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When do you process your inboxes?

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  • When do you process your inboxes?

    I used to block off the time but usually the time have to be shifted because of the more important stuff coming. Do you block off time for daily inboxes processing or connect that to some circumstances or contexts?



  • #2
    Only when I know I need to catch up


    I've found that processing is part of the natural rhythm of my day and that, in general, it works fine to get my Inboxes empty on an ad hoc basis as time and circumstances permit. There are two exceptions for me.

    The first is when I know I will be offline for a specific reason - an all-day meeting, a trip to a conference, a vacation - when I now there will be an accumulation I will have to deal with that will require time to handle properly. In those cases, I block the one to three hours I think I'll need and turn off outside distractions until I'm back to empty.

    The second is Fridays - the day I have found works best for me to do my Weekly review. I not only block out time mid-afternoon to do the actual review but also time immediately before lunch to get In empty so I do not fall into the trap of using WR time for processing.



    • #3
      last thing i do

      I usually make processing my inbox the last thing I do during my work day. Every inbox item that I add throughout the day gets processed at the end of the day. It is either the last thing I do at the office, or the last thing I work on at home when I am working at the house.


      • #4
        I try to process daily.

        Email inbox is done at the end of most days. Physical intray the same, although not as rigidly. I like to look back at a clean desk and empty intray as I close my office door. What a GTD feeling....

        Like Marc says, I make a special effort if I am going to be away to do a physical purge.

        I also set aside time before my weekly review (Monday mornings) and ensure it is clean and clear so I can think through my weekly review.


        • #5
          Oh, I check me (e-) Inbox when I'm "between tasks", and I'm not 100% what I need to do next. Say 2-4 times a day?


          • #6
            I check my inbox (email and hard copies) at odd random moments during the day. At the end of the working day I make a special effort to "clear to empty".


            • #7
              Empty in-box in the morning

              I found I am more successful getting my physical in-box to empty first thing in the morning. I then feel like my Lists represent all the work I'm aware of. It's also a kick-start or mental reboot that engages me in my lists more actively than scanning them does. At the end of the day when I'm trying to get out of the door, knowing that I can drop any loose items in my in-box and I'll look at them first thing in the morning closes a loop for me.

              As long as I get my physical in-box to empty once a day, I'm satisfied. I don't feel I need to keep it empty all day. I am not always successful with my electronic in-box. And now that I'm thinking about it, it may be because I have a different mindset about it. I am trying to keep it empty all day. I need to work at getting it empty once a day and see if that works for me.