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  • PENDING BOX

    I think the trickiest part of the GTD system is how to handle the pending box. You know, while you're processing the in-box , every item that will take more than 2 minutes goes to the pending box which is supposed to be processed after the in-box is empty. Well, my in-box is emptied several times durig the day, but I never seem to have time to clean the pending box also. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Deciding not to decide...

    Hi,

    One of the ways that I make it "through" the inbasket is to "Define" the next action on those things that take longer than 2-minutes.

    Then, that paper, note, or whatever, goes into an "Action Support" file on my desk. (Instead of a pending file.)

    For example:

    Let's say I have a flyer in my inbox about an upcoming lecture I'd like to go to. Well, I don't have time to call them now, and I will need that flyer when I call....so, I put "Call Jeremy re: Permaculture Lecture" on my @Calls list. Then, I put that flyer in my @Calls Action Support file. Most of the time, I put a note in the actual to-do that says: (see AS file for flyer). That way, I can REALLY forget about it for now, NOT have to re-process it out of another stack, and DO the call when I have the tools, time and energy to take that action.

    The difference? Not processing because something will take longer than 2-minutes will create more stacks. The "martial art" of managing your workflow is engaging in deciding on the front end WHAT you're going to do...even if you can't do it right now!

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    • #3
      individual action support file

      For me, the key to making GTD work is using separate action support files for each task. So if I have a stack of material I need to analyze for a specific project and it will take longer than two minutes, that stack goes in a new "task file" (action support file, essentially) labeled for that task alone. I keep all of these in a drawer separate from reference files. Then when it's time to analyze those materials, I just pull out that action support file.

      For about the first year after reading GTD, I was putting all the action support materials in one file, and the system kept falling apart. With separate action support files, it's very easy to keep everything running.

      Hope this helps.

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      • #4
        I basically do EXACTLY what Jason does. If it's a project, I'll create a seperate folder for Action Support items related to that project. I have an 2 AS folders set up: 1 at the office, and 1 that I take with me that I use for "home". I also have a @Waiting for... folder set up the same way.

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        • #5
          Re: Deciding not to decide...

          Originally posted by Jason Womack
          Let's say I have a flyer in my inbox about an upcoming lecture I'd like to go to. Well, I don't have time to call them now, and I will need that flyer when I call....so, I put "Call Jeremy re: Permaculture Lecture" on my @Calls list. Then, I put that flyer in my @Calls Action Support file. ?
          So Jason,
          DO you have an action support file per category, per context or per project?

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Deciding not to decide...

            Originally posted by guest
            Originally posted by Jason Womack
            Let's say I have a flyer in my inbox about an upcoming lecture I'd like to go to. Well, I don't have time to call them now, and I will need that flyer when I call....so, I put "Call Jeremy re: Permaculture Lecture" on my @Calls list. Then, I put that flyer in my @Calls Action Support file. ?
            So Jason,
            DO you have an action support file per category, per context or per project?

            Thanks!

            I have an "action support" file that goes with me when I travel. That's so I can have ANY action support I "think" I'll need when I'm on that trip.

            In my office, I have three "context" related AS files:

            @Home Action Support
            @Writing Action Support
            @Computer Action Support

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