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Processing catchup

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  • Processing catchup

    I'm way behind in processing due to an acknowledged overload of work, which I'm told isn't likely to abate until end of June this year. I thought about doing some processing catchup at home - using my laptop, in front of the TV it will hardly feel like work. But the problem is I have limited network connectivity, I can access my emails fine, but other connections to the network drives, and software such as adobe acrobat only seems to work intermittently via remote access. For example I got an email about a data migration project that might affect me, but the email contains several links to the detailed project info that fails to open. So should I just leave this in my inbox until I'm back in the office, or make a NA to check the links next time I'm in the office and get it out of my inbox while I'm at home? I'm a bit concerned that if I move things like this out of the inbox while they're not fully processed I might miss things. But if I leave it in the inbox I might not catchup until later anyway and seeing 752 emails in my inbox is stressing me out.

  • #2
    You must kill an overload of work!

    Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
    I'm way behind in processing due to an acknowledged overload of work, which I'm told isn't likely to abate until end of June this year.
    I'm afraid that's a lie. An overload of work never abates by itself - it must be killed with a lightsaber. May the Force be with you!

    Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
    I thought about doing some processing catchup at home - using my laptop, in front of the TV it will hardly feel like work. But the problem is I have limited network connectivity...
    Working in front of the TV never works for me. I have a good network connectivity there but a very poor brain bandwidth.

    Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
    So should I just leave this in my inbox until I'm back in the office, or make a NA to check the links next time I'm in the office and get it out of my inbox while I'm at home?
    Don't look twice at any item in your inbox. Convert such item into an @office Next Action.

    Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
    I'm a bit concerned that if I move things like this out of the inbox while they're not fully processed I might miss things. But if I leave it in the inbox I might not catchup until later anyway and seeing 752 emails in my inbox is stressing me out.
    It is a very bad sign! It is a sign that you don't trust your GTD system! You don't trust that creating a Project or a Next Action will lead to getting it done. You trust your inbox more than your GTD system!

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    • #3
      Hi Suelin, I can empathize completely. But the same guidelines apply. When processing touch each item just once. If it's about 2 minutes then just get it done. If not then determine the next action (or immediate next actions) and then park it. So if you've got to look through the project to figure out if you have next action, and you can't do it in your current context, then create next action for @office or @internet and park it. And think if maybe there's a quicker way to get to the same outcome - maybe just talking to someone would be easier. If that's the case, but an @agenda item down and move.

      But no matter how swamped you are, the three-fold nature of work still applies. So if you find yourself spending all your work time doing work as it appears, or focusing on a one particular project, then know that your inboxes will pile up because you don't have enough processing time + your lists will stack up because you don't have enough pre-defined work time. When I am faced with a situation like this, I first figure out who I can delegate what to. And if that isn't an option I accept the situation and make sure that I reserve as much calendar time as I can for processing and high-priority pre-defined work, and then get to it.

      gl!

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      • #4
        Thanks
        I've been doing this for a while now but still feel like I have the training wheels on my bike and nearly ready to take them off..

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        • #5
          It sounds like you're mixing up your processing and doing - ie, if you're looking at a number of links in an email, that's really addressing the actions that fall out of the email. As enyonam said, if it can be done in less than 2 minutes then just do it (but in which case it shouldn't be there when you are processing your inbox), if it is more than 2 minutes, process it and then it should be done in line with the GTD prioritisation (context -> time -> energy -> priority).

          I personally don't have a problem with processing in front of the TV - so long as you acknowledge that it will be quite inefficient. I'd personally prefer to take a quarter of the time, get the processing done, and then have the rest of the time available for whatever I choose.

          Beyond that - are you able to get a better connection for remote access?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
            Thanks
            I've been doing this for a while now but still feel like I have the training wheels on my bike and nearly ready to take them off..
            lol. I know what you mean! But keep at it. Use your calendar to reserve your processing time. And I totally agree with Mattsykes - it may move faster if you get some quiet, non-TV time. Or plan your processing time such that you are doing it during a more up-energy time rather than when you need that lounge-in-front-of-mindless-TV break. There's really no substitute for processing time so if you can reserve and stick to some regular processing time, and the weekly review, the bike is sure to stay upright for longer periods of time. gl!

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            • #7
              I do processing first thing in the morning at work, usually an hour. But somedays I have meetings booked first thing, or there is just too much to process so I don't get it all done. I have setup an office at home but my husband prefers me to watch TV with him in the evenings, so a compromise is to do work in front of the TV.

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              • #8
                Could it be that it is more efficient for you to block out processing time at work (if possible) and then working overtime from home on what you can do efficiently from home? I can certainly understand the idea of processing away from the office, and I do it to at times, but I often find that I am not processing as efficiently as I would be doing at my desk.

                Another idea might be to use more than one "inbox". Leaving stuff in your primary email inbox (I assume we are talking about email processing here) clogs up the system, but creating a second "inbox" for putting all the email that you intend to process at work doesn't force you to choose between creating an NA on your existing lists and leaving it in In. Instead you now have a new NA list (remember anything that groups a number of related NAs can be a list) with all the email that you intend to process at work and which you can start working on as soon as you get back to your office and can find the time.

                I have a portable inbox that I take with me between home and the office and often put things in there while at work for processing at home and the other way round. I can also quite frequently simply empty my office inbox in the portable inbox if I have stuff that I haven't had time to process during the workday, and bring it with me back home. This works fine for me and helps me process thing in the context where I can process them most efficiently.

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