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Help!! initial inbox processing

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  • Help!! initial inbox processing

    Hi there,
    I set aside two days a couple weeks ago and did my initial collecting, and started my processing and organizing (which I'm doing at the same time). It is a lot of piles, of course, and now here I am two weeks later, still processing and organizing that original implementation.

    I have two young kids, and am supposed to be working part time with my husband's business. I am spending bits of time processing these piles and today was really going to "woodshed" it. But my daughter's home from school with a cold, and I just am taking so long!

    Stuff is in this pile that might be timely and I need to get back to my business work. Any suggestions? It's discouraging. But I still want to do this method. It makes sense.

    Thanks, Carol

  • #2
    Re: Help!! initial inbox processing

    Originally posted by Carol
    Stuff is in this pile that might be timely and I need to get back to my business work. Any suggestions?

    you might try this "technique" (from Tobis & Tobis, "Managing Multiple Projects"):

    Look at each document for just one second. Sort the documents into five piles: current business, important archives, trash, items to be routed, and uncertain. Dump the trash pile. Pass along the documents to be routed. Set the archive items aside, to be filed later. Put the uncertain items into a box, out of the way. That way, you've got only the current business documents, which you should group according to the active projects.
    There's a simpler version of this technique. Make a pile of documents that should be immediately routed. Make a pile of documents for each active project. Put aside any papers that don't require routing and aren't relevant to active projects.

    Though this method might not conform to GTD (because it does the processing and the organizing in one step), it's a great time-saver and it reduces your stress. When you'll have more time you can go back to strictly processing the contents of your in-boxes and deciding on each piece of paper.



    • #3
      I concur with Ranier's suggestion. The general idea is to blow through as much as you can in the two days because that will close a lot of open loops, enough to at least get a lot of things off your mind. However, it's not expected that you will get through everything in your universe. You can quickly go through your remaining items to identify your time-sensitive materials and close those loops. As for the rest, you can add next actions to your system such as "process pile of stuff on dining room table." Once you have pulled all the time-sensitive materials, you can attack the balance of materials in smaller slots of time as they become available. You can download the first two chapters of Managing Multiple Priorities at the following site:


      Good luck!


      • #4
        help! initial inbox processing

        Thanks to the two people who responded to my inquiry. It was really helpful and destressing! Carol