Do you think processing inbox is a bottleneck because your system is not as streamlined as it could be or is it because of lack of energy overall? What's the underlying reason?
Neither. It's a problem because many of my inbox items will generate many next actions and often many projects and my inbox has odd items in it.
It can take 15 minutes to properly process a single e-mail message for example and one message can generate 2-3 separate projects and perhaps a dozen next actions on current or previously existing projects.
I also often have physical inbox items that are rather unique and hard to process. I bet not many folks have sheep horns placed into an inbox! Processing a lost horn cap takes time, I need to decide if it's suitable for a crook, in which case it gets a next action of take pictures of it and send to crook maker, perhaps it's more suited to be a knife handle, that gets a different next action, but if it's only buttons that too is yet a different next action. To even decide what is the real next action I need to take the time to evaluate the horn and often reference my lists of who is looking for what if it's suitable for 2 or more uses and I have waiting orders.
Right now I have some old dental tools in my inbox, they need to get processed into either my scrapbook tools, my sewing tools, or off to hubby for his electronics work. I need to evaluate each one to decide where it best fits and also look at who needs some new tools. Processing it will take a while to decide the best fit or highest need.
Organising. I have been doing GTD for 1.5yrs now and most of that has been trying to setup my organisational system rather than actually doing GTD. I think I'm there now, pretty happy with it, now I'm trying to process things. Processing is the next hardest.
First of all, thanks for asking! I probably haven't thought about it this way in a while.
I'd say the natural planning model and taking the time to plan out every project so I really identify all next actions. It's usually enough just to brainstorm the very next actions that come to mind but if I spent the time upfront, maybe during processing, to really plan out projects, I bet I'd move some of them faster or more efficiently.
Hmm... I think I just got my new 14-day challenge!
Do. I'd much rather fiddle with the system than actually do the next actions.
My primary career is teaching high school, so I'm very focused around the school year and breaks. My usual routine is take the first couple days (or weeks if it's summer) of a break to re-build/re-vamp/re-vitalize my system and getting some things done. But when 'normalcy' of going back to work sets in, I don't do it.
Usually 90% of what's in my system is home/house/personal stuff. Sometimes I put some work stuff into it, but usually I'll put a few things in and I just go through my usual routines at work and find it more work than not having a system. But then I also don't even peek at it at home.
I have another job that is making me REALLY want to optimize my time better. It's work from home so I have lots of flexibility around a few anchors of time. But either I spend all my time doing that stuff and my house goes to the dogs, or I do the bare minimum for that job and keep the house together well. And in the midst of that I'm trying to keep up with health enhancing choices and activities (that's a nice way to say diet and exercise), spend time with friends/family/pets, etc.
It's not that I don't have enough time to do all the stuff. I just tend to fritter a lot of it away.
Once I get 'into it' I've been very productive for some streaks of time, but they're far outweighed by the time that I'm 'off the wagon' and the time it takes to jump back on and get things up to par.
Vacation started today. Most of the day was spent fiddling with the system. Tomorrow, I will get things done. And I'm fairly confident that I will continue to do so over the next week+ that I'm away from school. I just need to find a way to continue once I go back to school. Or rather once I get home from school after going back to school.
Collecting is only part that mostly works. Still there is too much outside the inbox. And Often I resist adding stuff to inbox because I'm not sure when it gets processed. So stuff accumulates to my inbox. My home is big chaos. I currently work as part time IT assistant, so I have much free time. Unfortunately I don't have much money.
I'm trying to process the stuff as much as I can, but results are occasional. Sometimes I get everything processed. Then it's momentary bliss.
My organizing suck. I have a filing system, but it sucks, so I'm resisting archiving. I tried to a manage my lists with binder and paper lists, but that was a bit too much work, because I'd have to carry a big binder every where. Now I'm trying to manage my lists with my iPhone. Problem is that I don't have internet connection in home (or in my iPhone, so I have to use mail.apps notes function to manage lists. This seems to be working better than huge paper planner. But only time will tell the truth.
Because all problems mentioned above, my weekly reviews don't work well. Although I have finally managed to build a habit for weekly reviews. It helps me a lot.
One positive note is that I have working tickler file.
Hmm.. Writing this has been very enlightening experience. I have done it all wrong from the beginning. My house is my inbox.
1) Start all from beginning.
2) Collect all stuff at home to one big in-basket
3) Start processing inbasket. Most stuff will probably end up in trash, so maybe I can get quick positive results.