We’ve captured all our stuff in our notepads, our minds are happier and we have less stress because we’re not keeping stuff on out minds any more.
The main habit I’ll be focusing on in April is getting my inboxes to zero once a day by processing them into the different categories: Do, Defer, Delegate, Trash, Reference, Incubate, Project, Project Support.
Consistently. Every day for 30 days
My inboxes are:
- Work email
- Work in tray
- Home email
- Home in-tray
I am going to clarify my work inboxes just after tea at 11 am and at 16:30 which gives me 30 minutes to crank through any tasks that need doing that day. Otherwise my email gets opened and processed once an hour.
Another habit we’re going to be building is actually following the rules to clarifying in the GTD/ZTD method:
- Clarify one thing at a time
- Process the top thing first (i.e. don’t find the most exciting thing to do)
- Nothing goes back in
My home inboxes I will get to at 19:30 each day one the boy has gone to sleep. They will be clarified and put into my notebook.
Although we’re following ZTD, the getting things done clarifying process here is exactly the one used in ZTD and there are good resources for it on the web, or you can find it on page 123 of the book.
I’m already seeing some benefits from this, as I started writing this post two days ago, yesterday clarifying was on my mind. The benefit was actually with regards to capturing: I am trying to divide the capture / clarify process: it can be too easy for me to have an idea and want to decide what to do with it in the moment. I was inspired to slow down, write the thing down and chuck it into my in-tray, knowing that I would make a decision on it later.
I was reading the chapter on clarifying in “Making it all work” yesterday and they quite clearly say that it doesn’t work to simultaneously capture and clarify. But I’ve been trying to do it all the time. I’m hoping this new habit forming will halt that process.
Homework / Reading material:
ZTD: Chapter 6: Habit 2: Process.
Getting Things Done: Chapter 6: Clarifying: getting “in” to empty p 122.
Making it all work: Chapter 6: Getting control, Clarifying. p 103.