMBs.

          If I need to do some thinking and research to determine the overall value of the project in the context of physically or logically related projects that are in various stages of development. Either goes on SDMB or the n/a is to find a few hours for a big overview of the related projects. I don't get to these either.

          If I cannot remember if I have already done what I think the next action is or I started and stopped. Not a huge problem, except that I can end up not being able to progress on the project I want to because I am in the wrong context.

          I have a kind of toxic reaction to the n/a or the project because the last time I was so frustrated or the n/a took on a life of its own and just took a huge amount of time.

          I don't know what the week will look like yet because I have not processed all the current stuff.

          In contrast, When the projects are easy to conceptualize, require few resources, and the n/a is simple and discrete, then processing and organizing go well.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
            I just get paralyzed...

            If I need to do some thinking and research to determine the overall value of the project in the context of physically or logically related projects that are in various stages of development. Either goes on SDMB or the n/a is to find a few hours for a big overview of the related projects. I don't get to these either.
            I had that problem too. Now I create a funnel for each Area of Focus, with ideas going into its collector, then into a 2 dimensional spreadsheet of topics/SDMBs like a mind map, and then into a linear queue of Next Projects. My goal is to have a single proactive project running for each AOF.

            So I will have a spreadsheet called FINANCIALS.aof.xlsx
            It has tabs like Collector, SDMB/Mind Map and Next Projects.

            The last action of any project is a breadcrumb leading back to its parent, in this case the AOF document, for a Next Project. I find this allows me to balance the workload of my proactive projects across my areas of focus while knowing that each AOF has its best next project running.

            Sometimes in weekly review I'll decide that I have too many projects under a given AOF, so I'll 'backflush' some of them and their support materials to the AOF for future re-assessment.
            Last edited by pxt; 05-03-2011, 09:23 AM.

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            • #7
              +$.02

              Just today I posted my setup and process, in case some of it is useful to you:
              http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...s-Setup-Part-1
              (it's in 2 parts, I talk a lot)

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