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Making a start

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  • Making a start

    Ok, I've nearly finished Davids book. I've gone through the initial collection (an experience in itself) and set up Bonsai on my Palm. What I didn't quite grasp is this:
    Anything that comes my way gets placed in my In-Basket. When do I deal with that stuff? It can't all wait until my weekly review - or can I go through this in-box more frequently?
    I feel I've missed something from the book - I'll need to go through the book again, I'm sure, but any pointers would help.

  • #2
    Re: Making a start

    Originally posted by SteadyEdd
    ...When do I deal with that stuff? It can't all wait until my weekly review....
    I deal with it all the time!

    Depending on how busy I am, I constantly check my lists and go through my In box.

    If I'm really into it, I pick a random reference folder and dump it into my In-box. By pretending it's new stuff, I process it as such, purging some of it and refiling other stuff, maybe in another exosting or new folder.

    Good luck


    • #3

      Thanks. I worry sometimes that I read a book like Davids and treat the principles as Gospel rather than apply some common sense and tailoring it to suit my situation (whilst obviously maintaining the principles).


      • #4
        Originally posted by SteadyEdd
        ...treat the principles as Gospel
        It is Gospel (at least kinda).

        As you will find in this forum though, people interpret DA's book to fit their own situation (much like the Gospel).



        • #5
          How often you go into your inbasket depending on What is in your inbaskets...

          I have many inbaskets,

          Cell Phone: Clean everytime I got a message.
          Home Answer Machine: Clean everyday when I got home
          Work Answer Machine: Clean at least 4 times a day
          Email: Get clean and processed everytime I change or engaged a new activity (sometimes is an hours, sometimes is half sometimes is 2 hours)
          Paper Inbasket: At least 3 times a day
          Palm Inbasket: (I copy my inputs in the road in the palm) At least once a day
          Paper block of notes at work: At least once a day
          Home Paper Inbasket: Once a week (the day before the WR)

          Remember something important, the weekly review is not for cleaning the house, yes there is always something to clean, but is not the main objective of the weeklyreview. In my expirence, if you wait to the WR to deal with all the paper and input of the week, you will need 4 or more hours for the WR, I prefer to work in little chunks everyday.

          Now that you read the book I recommend you to get GTDFast!, that can help you get to the next level faster than read and read the book (at least for me is a big help)


          • #6
            I agree that you need to process the stuff in your inboxes regularly. Although you may have a few things to process during your weekly review, it can be difficult to get to the heart of the review if your system is incomplete. Some people like to schedule extra time for processing the day before their weekly review, so that their processing is reasonably up to date. How often you process will depend upon the type of inbox and the type of input you receive (e.g., if you receive a lot of e-mail, you may have to spend more time on your e-mail than on your paper inbox).

            Peter, I like the idea of putting a reference file in your inbox every once in a while. A rolling purge of files would be a lot easier than a single, once-a-year massive throw out session (or at least make the once-a-year thing a little less painful).


            • #7
              Processing is separate to Review

              Hi SteadyEdd

              The Processing step is separate from the Review step. To perform a weekly review, you need to have processed and organised your various inputs. For many a Weekly Review starts with ensuring that all loose ends are collected, reviewed and organised. For others this may be done.

              Personally, I like to process my paper in tray every 1-2 days. I personally like turning and looking at my desk as I close my office door, and noting an empty in tray and clean desk. I can't say I do this all the time, but my average is improving.

              I try to do the same with email - I like it being empty when I go home. Then I know there are no "time bombs" lurking in my immediate domain.

              Oh, and I also empty my voicemail regulaly - often I simply "re-collect" onto a scrap of paper then toss into teh intray.

              I also second the suggestion to get GTD Fast. I am actually in the process of listening to these again - something I do about once every 3-4 months.

              Hope this helps.



              • #8
                Hi All

                Further to my previous post. Listenting to GTD Fast, I noted that David made a comment that (paraphrased)

                Gather and process is not part of the review - they are there so you can do a review


                • #9
                  When do I process?

                  Originally posted by jmarkey
                  I agree that you need to process the stuff in your inboxes regularly.
                  This question comes up after I deliver seminars or when someone who has read the book and asks how to implement it. I remember one client said his weekly review took 4 hours once! He said, "I can't spend 4 hours a week doing this."

                  When he said that, I asked him how much he DID during the weekly review. His answer?! "A ton!" He told me how he emptied his inbasket, filed his papers and got through his inbox.

                  Well, it turned out he was trying to do all FIVE of the phases, instead of one at a time. So, this week, or weekend, try "just" processing a little bit. When? Try this...

                  When you work on a NA you'll have the Outcome/Project in mind. You can work linearly through a Project until you hit an impasse; this is when to identify a next action and add it to the list:

                  A. absolute impasse: you can't do the next action, period (e.g., you need to talk to Bill and Bill is not available, you called Bill and left a voice mail). You have to leave off the project.

                  B. relative impasse: you could continue with the project but you would have to change context (e.g., go to store to buy supplies, boot up laptop to write memo, go to filing room to retrieve file). You then have a choice whether to change contexts to do the next action or to stay in the current context, check your context list to see what else you could do right now and do something. It's your choice - I generally go by priority and momentum.

                  The weekly review is just that, a review. I know it's tough, but it's worth it.

                  If you have not seen, there are some great "coach's perspectives" on the weekly review over at the "Coach's Corner" site:



                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas. I guess it's down to what's best in my situation and circumstances. I feel that I've been looking at the Weekly Review as the time to move forward on all the things that have landed in my In Basket during the week rather than addressing those items throughout the week at regular intervals and keep the Weekly Review to just that, a review. I can see that this is going to take a while to get my head around.