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Have a lot of calls so need to skip other actions

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  • Have a lot of calls so need to skip other actions

    My day is hectic and I have lots of meetings. Usually any meeting is about 1 hour long and goes back to back. I can do nothing about that because this is my profession. I blocked time for DOING daily in my calendar. As all of you I have a lot on my action lists and I can't do everything. So I need to choose. I can say that my profession assumes I need to make a lot of calls and I prefer to spend my doing time with calls. As a result my @office and @mac lists keep growing. I think to make a devoted time for @Mac and @Office, not so often but at least once per week.

    Any other ideas?

  • #2
    How many NAs do you typically have on your @Calls, @Office and @Mac lists? Also, is where you typically make your calls also at the office and at your mac?


    • #3
      Here are some ideas. These are just suggestions so you can, if you want, select
      any that might be helpful and ignore the rest.

      You can bring a laptop computer to meetings and do stuff during the meetings.

      Surely there's at least about 1 minute between meetings; people have to walk
      into and out of the room. Maybe you can use this time to do things on a laptop
      computer, handheld device or paper notebook, possibly while walking (although
      you also have to watch where you're going), or while you say "just a minute" and
      others wait -- they might also want to use that time to get a drink of water or

      You can extend the length of your workday, cutting into personal time.

      You can keep phone calls short. You can sound very warm and friendly and inviting
      for a minute or two as if you're happy to talk for a long time, then interrupt the call
      by saying "I'm really sorry, but I have six other calls I need to make before a meeting
      in 15 minutes." You can purposely schedule your calls to near the end of your "doing"
      time so that you can honestly say things like that; that is, e.g. do a few minutes of computer stuff near the beginning of your "doing" time, then fill the rest of the
      time with calls.

      You can probably reduce your total workload: reduce number of clients, work part-time, etc.

      You can ask others in the same profession how they manage.

      You can arrive late for meetings, perhaps rushing in with a flustered
      look and an apology. Or, you can state that you need to leave a meeting early.
      Maybe you can skip some meetings as if you'd forgotten to go.

      You can do computer stuff while eating lunch, or in the evening at home
      in a relaxed mood as if it's a hobby. You can use a method of commuting
      to and from work, such as taking a bus, which allows you time to do
      stuff on the computer.

      You can change your system to do more in a paper notebook rather than
      a computer so you can more easily do it at times like while waiting in line
      at the grocery store.

      You can do stuff on the computer while talking on the phone.

      You can do some things by email instead of on the phone.

      Maybe you can use different software or different ways of using it to
      get the things done much faster. You can think about the purpose
      of the tasks and what you would actually have to do if you had ideal

      You can decide to let a lot of things just drop: when the thing comes
      up, you can just decide immediately "I'm never going to do that; I choose
      to spend my time on calls and meetings" and never put it on the computer
      or do anything with it. You can select only a small number of essential
      things to do. (This would save you even the time it takes to put it
      on a someday/maybe list, but would violate the GTD method and might
      leave you worrying about it, interfering with stress-free productivity.)

      You can start saying
      "no" to some of the meetings. Maybe your co-workers would follow
      your example and be grateful to you.
      You can consider whether the expectations in your profession are reasonable
      and whether those expectations can be changed.

      You can embrace the meetings: think of them as a opportunity
      to get meaningful stuff done in cooperation with others, and find
      ways to accomplish things by networking during the meetings instead
      of on the computer.

      Originally posted by alenabakai View Post
      Usually any meeting is about 1 hour long and goes back to back. I can do nothing about that because this is my profession.
      I have trouble with that. That reminds me of then-Prime Minister John Turner saying
      "I had no option". One always has options.

      I don't know your situation, but I know that you don't have to think and write
      in those terms. You can choose to say things like "I'm choosing to go to the meetings
      because the consequences of missing one would be worse than the loss of an hour
      of 'doing' time." That's more empowering language. Maybe you can think of
      even better words than that, focussing on the benefits of going.

      If you have a supervisor, you can tell them that you need to reduce the number
      of meetings and calmly and professionally explain why.
      I don't know what the effect of telling them this would be, but
      it is one of your options.

      You don't have to live up to others' expectations. If people expect things
      that are humanly impossible, it would be ridiculous to say that you have
      to do those things.


      • #4
        Originally posted by mthar1 View Post
        How many NAs do you typically have on your @Calls, @Office and @Mac lists? Also, is where you typically make your calls also at the office and at your mac?
        I have 36 calls, 12 mac and 1 office.


        • #5
          cwoodgold, I have found a gold in your proposals. Thanks a lot for a lot of them, they could be helpful not only to me. I'd say GTD Connect staff can create a FAQ section based on your answer.

          I assume I would never finish my computer list and I would never see it empty. So the idea is to give time to those actions. So I decided to start my doing time with @Mac actions, I'll give them 15 minutes and see if that helps.

          Thanks for your advice!!!


          • #6
            I should know better than asking two questions at the same time...

            Also, is where you typically make your calls also at the office and at your mac?

            Originally posted by alenabakai View Post
            I have 36 calls, 12 mac and 1 office.
            Good. That means that you do not have a ridiculously big number of things on your list that never get done.

            Now, I don't know what kind of stuff that is or how long it would take to get all those NAs completed, but if you could check off one thing on the @Mac and @Office lists per day, that's completing all of the actions in a two week period. Whether that is relevant or not, I'd suggest that you evalute how much time you think you would need and how much time you are prepared to give for each list, just give you some perspective on whether you are actually focusing enough on the things that you most want to move forward.

            And, if I may ask, do you do your Weekly Reviews regularly? The point I'm looking for here is whether you are comfortable with your higher levels of horizon, i.e. whether your problem here is mainly that of prioritising or of overload.


            • #7
              Originally posted by alenabakai View Post
              cwoodgold, I have found a gold in your proposals. ...
              Thanks for your advice!!!
              You're welcome!!! I'm glad you found something helpful in them.

              I have one more to add. Again, this is just a suggestion, so you can ignore
              it if it doesn't work for you.

              You can bring a laptop computer to meetings, and plan to spend a fraction
              of each meeting doing things on the computer that are more-or-less related
              to that meeting; for example, if during the meeting someone asks you to
              send an email, you can say "OK, I'll do it right now...". You can assign
              each action to a context related to particular meetings. You can make an
              effort to make good eye contact etc. for most of the meeting so people
              don't mind.

              I like the idea of typing up minutes of a meeting during a meeting, and
              emailing them out just as the meeting adjourns. Not only does it save you
              time, but the participants may be more interested in reading them if they
              receive them immediately. Actually, currently I don't
              do that, as it was slowing down the meeting partly because I was using
              an unfamiliar keyboard and mouse so I could take notes a lot faster on paper,
              but I might get back to that method sometime with better hardware and software.