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  • Routine desk-bound work

    The term “bookmark” is used a lot on this website.

    For someone like me who works mainly at my desk, what does this mean in the GTD context, especially where a lot of the work is of a repetitive routine nature: reviewing files prepared by staff, raising and following up queries as necessary, arranging client meetings etc?.

    If I have to leave a file review before it is finished, I could literally bookmark it with a piece of paper. Does anyone actually write down a bookmark/NA in these situations? “Restart file review at section H” for example?

    I guess that if I have a project “finalise ABC audit”, then the NA when I am interrupted must be in the form “continue review at section H”. It seems like a slight case of overkill.

    A similar problem also arises at the start of a task. I am doing my weekly review at the moment, and for some projects the NA just seems to be “Look at the client file to see if …” In trying to define a context for these NAs, I am just coming up with @desk.

    (I am finding NA process very useful on non-routine stuff however).

    What is anyone’s experience with this type of desk bound routine stuff?

    Thanks

    Dave

  • #2
    Re: Routine desk-bound work

    Originally posted by Busydave
    The term “bookmark” is used a lot on this website.


    If I have to leave a file review before it is finished, I could literally bookmark it with a piece of paper. Does anyone actually write down a bookmark/NA in these situations? “Restart file review at section H” for example?

    I guess that if I have a project “finalise ABC audit”, then the NA when I am interrupted must be in the form “continue review at section H”. It seems like a slight case of overkill.
    This is exactly what I do. It's not overkill for me, it's a quick reminder of where I left off so that I don't waste time re-reviewing sections A-G. Even skimming through A-G to find where I stopped the last time can be time-consuming and frustrating.

    Claudia

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    • #3
      You bring up a good question with no easy answers. These are things I constantly wrestle with myself. I always go back to the reading a book analogy. Whenever I stop reading I leave the bookmark as a reminder where I left off (and my next action if you will) as opposed to keeping the page number in my head.

      Your question is hard because simply reviewing a folder could be:

      1. Do it now because it is a less than two minute task (Golden Rule).
      2. Next action itself because the review is a single step action.
      3. A project as David describes because the complete folder review has several actions and maybe some waiting for items.
      4. A checklist item because it is something you just want to touch base with to see if everything is ok.

      David uses the phrase "use your intuition" a lot. I'm finally realizing what I think he means, it is not so important to get everything categorized exactly "right", but that it is categorized somewhere in a system you trust you'll review regularly. And, believe me, I've greatly underestimated the "trust" part of that equation.

      Mark

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      • #4
        Since I'm one who uses the term, I guess I'll jump in. My field, computer system administration, is an extreme example of what David is describing when he talks about "knowledge work". I can come in, work a full day, and leave, and you won't see any physical change in my environment at all (unless it's weekly review day The work that I do primarily involves thinking, deciding how to implement, and then executing on that plan... and none of it involves so much as a piece of paper.

        So when the boss drops by to chat, if I'm in the middle of that process, I could lose a couple of hours worth of work if I don't quickly jot down my next action on the current project, before I do the context switch necessary to listen to what he's got on his mind. That's the value of the "bookmark" concept to me.

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