View Full Version : How to divide stages?
07-17-2006, 12:28 AM
In his blog, Matt suggests a WorkFlow tool: The five stages on a business card cube. That's great idea to keep five stages divided in time (We (1) collect things that command our attention; (2) process what they mean and what to do about them; and (3) organize the results, which we (4) review as options for what we choose to (5) do). It means when I collect stuff, I don't process stuff. When I process I don't organize etc. In my world i got myself mixing that stages. For example I start Collection at 9:00 Monday. But nothing comes my way so I start doing my Next Actions at aprox 10:00 and as soon as I start new stuff comes my way :) Maybe I should combine to stages of Collecting and Doing i.e. do NAs while collecting new coming stuff?
07-17-2006, 12:49 AM
The collecting is constant. Stuff can come at you when you're 2) Processing, 3) Organising, 4) Reviewing, 5) Doing and, yes, occasionally when 1) Collecting. Also when you are relaxing or doing nothing. This is what the Inbox is for. It's not just other people that create the stuff. It amazes me how much new stuff I create for *myself* when I'm doing/processing/reviewing some unrelated stuff.
Maybe I should combine to stages of Collecting and Doing i.e. do NAs while collecting new coming stuff?I think you mean you want to try and *process* incoming stuff while doing other stuff. By all means try this. Some people are good multitaskers. If it doesn't work out then just put the stuff in your inbox for later processing.
07-17-2006, 08:23 AM
Hi, Eugene. You bring up an excellent point:
In his blog, Matt suggests a WorkFlow tool: The five stages on a business card cube. ... It means when I collect stuff, I don't process stuff. When I process I don't organize etc.
I suspect David Allen breaks Processing and Organizing into separate steps to emphasize the thinking process that goes on regarding "Stuff" (Processing), and to talk about the corresponding tools involved (Organizing). However, when presenting the ideas I tend to introduce them as a set - usually via a diagram similar to that in the book. While it makes a lot of sense to separate the stages in time and in tools, I believe those two stages in particular don't make much sense being done separately.
Hmm. Looks like I'll have *two* blank sides after this...
I look forward to other comments on this topic. Thanks for reading, and for bringing it up!
07-17-2006, 10:48 PM
At the moment we can make a conclusion that we should constantly work in Collecting mode switching to Processing when an interuption comes and switching to Doing when: a. Block out time for something; b. When there's no block outs or interuptions. So we can't actually divide the stages because if we do then a lot would be missing. For example, if you're not constantly in a Collecting mode you can easily miss some important calls.
07-18-2006, 05:47 AM
I interpreted the use of the cube differently. When you consciously want to be in a particular mode, set up the cube. If you get interrupted, the cube is there to remind you what mode you were in. If you get sidetracked by "doing" 2-minute things and start to "do" a longer item, the cube is there to remind you that you're supposed to be processing.
I see it as a reminder. If you choose to continue to do the longer item, you can either leave the cube on "processing" to remind you to go back to processing when the item is complete, OR move the cube to "do" to make a complete mental shift away from processing.
There would also be the satisfaction when Processing is complete, to turn the cube to another face.
So far I've made two cubes without labelling them. One was made per the design, white on the outside with the extra set of cards to make it smooth. The other was made inside out with the flaps and the business card content showing, just because. Do you think they'll be more useful if I label them?