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order to chaos by express :-(

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  • order to chaos by express :-(

    I was afraid this would happen!!
    Here's my confession - after feeling great with understanding the concepts of this fantastic approach and setting everything up so it was how i felt 'ready to go' - I got a very very busy spell and it all fell apart.
    Everything seemed to crash - but the most significant area of chaos was my inbox. I couldn't get to it. But I HAD to get to it because buried in there was important stuff that needed to be found during the week. I was working very very late each night on my important next actions but had to forego processing my in's to empty - at best all I did was try to spend a few minutes when I had to SEARCHING for stuff - ahhhh it brought back all the terrible memories of being out of control !!
    I then started to lose things and run late for appointments - all this after doing so well!! I'm about to go away for the weekend and have still not done all my 'critical by the end of the week things' - I've done some... but nowhere enough because I've been fretting about the new 'chaos'.
    I think when I needed to 'tidy' my desk say for instance when a client was due any minute I would use the in box as a dumping ground - I know that is not the right thing to do but I didn't want to make any 'piles' outside of the inbox. I was also doing the shuffling to put out fire kind of thing at critical moments.
    What is this barrier I have with processing the yukky things and getting to empty? I broke the rules of not putting aside the ones I didn't like....,
    Running an it consultancy from home, two children with lots of extra curricular activities, trying to do 36 hours in 24, oh well you get the picture.
    Any words of wisdom to get me back on the straight and narrow would be appreciated!!!

    Have a nice weekend....


  • #2
    Getting "in to empty" is really just about baby steps.

    Remember, you don't have to DO anything on that stuff that's in "in", unless it'd take less than 2 minutes.

    You just have to DECIDE what needs to be done, then park a reminder of that, and have a place to file any physical paper that's left on the matter. (I've found that once I extracted information and the project from a piece of paper, often I don't even need the paper anymore. If you do, get a filing area and use it).

    On the GTD CD set, DA talks about "working from zero base", meaning that whenever possible the e-mail is emptied and the inbox is emptied. Again, not everything it DONE, it's just processed and parked. That way, when a wicked week like you've described comes along, you don't have to worry about what's in "in". The only way to get there is to bite the bullet and get through your inbox now.


    • #3

      You are not alone. I, too, tidy my desk by putting things back in the IN basket. At least then I know where it is.

      The problem with an IN basket is that the old stuff get buried. I sometimes flip the contents over so that I am processing the older things first.

      Esquire is right, baby steps.

      Have you tried just working on your IN basket in 10-15 minute spurts. I sometimes find, as I am shutting up the house for the night, putting the cats out etc, I sit at my desk and just do a little bit of sorting. Everthing is quiet and I am more productive. Works for me, hope it helps you.