I run my own consulting business from home - trying to operate within school hours for another couple of years -two children 11 and 8 - some clients come here, usually I visit them - it's going well but I've been in a sea of disorganisation for years despite covey et al.
I've been a GTD 'groupie' since discovering by chance DA's website about 6 weeks ago. I've read the book once, then keep going back to it (couldn't get it very easily here in Australia I have to say) plus I have the outlook addin.
Have a nice tickler file set up but I don't seem to be using it yet to its full advantage - I think I am still nervous of 'losing' paper in it even though I have worked out that if I have a na with paper support in the tickler i just put t2602 next to it to remind me that is where the stuff is should I need it earlier or should I miss the boat.
I've got most of my historic 'in' away and dealt with - and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself - however I"m not that busy right now with clients - I"m using the time to do some planning and development regarding new directions etc plus catching up on my tax ... so I feel I should be totally one hundred percent in control!! Problem is I think the way I'm handling 'in'..... it leads me to tiny moments of confusion and despair when I STILL lose something!!!!!! I would anticipate that I am soon going to be very busy with a lot more time 'away' creating 'in' so I'd like to get this bucket idea completely mastered.
DA says to get the stuff from the tickler and put it in your in tray each day. I do that but unfortunately if I've had a late night researching or whatever I might not have cleared the in to empty so there is 'stuff' underneath the days business. If a big influx of paper came in all of a sudden from client meetings to process plus a pile of stuff from school and if I don't 'process' I would find myself during the day having to go back to the in tray to find something. I am a bit confused because I thought the 'in' tray was just a catching spot where all pieces of paper were kept until they could be addressed. Problem is that stuff gets buried very quickly I guess so what there needs to be is a daily time set aside to reduce it to zero - is that what should happen? I've got a 'pending' tray underneath 'in' where I"ve started to put the most critical pieces of paper that need NA - that helps - it means I 'know' that what is in there requires a next action. I"m getting there.... just perhaps need some peoples ideas on how/when they do the processing of in to empty. I find that I could spend too long doing it if I have just a short time at home then I"m not getting to the existing NA's.....
The other thing is regarding the 2 minute rule. If a piece of paper hits my desk or even email that matter as soon as i see it should i apply the 2 minute rule and do it - i thought that would count as an interruption .... and should leave it in the 'in' tray until this undefined 'processing' time.... what are your thoughts on this?
Finally... email..... I get really annoyed that I HAVE to look at my email as soon as I hear the 'new mail' sound.... is this a bad thing.... to go and quicly 'see' what has been sent... should I try to be really disciplined and just do that in my 'processing' time? I find I get so easily distracted from my next actions.... it could be the REAL causative factor in my creative/chaotic tendencies (which I must say have improved immensely since DA).....
Looking forward to your input but not sure if I should allocate a time to check for responses or just read them as they fly by!