Next action(s) and one thing at a time

Gardener

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According to David Allen, you should have processed an item bevore you do it (even in two minutes). And to proceed follows collecting. In my opinion it makes sense to split these steps and to respect the sequence.
Are you sure that you're required to process a two minute item? Do you mean, as in write it down/type it?

I've always assumed that if I think, "Oh, yeah, I should take the chicken out to thaw," the two minute rule would tell me to go get the chicken and put it in the fridge, without writing anything down.
 

Murray

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@Murray What about collecting? Why collect something when you can just do it in less than 2 minutes?
My understanding is that the two minute rule doesn't apply there. Collecting/capturing doesn't take anywhere near as much time as organising and tracking an action, and many of the items that are collected will just be trashed in the processing phase. David has said pretty much this about his mind sweeps.

...which doesn't mean you have to collect it rather than do it. It just means that the 2 minute rule doesn't apply, if I'm not mistaken.

I haven't got the book handy right now but here is a quite from one of David's "Two Minute Tip" podcasts:

"First of all, the key thing is to decide what’s the very next action on something I need to do about any of this change that’s happening, any of this stuff I’m involved in right now. What would I need to do next? Once you’ve decided very clearly and specifically what that is if you can do it in less then two minutes, do it right then. Teflon, boom! In and out."


"decide what's the very next action" strongly implies we doing more than just capturing something that's on our mind and we are clarifying/processing.
 

Murray

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According to David Allen, you should have processed an item bevore you do it (even in two minutes). And to proceed follows collecting. In my opinion it makes sense to split these steps and to respect the sequence.
This doesn't sound right to me. Doing "work as it shows up" is definitely a big part of GTD and would not necessarily involve any collecting or processing before doing the work.
 
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RomanS

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Doing "work as it shows up" is definitely a big part of GTD and would not necessarily involve any collecting or processing before doing the work.
That's correct but has in my opinion nothing to do with the two minute rule. The two minute rule is in my understanding an instrument in the planning process: "Shall I do it immediately or later?" And "plan your work" is one kind of work. Another kind of work is "work as it shows up" (unplanned) regardless of whether the completion takes one, two or 60 minutes.
 

TesTeq

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According to David Allen, you should have processed an item bevore you do it (even in two minutes). And to proceed follows collecting. In my opinion it makes sense to split these steps and to respect the sequence.
@Roman (German speaking) What about the extreme example: your boss/coleague/wife enters a room and asks for a pencil because she lost hers. Do you collect her request in your inbox for further processing and organizing or simply give her your pencil? @Gardener
GTD is the Advanced Common Sense – not the Ridiculous Set of Rules..
 

RomanS

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@Roman (German speaking) What about the extreme example: your boss/coleague/wife enters a room and asks for a pencil because she lost hers. Do you collect her request in your inbox for further processing and organizing or simply give her your pencil? @Gardener
GTD is the Advanced Common Sense – not the Ridiculous Set of Rules..
@TesTeq No, I would not. I would stop doing planned work (option 1 according to DA) or planning the work (option 2 according to DA, where the 2 minute rule is relevant) and do work as it shows up (option 3 according to DA, where the 2 minute rule is not relevant) and give her the pencil.
 

schmeggahead

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@Murray What about collecting? Why collect something when you can just do it in less than 2 minutes?
I remember David Allen saying during collecting "If you can quickly put it where it belongs, do that."
Kind of implied that the what is it question and the what is my relationship to it question had both been answered by just picking it up and looking at it.
 

Gardener

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That's correct but has in my opinion nothing to do with the two minute rule. The two minute rule is in my understanding an instrument in the planning process: "Shall I do it immediately or later?" And "plan your work" is one kind of work. Another kind of work is "work as it shows up" (unplanned) regardless of whether the completion takes one, two or 60 minutes.
I think I'm still disagreeing.

For example, if I'm at work when it occurs to me that I should thaw the chicken, I might put "thaw chicken" in the inbox. It'll be several hours before I can do it, so it's not work as it shows up.

But when I get home and happen to see that while looking at my lists, I'm not going to process it. I'm going to go to the freezer, move the chicken from freezer to fridge, and delete "thaw chicken" right from my inbox without ever processing it.
 

schmeggahead

Registered
I might put "thaw chicken" in the inbox. It'll be several hours before I can do it, so it's not work as it shows up.
I would put "thaw chicken" in my inbox, then immediately move it to "@home" context that's where I need to see it (process & organize) and add a location trigger (my system supports it). That's what I personally need to do for me to get it off of my mind. That's me.

Process and organize can be automatic things, routine. For me, put book back on shelf doesn't require capture at all.

Our systems are there for us to control, not the other way around.

If putting "thaw chicken" in your inbox & not processing works to clear your head & generates the desired action, it is processed and organized.

Clayton.
 
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