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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.

andyc's picture

I work in the European...

I work in the European arm of a large American company, so my day starts with e-mail. I was logged in from home at 8pm last night, and had thirty unread messages this morning, most of which were "real" mail. That's not unusual for me since I go home at what's mid-day for the East Coast US.

For me, much of the process comes down to the start of each day when I get to the office.

* check for "fires".
* plow through e-mail/voicemail and record action items into MLO.
* a mini-review of the top activities to capture any other NAs there.
* Print todays's action items from MLO and chug through the list.

I often don't get past the first step. I gave up - even before getting into GTD - in planning the day before it starts, since I have no idea what I will face when I get to work. It could be whatever I've planned, or it could be totally different. There have also been days when I've literally torn up my NA list in front of my boss because something that's come along has meant it's worthless.

As an aside, because I work from a printed copy of the online version I can occasionally indulge in these little theatrics, especially if delivered with "Well, you know what this means, don't you, boss?" *rip* *tear* *shread* "That was everything you'd asked me to do so far, but I guess this takes priority."

Once I'm past the initial starting gate, I'm actually pretty good at reading the Outlook "New mail" popup and getting back to the task at hand without missing a beat, unless it really is important. So I can work a few actions, skim e-mail, and go back to the actions, with Outlook again to pop up and remind me when I have to go to a meeting.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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