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How to separate Process and Organize?

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  • How to separate Process and Organize?

    Hello,
    As I am gaining experience with GTD, it is evident to me that one should separate the five phases of Collect, Process, Organize, Review and Do.

    In the second phase, Process, one is processing Inboxes to determine if the item is Actionable or Not, and if it's actionable, there are three possibilities: Do It, Delegate It, or Defer It. Now I am unclear about when exactly should I do the "delegate" and "defer". The point is, that in order to delegate something, sometimes I need to write more-than-2minutes-long email or schedule a phone call. So it is not something which takes zero time. The same is with Defer - to properly articulate NA or Project also takes some time.

    So my question is - how, if at all, do you separate Processing from Organizing? How exactly do you do the Defer part? Do you have some kind of Deffered-but-not-yet-organized box?

    Thank you,
    greyman.

  • #2
    Originally posted by greyman
    In the second phase, Process, one is processing Inboxes to determine if the item is Actionable or Not, and if it's actionable, there are three possibilities: Do It, Delegate It, or Defer It. Now I am unclear about when exactly should I do the "delegate" and "defer". The point is, that in order to delegate something, sometimes I need to write more-than-2minutes-long email or schedule a phone call. So it is not something which takes zero time. The same is with Defer - to properly articulate NA or Project also takes some time.
    If Delegating or Deferring takes more than 2 minutes, then you have next actions like:

    @email: Explain FooBar Project to Bob.
    @anywhere: Brainstorm desired outcome of Widget Launch Project.

    In either case, the item actually *is* actionable. There is a physical action that you personally need to take in order to move the project forward.

    The best way to handle Delegate and Defer items probably depends on the item and the situation. Instead of creating a Next Action to explain the FooBar project, you might want to call Bob up and schedule a meeting. The timing of the meeting then determines when you need to have the explanation done. The Widget Launch Project might be so far in the future that you can just toss a reminder in your tickler file and ignore it for six months.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Two minutes rule does not apply to defer/delegate

      Just starting off. So no doubt some of the old hands on here can correct me but the two minute rule is not applied to the defer and delegate decisions. That being the sort of time it should take you to get something into your system. So trying to avoid the trap of expending as much time recording as you do doing.

      If it is taking significantly more time than two minutes to do those actions then you need to ask yourself some questions.

      Am I physically that slow? In which case you may want to play around with the two minute rule to fit how long it takes you.

      Are you in fact doing the next action of reading a 20 page report before you process it? Do you need to read all of a report before delegating/deferring? If you do then you need to decide whether or not you are comfortable putting that action (the read report one) on your NAs.

      Tom

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      • #4
        NA is actionable without any preconditions.

        Originally posted by TC1965
        Are you in fact doing the next action of reading a 20 page report before you process it? Do you need to read all of a report before delegating/deferring? If you do then you need to decide whether or not you are comfortable putting that action (the read report one) on your NAs.
        Tom
        Since the actual NA requires analysis of the 20-page report (it will take more than two minutes) - it is really not the NA in the GTD sense because it depends on the report reading. So the report analysis shold be the NA for this project.
        NA is actionable without any preconditions.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TesTeq
          Since the actual NA requires analysis of the 20-page report (it will take more than two minutes) - it is really not the NA in the GTD sense because it depends on the report reading. So the report analysis shold be the NA for this project.
          NA is actionable without any preconditions.
          Thanks for such a beautiful comment on NAs.

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