Categories | Best Practices of GTD | Getting Things Done
Dear David Allen: When you have a system and you have your list of things to do how do you deal with things that come up that just seem to be so pressing and immediate? How does one keep the composure of a GTD system with what appear to be emergencies?
DA: One of the prime reasons for a GTD system is to facilitate dealing with the unexpected and the unplanned. In those instances, you must have a complete inventory of your commitments, in order to be able to assess the relative value of the new input/circumstance, and allocate your focus appropriately. Probably 95% of my usage of my own system is to allow me to feel comfortable with a change of plans.
You want to keep your backlog of unprocessed stuff at a minimum, and an inventory of all possible actions close at hand, so you can optimally deal with surprise.