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    On a pretty regular basis I end up with something on my plate that needs to be done today or tomorrow, and supercedes my other work. GTD has reduced but not elminated these situations. What's the default GTD approach for these things. My guess would be that I run them through the GTD process in miniature, since they're essentially mini projects: process them into my queue, do some organization to figure out what i need to do, crank on the next actions as hard landscape items.

  • #2
    When you process your stuff and understand that it requires immediate attention, you organize it to your calendar for this day. Then when you start doing you look at the calendar and start with the most important next action on it.

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    • #3
      Thats the other kind of work

      That is one of the three kinds of work:

      Doing predefined work (ie your lists)
      Defining your work (building the lists, processing)
      Doing work as it comes in

      The last one is when your boss storms in with a big bucket of steaming crisis. The GTD components are:

      (1) You can check what comes in against your up to date inventory and make sure that it truly deserves you attention, not just because it is latest and loudest. That may mean handing your boss back the bucket, but you can at least document vividly for him why you are doing so.

      (2) you can indeed break the crisis down into projects, NAs etc to make it easier to execute

      I find that GTD does not prevent the universe from throwing crises my way, but it does make me feel more comfortable dealing with them and prevents me from failing on existing commitments because of them.

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      • #4
        Yea, you still get 'em (crises).

        My problem has been I haven't been applying the gtd steps, particularly process and organize, to these crisis, so the work seems more frenetic (e.g., since I didn't really clarify goals, I'm not sure when I'm done, I don't really have a clear list of next actions).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tnoyce View Post
          That is one of the three kinds of work:

          Doing predefined work (ie your lists)
          Defining your work (building the lists, processing)
          Doing work as it comes in

          The last one is when your boss storms in with a big bucket of steaming crisis. The GTD components are:

          (1) You can check what comes in against your up to date inventory and make sure that it truly deserves you attention, not just because it is latest and loudest. That may mean handing your boss back the bucket, but you can at least document vividly for him why you are doing so.

          (2) you can indeed break the crisis down into projects, NAs etc to make it easier to execute

          I find that GTD does not prevent the universe from throwing crises my way, but it does make me feel more comfortable dealing with them and prevents me from failing on existing commitments because of them.
          That is so well said! Thank you. I am an IT Specialist so the majority of my work is the kind that I am expected to do as it comes in. I give the person their full attention while they are there and verify what the deadline is. Leading questions are great: "What time frame does this need to be completed by? tomorrow? or Wednesday (assuming it is Monday). I never have them say it needs to be done today for that response because they have a choice. It sounds dirty but it works.

          Most of the time it is easier to just drop the item in the inbox as the person leaves and process through as soon as possible.

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          • #6
            In addition to the excellent advice already given, I'll add that it's important to a) stay on top of incoming, even in the midst of crisis (i.e., empty your inboxes daily), and b) continue to review your actions list even while in crisis mode. It's easy to focus entirely on the "as it shows up" work, but the other work is still important (or it wouldn't be on your list), and that stuff can blow up without attention. Finally, it's good to re-evaluate how much of your time is spent in reaction mode. Maybe there are changes that need to happen (via you or your boss) to reduce this.

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