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work simplification/measuring work volume

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  • work simplification/measuring work volume

    It seems to me that GTD is a form of work simplification-- someother time management/productivity methods make work more complicated- a real problem, esp. when our work involves the application of knowledge and each product is a unique application. As I have been tryng to empty "in", I keep coming upon existing files with titles that would only be meaningful if I handled them every day and could remember what was in them. No wonder there is a back log--It was too complex a job to remember how to refile a folder and too complex to add to them quickly, so the stack of "to do" just got bigger and bigger. Now for the question-- as I continueing with tryng to empty "in" how might I assess (measure)my progress?I have reduced what was nearly a waist-high stack to one that is just above the ankle. But there are many, many stacks to go and an outside viewer would not see the progress! It sure is hard to explain what I have done all day. It seems to take about a minute per item at this point--to glance at it, decide what file it goes into or make a new file and add to my next action or projects list. Also, any thoughts on how to handle real objects (unfilable) that appear in "in" such as video tape of a presentation, a library book, co-worker's glasses, button to a suit, a friend's earring I found in the lobby and put on my desk, a combination lock that belongs in another room now, a tape recorder that needs returning to radio shack, some printer cartridges that are the wrong size and need to go to office depot, some samples I need to show a co-worker, a set of cds and work book that are too big for a file folder but pertain to a SDM project and a similar set for a definite project. I am thinking that "return items to rightful homes" might merit a project heading--but a few are in my action list not yet in buckets.Any and all ideas will be considered.

  • #2
    If you're an advocate of 'pure' GTD, go with the following:

    -using the 2 minute rule for each item
    -if > than 2 minutes, use Workflow Diagram---pend, set up Next Actions, etc.

    Keep it simple. Ask clarifying questions to lead to the Next Action.

    Videotape presentation? (What is it? Do I really need to see it? If so, when? Where? How much time do I need?)

    Library book (same questions as above)

    Co-workers glasses (Is the co-worker there? Can you return them right away? Or put them in a place that you will remember to look when you see the coworker?)

    Button to suit (Do I still have the suit? Can I sew? If not, can I find someone who does?)

    You get the idea.

    The 'aha' came to me once I started 'dumbing down' my systems...more is getting done, less analyzed to death...HTH...


    • #3
      In regards to physical objects, I have a bookshelf/drawer system that’s right next to my filing system. Basically it’s a bookshelf on top and on the bottom are 3 drawers.

      Now suppose I have to return glasses to a coworker, I would put the glasses in say, the first drawer and then write down in my @People category:

      When I see Jon, return glasses [BD-1]

      The BD means Bookshelf/Drawer and the “-1” means the FIRST drawer. Likewise if it was a book I would put it on the bookshelf and it would be [BD-0]

      And if I may elaborate, basically if I have a Todo that has a reference to anything, I’ll write it w/ that Todo.


      • #4
        As someone just quoted on another thread, "don't use piles and files as reminders of things you need to do". It sounds to me like your piles and physical objects are all supposed to remind you of something. I don't have the solution to your problems of measuring progress and what to do with physical objects, but it sounds to me like you need to stop using these physical objects to remind yourself of something.