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  • What is work that shows up?

    There're 3 types of work: processing, predefined and work as it shows up. Am I getting it right? Processing is processing and it's clear. Predefined work is my calendared actions and meetings as well as my action lists. What is work as it shows up then: spare time when I'm just sitting and waiting for something to happen? Looks fun

  • #2
    Originally posted by Onion View Post
    There're 3 types of work: processing, predefined and work as it shows up. Am I getting it right? Processing is processing and it's clear. Predefined work is my calendared actions and meetings as well as my action lists. What is work as it shows up then: spare time when I'm just sitting and waiting for something to happen? Looks fun
    You're on the right track... The first is defining your work. It includes things like reviewing your lists, emptying your inbox, determining with thoughtfulness what actions/projects you want to work on that day or accomplish that week, for example. This is the one that most people, myself included, spend less time on than they should. It's sort of the thing that gets forgotten as meetings and unexpected duties show up. I'm sure others can explain it more eloquently, but generally it's planning time you set aside to make your day intentional.

    Work as it shows up includes things like your boss asking for something earlier than planned, or a co-worker taking an unexpected absence and everyone has to pick up the workload, or you look outside and see a broken sprinkler and now you have to stay home to get it fixed. All of the things you can't plan for fall into this category. And the more confidence you have in your system, the more flexible you can be when those things come up.

    Good questions!

    Dena

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    • #3
      You might find the Threefold Nature of Work webinar useful too https://secure.davidco.com/connect/m...5&trackid=1063

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Onion View Post
        What is work as it shows up then: spare time when I'm just sitting and waiting for something to happen?
        oh S**t stuff you could not plan for that has to be dealt with NOW

        for example

        Notice ewe lambs have unlatched and opened the gate between them and the ram and so it's an emergency sheep sort and find a chain and better latch for the gate and mark how many might have been bred so I can add them to the ultrasound list.

        50 year rain storm resulting in a flooded culvert that threatens to wash away the road up our hill so it's get SO to get the backhoe out ASAP to try to clear it while I start calling everyone on the mesa to bring shovels.

        Elderly cat falls off the bed and gets injured so it's off to the vet.

        Bear inside our 8 ft elk fence harassing our sheep but then treed by guard dogs so it's call DOW, sheriff and then monitor bear until it goes away.

        Ewe in labor with stuck lamb needs assistance.

        Just to mention a few that I've had in the last few years.

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        • #5
          It could also mean something simple as receiving an email that will take more than 2 minutes to handle, and you decide to step out of "processing" mode and into "doing" mode to work on it.

          Doing work as it appears gets a bad rap as being bad stuff and interruptions, but it could also be wonderful new things that show up in your world that you decide to focus on in the moment.

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          • #6
            thanks for tweaking my perspective!

            Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
            Doing work as it appears gets a bad rap as being bad stuff and interruptions, but it could also be wonderful new things that show up in your world that you decide to focus on in the moment.
            <chagrined> Yes! Good things! Those don't come to mind as readily, though. That's probably because it's somehow easier to change your schedule for something you actually want to deal with, isn't it?!?

            Dena

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kelstarrising View Post
              It could also mean something simple as receiving an email that will take more than 2 minutes to handle, and you decide to step out of "processing" mode and into "doing" mode to work on it.
              Most of the time, when I read my email I don't think of myself as being in "processing" mode. I just answer the emails as I come to them (most of the time). If I'm in a hurry or if I decide not to answer an email right then I guess I step into processing mode.
              Limiting yourself to doing only things that take less than 2 minutes means you're in processing mode. Just reading and answering a bunch of emails more-or-less regardless of length means you're in work-as-it-turns-up mode.

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              • #8
                Is it possible to plan unplannable, unexpected workbthat shows up?

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                • #9
                  Everything else organized in your trusted GTD.

                  Originally posted by Onion View Post
                  Is it possible to plan unplannable, unexpected workbthat shows up?
                  You can't plan unplannable but you can organize everything else in your trusted GTD system so you can react to interruptions without a stress that something else will blow up in the meantime.

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                  • #10
                    Yes and no

                    Originally posted by Onion View Post
                    Is it possible to plan unplannable, unexpected workbthat shows up?
                    Sure, I know for example that during lambing a certain percentage of the sheep will need assistance. So I plan not to leave the farm then and do prep things like stocking up with food and coffee before the lambalanch starts. I know that we will have storms and need to work on ditches, so I can prepare a list of phone numbers to call when there is an emergency. What I can't plan for is exactly when these things will occur.

                    For me planning for the work as it shows up is preparation to be able to handle everything.

                    Kelly had a good point about work as it shows up can be good interruptions. I am sure there are some for me but I honestly can't think of any off the top of my head. I'm going to try to be more aware of those sort of interruptions and see how many there are. I only remember the emergency ones.

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                    • #11
                      &quot;Close encounters of the third kind&quot; with your boss.

                      Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                      Sure, I know for example that during lambing a certain percentage of the sheep will need assistance. So I plan not to leave the farm then and do prep things like stocking up with food and coffee before the lambalanch starts. I know that we will have storms and need to work on ditches, so I can prepare a list of phone numbers to call when there is an emergency. What I can't plan for is exactly when these things will occur.
                      You can have the same level disaster preparedness for "close encounters of the third kind" with your boss.

                      Have a pad and a pen for taking notes ready and your GTD Projects and Next Actions lists at hand.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Onion View Post
                        Is it possible to plan unplannable, unexpected workbthat shows up?
                        Sure. For example, I have a couple of physical inboxes that I usually keep empty.
                        They're for more urgent work that might come up from time to time.

                        David Allen says the art of personal productivity is a martial art. I consider that
                        to be a metaphor. In any case, he says it's because you need to be ready for
                        surprises. Martial arts experts may be ready at all times, being aware of the
                        distances and positions between themselves and other people during ordinary
                        times when no fight is going on, so they can avoid being in a vulnerable position
                        if a fight starts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                          Sure, I know for example that during lambing a certain percentage of the sheep will need assistance. So I plan not to leave the farm then and do prep things like stocking up with food and coffee before the lambalanch starts. I know that we will have storms and need to work on ditches, so I can prepare a list of phone numbers to call when there is an emergency. What I can't plan for is exactly when these things will occur.
                          This is eerily reminiscent of being an executive assistant! On any given day, a certain percentage of my "sheep" will need assistance. I have a list of phone numbers to call when there is an emergency. And I don't always know exactly when crises will occur! I now have a new model for executive assistants: shepherd!

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