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Processing time

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  • Processing time

    Processing and organizing has two aspects. First, it should be done daily not to miss any time related activity. And second, it requires uninterupted thinking time to define "what's the outcome" and "what's the next action". It looks like it requres a devoted time slot. Am I right? I'm curious when GTDers usually do their processing and how long it takes?

  • #2
    Originally posted by deart;70360It looks like it requres a devoted time slot. Am I right? I'm curious [B
    when [/B]GTDers usually do their processing and how long it takes?
    I process any nighttime notes in the morning when I drink my coffee and read news and forums. Takes maybe 5 minutes, often I don't have anything to process. I also check my calendar & check the weather. After morning chores I collect notes and info generated during chores and after dealing with any disasters or emergencies I process them when I come in for a break before starting the major work of the day. I pick a context to be in based on weather and availability of help and grab a list to start doing. I tend to generate a lot of stuff to process before lunch as part of doing things on the lists I am working so after lunch (I take a half an hour for lunch) I spend another half an hour or so processing my inbox of paper stuff. I'm trying to process my e-mail inbox to zero then as well but that is much slower. If I've done a lot of hard physical work in the morning then I try to take a brief nap in the afternoon. I also use that time to read and usually generate about 15-20 items to be processed then. I do another quick processing session when I get going again after the midday break and before evening chores. This time it usually takes about 15 minutes. One of my chores is to get the mail so when I get back in before I start dinner I process the mail and any other items that have come up and been dumped into my inbox. Usually takes between 15 minutes to half an hour. After dinner there is family time until our late evening chores just before dark. Sometimes I work lists after the late chores, sometimes we watch a movie or read or I work on hobby projects. If I generate any new stuff I dump it in my inbox and will process it the next morning.

    I guess total average processing time is between 1-1.5 hours total a day. My when is at obvious breaks during the day.


    • #3
      I agree that processing requires a devoted slot of time, but not necessarily a fixed block of time. I also have to be in executive thinking mode to do it.

      I usually process work e-mail 3-4 times per day (on arrival at office, mid-morning, after lunch, mid-afternoon) and once at home. I spend 30-90 minutes in processing each day.

      When I'm the first to get home from work I sometimes process my in-baskets right away while I have privacy. If I'm not the first home, I usually get started on making dinner and then do it about an hour before bedtime as part of my end-of-the-day routine. If I find I don't have the time or energy I do an emergency scan and save it for morning or next evening.


      • #4
        Well, I do have fixed times for processing, but that's not the only time I process.

        For example, I process my work emails when I first get in to work every morning. I also process them throughout the day, of course. Same thing with my physical inbox; at the beginning of the day, and throughout the day as appropriate.


        • #5
          Processing time

          Ideally, I process first thing in the morning UNLESS I know I have something huge to get done immediately, in which case I do the urgent thing first with full concentration then process afterwards.

          Processing for me typically takes one minute per item, including in that average the 2 minute tasks. Between building a house, running three businesses, friends, hobbies, and family, that means over an hour of processing per day. In that hour I will accomplish a lot of little things as well as lay out my days ahead.



          • #6
            Originally posted by deart View Post
            when GTDers usually do their processing and how long it takes?
            Email - pretty much constantly throughout the day since my boss(es) use email for urgent communication and I need to stay on top of it. I get my inbox to zero about every other day and it usually ends up taking a half hour of processing time to do so.

            Physical inbox and voice recorder - every couple of days worst case once a week during the weekly review. Time is highly variable depending on how many meetings notes I've got in there and the quantity of actionable material. Inbox processing during weekly review usually takes me almost an hour.