The In box and physical stuff

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Castanea_d., Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Castanea_d.

    Castanea_d. Registered

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    I have before me a nice bottle of wine, given to me by a parishioner for Christmas.
    But I don't drink.

    It currently sits in my In box, on top of the incoming paper items.

    This sort of thing -- physical Stuff that comes my way -- is an area where I face strong Resistance. My strong natural inclination (and I am surely not alone in this) is to set it aside "somewhere," such as the back of my desk, or my work table. There it sits, nagging at me to Do Something with it. And before long, my office would be back in the state it was before I discovered GTD.

    Yes, I know what to do: Clarify and Organize.
    (1) Send a thank-you note (done!).
    (2) Decide on a next step (done: I am going to give it to one of my co-workers.)
    But he is on vacation for a week. So I need a place that is not my In box for the bottle. And I will need to find it when my friend returns next week. If it were a piece of paper, I would stick it in a file until then. My system can deal with that sort of thing. It is the physical stuff that is more of a problem.

    Another example, more complicated: our secretary had a nice serving plate that was left at the church after a reception. She repeatedly contacted its owner, who sometimes said she would come and get it "soon" or (more often) ignored the e-mail/phone messages. It was part of the church office for about seven months, sitting on the work counter, a place that tends to become the "In box" for the entire parish. Obviously, the owner of the plate did not care about it very much, or she would have retrieved it. Equally obvious: should the secretary have done the logical thing and given the plate to Goodwill, the lady would then show up demanding her plate and throw a fit when we no longer had it.

    In the end - just a few weeks ago - the lady did indeed show up and took her plate. Happy ending, I suppose. But that one plate ended up taking too large of a space, physically (on the work counter) and psychically, a loose end for all those months.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    For physical stuff like this, I would designate a holding space. It could be a box, filing cabinet, a shelf, etc. You would then have a tickler to give the bottle of wine to your friend when he returns. The same for the plate, except that would be a waiting for on the lady to show to pick up her plate.
     
  3. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I have LOTS of that sort of thing. What I've done is exactly what Longstreet suggests, create a box or location for the physical stuff and ut a paper ticker into your system.

    I've ended up with one collection or action support box/area in each major location, main house, guest house, shop building, red barn and hay barn because things may not be easily moved from one location to another. I REALLY don't want the ram breeding harnesses in the house so I have them in the hay barn ready to put on the next set of breeding boys. I don't want the chicken waterer replacement parts in the shop but they can live comfortably in the Red barn until needed.

    The key in my experience is to put a note or tickler into whatever system you use to track such things so that the physical action support area does not get too full and things move in an out as appropriate.
     
  4. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    Both your examples are Waiting Fors in my opinion. I would put the items anywhere out of view and add the description of where I put them to the Waiting For. Also I would add a "DO NOT MOVE" note to wherever I put the physical items.

    Adding children to the immediate environment makes this kind of issue even more wonderfully challenging....
     
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  5. Castanea_d.

    Castanea_d. Registered

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    Thanks for all the ideas! The key take-aways for me are to put this kind of stuff into a predictable location, with a tickler in my TBD system as to its next action and where it is, and out of my primary workspace. My pre-GTD failing had been a need to keep it in plain view because I didn't trust myself to remember where I put it. I do trust myself nowadays - partly because my office is no longer a pack-rat's nest, and I don't want it to ever get that way again.
     
  6. Jodie E. Francis

    Jodie E. Francis GTD Novice

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    Is anyone else giggling over the visual of a nice bottle of wine sitting atop the paper in an inbox?
    Inbox zero, here I come! <hic>
     
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