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How GTD deals with emergency?

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  • How GTD deals with emergency?

    Hi,
    I'm working in a manufacturing environnement where serious situations or occurrences happen unexpectedly and demand my immediate action in order to avoid production line downtime: raw material shortage, parts out of specification, technical problems, safety issues, etc.

    I would like to know how GTD can help me handle this kind of situation?

    It is sure that I can't just capture the emergency, put it in my inbox and process it later. I have to process this stuff RIGHT AWAY, define the succesfull outcome which is get production line on track and loop "what's next action?" until it is done.

    Do you have any other tips?

  • #2
    Originally posted by sonturk View Post
    Hi,
    I'm working in a manufacturing environnement where serious situations or occurrences happen unexpectedly and demand my immediate action
    Sounds familiar, although my emergencies are farm related and can result in deaths. When these things happen I deal with them right then until done, however long it takes. Everything goes by the wayside until I've dealt with it, not breakfast, not anything on my TTD list, nothing but handle the immediate problem.

    Where GTD seems to be helping me is once the emergency is over I can pick up again and go back to processing stuff more normally. I haven't lost my place so to speak and while it does take a bit to get oriented back to whatever was originally scheduled for that day at least the info and what I need to do next is captured somewhere.

    My only tip is after the emergency I find I need 15-20 minutes to sit calmly, debrief what the problem was, write out what I did, write what I could have done better, if anything and document any lessons learned right then before going back to processing normal stuff.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
      Sounds familiar, although my emergencies are farm related and can result in deaths. When these things happen I deal with them right then until done, however long it takes. Everything goes by the wayside until I've dealt with it, not breakfast, not anything on my TTD list, nothing but handle the immediate problem.

      Where GTD seems to be helping me is once the emergency is over I can pick up again and go back to processing stuff more normally. I haven't lost my place so to speak and while it does take a bit to get oriented back to whatever was originally scheduled for that day at least the info and what I need to do next is captured somewhere.

      My only tip is after the emergency I find I need 15-20 minutes to sit calmly, debrief what the problem was, write out what I did, write what I could have done better, if anything and document any lessons learned right then before going back to processing normal stuff.
      I think this sums it up nicely.

      The only thing I would add is this: if you have time (ONLY IF YOU HAVE TIME -- if someone might die, don't do this), then write down the very next thing you were about to do before you deal with your emergency. This will help you get back in the groove when things calm down.

      Comment


      • #4
        During the day many things come up that are not expected or not expected at that moment - some good, some bad. If you have to react on it right away, don't sit down and record the actions. Use GTD once you have finished with your tasks. Use it to record follow-ups or any other tasks related to that event or other projects pertaining to the emergency, etc. On another note, past experience through GTD may allow you to have become familiar with the various steps involved with similar emergencies. In that case, perhaps there is a checklist or worksheet you can quickly pull out that will help you cover the different issues.

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        • #5
          to OP

          Sonturk,

          Great question. My short answer would be to drop what you are doing and go take care of the emergency. When you get back, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts.

          Now, to get extra points for being on top of things, before rushing out the door, take a glance at your calendar to make sure you don't have anything else coming up. For example, if you've got an overturned truck in the back and a meeting with one of the executives in 20 minutes, you may be making a quick call on your phone on your way to the emergency to reschedule the meeting. It will show you are really on top of things.

          As for your Next Actions, I wouldn't worry about those. One advantage of GTD is that it is quite flexible. The whole idea is that you get to them soon, but they don't have to be done at a specific time. So, get to them when you're done with the emergency.

          JohnV474

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          • #6
            A big area where GTD can help is prevention. Helping you keep track of equipment maintenance and raw material supplies so that you can see shortages coming and make sure preventative maintenance happens. Helping you make sure that the post-mortem analysis actually occurs, and the lessons learned turn into new best practices. That kind of thing.

            The nature of emergencies is that they are outside the system (any system). Like it or not, ready or not, you have to drop everything and deal with them. The goal of a system like GTD is to help with everything that *isn't* an emergency, so that when the dust settles you aren't standing around asking "now what?"

            Katherine

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            • #7
              Everything else is catpured in the trusted system.

              The great thing about GTD is that in the case of emergency you can fully engage in the action knowing that everything else is catpured in the trusted system.

              Comment


              • #8
                This definitely falls under the 'doing work as it appears' category. Also, for significant emergencies, consider having a followup project to capture learnings from the event to prevent it reoccurring or improve handling of the situation in future. Also if the events are foreseeable, ie you are aware of the risk of them occurring, be proactive and draft up checklists of what you would want to do if it does occur. These could be used by others as well as yourself, and can help share the workload when it does occur

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