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Hi everyone - n00b here! My first question - Doesn't the weekly review violate...

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  • Hi everyone - n00b here! My first question - Doesn't the weekly review violate...

    ...the old principle to touch each piece of paper (or group of electrons now, I suppose) only once?

    I know that it really doesn't but it just seems like it might.

    And how about stacked desks being bad? I'm not sure if it was in GTD or not, but I have read productivity books where the author says that stacked desks are bad. But if the stacks are reviewed regularly, are they all that bad? There is a lot to the out of sight out of mind.

    Anyway, I have read GTD quite a few times and I think it is finally starting to sink in. And I must say that by far the best part was getting to Inbox 0 (I have to credit the article by that name with helping me do it, although GTD certainly helped also). There is NOTHING as nice organizing-wise as a clean inbox. So relaxing. Yes, it's mostly just sweeping the dirt under the rug, but hey, I throw SOME dirt away!

    Anyway, I look forward to sharing thoughts with you all on this stuff. Heaven knows I need to Get Things Done.

  • #2
    My answer for both questions

    First of all, welcome

    Touching each piece of paper with something written on it, or going through a stack over an over again, forces you to have to decide each time, "what does this mean?" The action associated with it isn't immediately evident all the time, especially not down to the exact next action required (if there are several). When you have to decide over and over again what the next action is, and then decide if it can or should be done then, it's not efficient. When he says to touch it only once, he means to make the decision of what it means and put that where you'll be reminded of it at the appropriate place/time.

    What you put on your lists is the actions you need to do. The weekly review is to decide if they are still relevant or if they have changed. It's also a time to ensure you have captured everything you need to capture, included some deeper level thinking. Some things may move from your someday/maybe list to your action lists, and vice versa. What you're really doing is making sure your lists are still relevant to what you want to accomplish. You also can plan your next week around the changes that have been added to it since your last review. You're not making the decision of what the action is, but making decisions about the actions you've identified as needing to be done.

    I hope that helps un-muddy the water a little bit


    • #3
      Thanks for the welcome and good answer, njefferson. I love the weekly review since it makes me feel on top of things.

      On the broad subject of GTD, it really did energize me this weekend to process and clear out my snail mail inbox that has been festering for YEARS!

      I didn't deal with everything, just the two minute jobbers. Next is to process the much smaller residue container and write that all down, or maybe just use the container itself as the reminder, to process items as I have time.

      But what about that? Is it worth the time to write it all down? I'm thinking maybe it will help decide which is the next action, but it will also take time to write down and maintain.

      I love this trying to streamline a system since my old system stunk!


      • #4
        This is addressed directly in GTD:
        There's a one-way path out of "in". This is actually what was meant by the old admonition to "handle things once," though handling things just once is in fact a bad idea. If you did that, you'd never have a list, because you would finish everything as soon as you saw it. You'd also be highly ineffective and inefficient, since most things you deal with are not to be acted upon the first time you become aware of them.



        • #5
          But I put it in HOLD or REVIEW, not back in IN!

          Weak, I know. Thanks, that passage is familiar. It is a book that really needs to be reread a few times, simple as most of it is.