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Inbox processing and today tasks

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  • Inbox processing and today tasks

    What are people doing with an item that you take out of “in”, is “actionable”, will take longer than 5 minutes, but needs to be dealt with today? It doesn’t seem that filing it or putting it in a “tickler” file would work, and back into “in” is forbidden.

  • #2
    Just do it! If it needs to be done and doesn't take longer than 5 min - get it over with. No need to be _that_ strict with the 2 min rule. It's not a new religion, it all about getting things done.

    So just do it.

    (If it would take one hour or so to complete, well that's another story...)


    • #3
      That's what I meant when I said. "is “actionable”, will take longer than 5 minutes, but needs to be dealt with today?". What do you do with the time consuming items? Leave them on my desk until I can get to it?


      • #4
        in box v. must do today

        I put the papers on my desk blotter with a paperweight and then add a list of them as "must do today" tasks on my calendar page.

        I think this is pretty orthodox GTD.



        • #5
          You've already described the answer in your post .. .. .. if, indeed, this MUST be done today, it deserves the "hard landscape" of your calendar. Put it there and do it.



          • #6
            I think he's talking about What do you do with the physical document (i.e., the Visa bill itself that you have to call about).

            I keep wrestling with this, but end up doing like CSGiles, and put it in a special designated area of my desk (assuming it doesn't go with something that already has official files). However, this seems to be counter productive because then every time my eyes fall on it, it screams "Why aren't you doing me?" like the garage that needs to be cleaned in DA's FAST tapes.

            So I started a pile of file folders for stuff like this. Temporary files, if you will. Pretty colors so they don't get mixed up with regular manila files. I just stick a post-it note on the label area of the tab and throw the visa bill in and stick them on the shelf. Voila, clean desk. BUT, if the appointment on your calender or NA on your todo list doesn't remind you to do it, the visa bill is out of sight-out of mind, lost and gone until much too late. Theoretically, one would go through these folders at the weekly review to make sure nothing stagnates in there, but I'm still working on that.


            • #7
              You want your desk to be clear at the end of the day. It doesn't have to be clear all day long, you have work to do. So put it on your desk. Do it, clear it off. At the end of the day, if these are truly "must be done today" items, your desk will be clear.



              • #8
                Inbox processing and today tasks

                Maybe try an extra file tray (i.e., in-type box) dedicated to work-in-process/pending stuff. DA uses two of these (according to the "how I set up my workspace" document in the tools & tips section of this website)...


                • #9

                  What I do with material such as this (assuming it has to be done TODAY) is either:

                  1. If it's project-related, I mark it on my calendar and put it into the appropriate project-support folder.

                  2. If it's not project-related, I mark it on my calendar and put it into either my "@Action Support" folder or my "@Wating For..." folder.

                  If it doesn't have to be done today, the support goes in the same place - the reminder just goes on my @NA list in the appropriate context rather than on my calendar.




                  • #10
                    Must Do Today


                    I think the important thing is that every piece of space must have a specific and memorized use. For example, you may have an Outbox tray on your desk for outgoing mail and for stuff you need to take with you the next time you leave home/office, or a For Filing tray, but you may choose to keep that stuff in labelled files in a drawer or beside the filing cabinet or on a table beside the door, if you prefer to retain more desk space. It doesn't matter where you put your "To be Done Doday" stuff, as long as you have a reminder in your Calendar and you know where the materials are. The important thing is to do it today. Once it's done, where you kept the materials temporarily becomes irrelevant.