View Full Version : + 40 second processing tasks - just make them tasks
09-16-2004, 05:00 AM
I frequently encounter things in my inbox that, to truly understand the next action on them, I'd need to read them pretty closely, a greater than 2 minute task.
For such items, I've just put them in an @Computer to Process, essentially meaning "when I'm at the computer, read these items and figure out if they are actionable and if so, what the next step is."
Do others do something similar? Different?
09-16-2004, 07:54 AM
Keep in mind what David says in the seminar , "the two minute rule is relative to the amount of time you have available to process" as he says if you've only got 15 minutes , you might need to make it a one minute rule . If you've got loads of time you can make it a 5 minute rule .
It all depends on what you've got to work with .
09-16-2004, 08:11 AM
I may not be ecological, but when I have longer emails or complex documents, I print them and throw them in my in basket or Read folder. Then I take it with me and process when I can.
09-21-2004, 07:48 AM
Be careful not to confuse the Process and Organize stages.
The two-minute-rule addresses the Organize stage (i.e., if something can be done in <2min [or whatever time criteria you establish], don't organize it, do it now).
This does not apply to the Processing stage. It sounds like there are some things in your inbox that will take more than two-minutes to Process. I have them too. I don't think DA would impose any time-limit on how long to allow yourself to Process (as opposed to Do) a particular thing.
By moving those items to another "basket", you're essentially deferring the Processing of them and perhaps never getting In to Empty.
I would take as long as you need to Process each item. If you don't get In Empty, you can't really feel good about the other stuff you've already Processed and Organized.
09-21-2004, 07:51 AM
Thanks, but I'm a bit confused.
Processing refers to the activity of figururing out what to DO with the item: actionable or not: due, delegate, defer, or file.
If I receive a 30 page document in my e-mail, my next action with it is really to read through it and figure out what to do. It can't be done in 2 minutes. After reading the e-mail, I may have 100 or no next actions - I don't know yet until I read the document.
09-21-2004, 08:45 AM
In the example you cited, you've processed it by deciding that the next action is to read the document to identify possible projects, next actions, someday/maybes, reference material, etc. If the document is related to a project, then you put the next action under the project. If not, it can be an independent next action. This is perfectly appropriate for documents that require significant thought or reading. It will enable you to get your inbox to empty on a regular basis instead of getting bogged down by one or two longer documents. Generally, this kind of processing is the exception rather than the rule, but, as long as you are making a genuine decision concerning your time rather than procrastinating, you are on the right track.