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in to empty (taking forever) "competes" with weekl

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  • in to empty (taking forever) "competes" with weekl

    First, I will say that GTD seems to be the best system going (I'd call myself a recovering Covey-ite)--the book, GTD, was initially a challenge to read , but the Barnes and Noble course made it more accessible, and the FAST tapes are a help as well. My "in" is a backlog of papers and a some objects: paper work pertaining to single actions, essential documents that have been very hard to retrieve before this system, and reference material for 50 projects, and some memorabilia (to be framed or used in scrapbooks) and needed items, and trash that I have been dumping! As I have worked to empty "in", I have created nearly 150 folders in my A to Z and I have many cubic feet of "in" yet to do. I seem to burn out after about 2 hours of sorting out, filing , listing, and doing 2 minute tasks (and throwing away). It also takes me about an hour to empty the daily "in" (office matters, mail at home, my kids' papers from school etc.) but I expect that this will shorten. Should I being doing weekly reviews before "in" is empty? I keep trying to set a time to do a weekly review but have only gotten to it once (it was only a review of the exisitng lists but it was helpful. What do you suggest to people who are working on backlog and have constant influx? I would appreciate your thoughts--whether your are the GTD professionals or experienced users or just anyone who has succeedeed with this type of challenge. In this realm, let's say you see an in tray that is 1 foot high--how long do you estimate it takes to get it nto existing A to Z folders?

  • #2
    Dealing with humungous "in"

    Here's what I'd do (and actually, still am doing...)

    1. Start doing full weekly reviews right now, where you are, with what you've got.

    2. Use "placeholder" projects to capture the incompleted collecting, processing, etc. (You've already pretty much done this. You noted some uncollected, unprocessed "stuff" in your post.) Example (from my list): Project: Organize garage. Next action: Collection in garage.

    3. Each week, just handle these placeholder next actions/projects like any other projects and next actions.

    (DA mentions a similar idea if you can't get to the entire implementation in a 2-day period. He recommended something like jotting notes such as "deal with shed" and the like.)


    • #3
      It ook me the better part of a month to get my initial "pile" processed. Don't give up, it really pays off.

      As for the time it takes to process the inbox, I find this too, but must remind myself of the way it was before when I didn't process this stuff until my desk was entirely filled with piles. Now gone are the weekends spent "cathcing up" on the processing and the endless search for that piece of paper that "I know is here somewhere"

      As for the weekly review, STOP what you're doing and do it now. This is the most important part of the system and the most understated in my opinion. You can't hope to free your mind unless you do this. Stephen Covey once asked an audience "How many here have been too busy driving to stop for gas?" If you can identify with that like I did, now is the time to stop...the gas station is the weekly review.


      • #4
        I also took a really long time to Process my initial Collection. I ended up breaking it off into its own Project. One that is still ongoing after 2 months!

        Setting up the general Reference File 1st thing really helps. I had lots of "Project Support" material that was strewn around my downstairs - just giving everything a "place to live" created satisfaction for me!