Categories | Best Practices of GTD | Getting Started | Getting Things Done | GTD Toolbox | Implementation
Have you ever left something in your inbox, just because the decision about how to handle it wasn’t immediately clear? Multiply that one stalled item by a few dozen, or hundred, or thousand, and the inbox backlog builds up fast. For most people this applies to their email inbox, but it can be true of a physical inbox overflowing with paper as well. There’s help in the Processing phase of the GTD Mastering Workflow model.
After you’ve identified what the item is, the next question is very simple: Is it actionable? There are two and only two answers—yes or no. Maybe is not an option, because maybe means “no,” at least for now. But don’t worry, the “no” choice doesn’t necessarily mean you have to delete the item. The “no” choice means that it’s something to trash, to incubate (add to your Someday Maybe list, calendar, or tickler file), or to file as reference.
If the item is actionable, then you’ll add the next action to your Calendar, Next Actions, or Waiting For list, and capture the outcome on your Projects list if it’s not already there.
How much more efficient could your inbox processing be if you got more comfortable with saying yes or no? Maybe it’s the “maybe” that’s been slowing you down.