It doesn't work!
A long time ago I start working with gtd. Over time I realized, that there are some typical things, that doesn't work well.
For me it is the empty physical inbox. Its become bigger and bigger and not more empty, as it should.
What are your fights with the stuff?
What do you think is complicated?
What should be rethinking?
Thanks for your awnsers.
Are you setting aside enough time to process your inbox? If it is accumulating stuff then I suggest you are not.
Delete, delete, delete!
Delete, delete, delete :!:
Originally Posted by Heiko28
And if in doubt - DELETE :!:
A full inbox isn't a failure of GTD, or any other system, it's a reason you need a system. In my experience, there are two reasons why my inbox backs up, 1) I'm not dedicating enough time to processing it, or 2) I'm not making decisions (i.e. choosing next actions) on the contents of the inbox. No matter how deep in the inbox is, if you can dedicate enough time and decide on your next actions, or process 2-minute actions immediately, you will empty your inbox. Keep in mind, you are dealing with 1 item at a time, not all of it at once.
Originally Posted by Heiko28
If you're having trouble emptying your email inbox, I asked a similar question recently and received some great help in this thread:
It's been over two weeks and I've gone home with an empty inbox every night since.
Remember that things aren't removed from the inbox when they're done, but when they're processed. You might process something months before you get it done.
For example, if you tossed a magazine in the inbox because you want to read an article in the magazine, then to process that magazine, you insert a PostIt to bookmark the article, put the magazine in the "to read" stack (which is not the same as your Inbox) and possibly enter an action "Read article about widget innovations" in the appropriate action list. Or you might have some entirely different way of handling "to read" items, but whatever your way is, it should result in getting the item out of your inbox in less than a minute or two. You'll read it later.
Similarly, if you tossed a handful of paint sample cards in the inbox because you're painting the bathroom, those don't stay there until the bathroom is done. They stay there until your review, at which time you might:
- Create a folder called "Bathroom remodel support materials."
- Put the paint samples in the folder.
- Create a project called "Bathroom remodelled"
- Write a Next Action of "Show paint samples to Joe and get his opinion".
- File the folder away in your filing system.
Again, you'll talk to Joe later.
If you're completely confused about how to process something, I'd say _still_ get it out of the inbox. Create a "confused" file folder, put the item in it, create a "Process Confused items" project, and give it a repeating Next Action of "Process one Confused item."
If the Inbox is too full to allow you to get to new items quickly and keep it empty, then you could just dump the _whole thing_ into the "Confused" folder (now the "Confused" box), and maintain a clean Inbox while you're slowly working your way through the older items.
If you're trying to follow the two-minute rule but you keep starting on things that end up taking more than two minutes, then just make a rule that you won't "do" _any_ tasks while you're processing your inbox. That's my rule.
Now, you still may end up with too many projects and Next Actions - that's another issue. But it should be possible to regularly empty your Inbox.
Originally Posted by Heiko28
I'm not sure from your post how much of your system is already set up (in other words, do you have a filing system for reference, is your calendar set up, and so on) but I can give you my thoughts, for whatever they're worth, about your inbox:
See all that stuff in your inbox? Take it out. Take it all out. Stick it in another box. That's your backlog. You can even stick a big label on it that says Backlog. That's the stuff to get through as you can (look in the Audio Library for the Webinar on backlog to learn how to deal with this box.)
Now... look at your inbox. Empty, yes? Yay! Good.
So, today, stuff will show up in your inbox. Right? You put things in, maybe others put things in... it will not be empty at the end of the day, will it?
At a certain point today, maybe towards the end of the day, go through all of it, one piece at a time... process it. That means tomorrow you'll start with an empty inbox again. And stuff will collect in it. Process that stuff tomorrow. And so on.
You've got to start clean somewhere. Let's get through today's inbox, and the rest you'll process as time permits.
If you try this, let me know how it works for you... how it feels to start off with an empty inbox.
Thanks for posting!
Originally Posted by Gardener
I was typing my response while you were posting, and I see we're thinking along the same lines. When I was first starting GTD, there was a LOT that was confusing. So I can imagine my room full of boxes and folders all labeled with various levels of confusion: "Confusing" "Really Confusing" "More Confusing Than Those Other Piles" "Too Confusing, Call A Therapist"
Good thoughts in your post... thank you for sharing them!
Dena - Loving the 'Call a Therapist' line! :D I fear that a number of the boxes in the back of my loft cupboards might need this label!! :D
Originally Posted by artsinaction
side effect of GTD
GTD newbie myself, so my words are not gospel but I have not yet experienced an ampty in box.
What I have experienced are more ideas, more creativity,'more energy and enthusiasm for my work.
Was that a side effect if GtD or a sign I have not mastered the system (I have only been at this 3 months).
Definitely a side-effect of GTD! Just keep working at refining your system and the side-effects just get better :D
Originally Posted by Almost Done
GTD really is one of those systems that keeps revealing new facets the more you do it. Kelly Forrister had a really good analogy in one of her webinars:
GTD is like a sport. When you first start it can be quite challenging, but the more you practice the easier it gets and your responses start to become automatic.
Good luck and keep practicing!