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Walk me through a day in the life of your gtd system

Most of the posts/sites I read discuss setup and technologies people use for GTD. I feel like I have a handle on the concepts and getting set up. WHere it falls apart for me is using it in practice. As soon as the flood of daily email enters my inbox, I can't maintain all my lists.

I'd like to see some "day in the life" walk throughs of how people use GTD throughout the day. As the emails, requests from co-workers etc come in, how are they tracking them and keeping them in the system.

I hope my question makes sense LOL.

Laura M.'s picture

My GTD day

I haven't yet fully integrated GTD in my everyday routine, but as our beloved Flylady ;)would say, "baby steps, baby steps".

So far, when I get to my office I open my email and got through each email I received overnight.

- If spam, delete
- If item for reference, archive
- If item req. reply:
- If it can be done immediately (i.e. <2 min.) reply in the moment, then archive if worth it. I've setup my email account in such a way that I have both income and outcome emails shown in my email box. That way I can, if I choose to, keep track when a colleague within my org has opened an email. Then archive response if worth it. I have found that most of the time, for really silly emails (you know the kind: ?are you ready for lunch??), I can delete them as soon as they have been delivered.
- If item needs a longer reply, open GTD excel file and note it as n/a, then archive for reference when I get around to do it.

I?ve found out that, even if an email is actionable, it?s enough if I note it down in my GTD n/a list and archive the email for reference instead of moving it to my @action folder. Many have been the emails that have perished in my @action folder.

- Do the same operations with mail (yeah, in my org. we still do some of our work with snail mail).

Then check the n/a list and calendar to have a general idea of how my day would look like and work on my n/a.

My work is manageable enough for me to act on email as it comes. I know Merlin?s not convinced of this way of dealing with email, but I find it?s better for me to, whenever is possible, to apply the email processing (read, delete/reply/archive) process as emails arrive because that way they don?t pile up. I don?t need to act upon them in the moment; I can always make a note in my n/a list. In any case, the sight of an almost empty inbox soothes me so much (when I see some colleagues? inboxes I just cringe). Just as the saying goes: out of sight, out of mind. Isn?t the whole GTD process based on emptying your mind of useless stuff?

Posting this in my blog as well. Good topic idea spike13!




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