A GTD day

(topic idea from the 43folders forum)

    I haven’t yet fully integrated GTD in my everyday routine, but as our beloved Flylady 🙂 would say, “baby steps, baby steps”.

So far, when I get to my office I open my email and got through each email I received overnight.

  • If spam, delete
  • If item for reference, archive
  • If item req. reply:
    • If it can be done immediately (i.e. <2 min.) reply in the moment, then archive if worth it. I’ve setup my email account in such a way that I have both income and outcome emails shown in my email box. That way I can, if I choose to, keep track when a colleague within my org has opened an email. Then archive response if worth it. I have found that most of the time, for really silly emails (you know the kind: “are you ready for lunch?”), I can delete them as soon as they have been delivered.
    • If item needs a longer reply, open GTD excel file and note it as n.a., then archive for reference when I get around to do it.

    I’ve found out that, even if an email is actionable, it’s enough if I note it down in my GTD n.a. list and archive the email for reference instead of moving it to my @action folder. Many have been the emails that have perished in my @action folder.

  • Do the same operations with mail (yeah, in my org. we still do some of our work with snail mail).

    Then check the n.a. list and calendar to have a general idea of how my day would look like and work on my n.a.

    My work is manageable enough for me to act on email as it comes. I know Guru Merlin’s not convinced of this way of dealing with email, but I find it’s better for me to, whenever is possible, to apply the email processing (read, delete/reply/archive) process as emails arrive because that way they don’t pile up. I don’t need to act upon them in the moment; I can always make a note in my n.a. list. In any case, the sight of an almost empty inbox soothes me so much (when I see some colleagues’ inboxes I just cringe). Just as the say goes: out of sight, out of mind. Isn’t the whole GTD process based on emptying your mind of useless stuff?


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