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Getting Things Done- Workflow Processing

March 9, 2012

I love reading articles about increasing productivity. Somehow, just reviewing a bulleted list of ways to “get more done” motivates me to put certain principles into practice and plow my way through my daily to-do list. 

 

I find some of the recurring themes of these articles completely impractical. For example, the advice to schedule a certain time to check and reply to email. “Don’t let others set your schedule,” they say. “Set aside three times a day to check and respond to email.” Great idea in theory- and it might work brilliantly for some- but I am not one of them. My job requires quick questions and timely answers, and email is the only practical way to do it. If I had to wait until 2:00 to check my email, I am willing to bet that it would squash my productivity. Like it or not, I am chained to my inbox.

Cover of "Getting Things Done: The Art of...

 

However, I found a great strategy for managing the time I spend responding to email in the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. This diagram can be used to manage your time with everything that comes across your desk, but I find it especially useful when it comes to managing my inbox.

 

 

This chart is based on the Workflow Diagram on page 32 of “Getting Things Done”:

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