Basic GTD: Emptying the Inbox
In GTD, the inbox does not refer only to your e-mail inbox. It is a broader concept that includes all the things you have collected in different ways: tasks you have to do, ideas you have thought of, notes, bills, business cards, etc…
Actually, the GTD Inbox may include several inboxes: your e-mail inbox, a physical tray where you put all the pending papers, a software application in which you capture all your tasks, etc…
To achieve a stress-free productivity, emptying the inbox should be a daily activity. Note that this does not mean doing things, it just means identifying things and deciding what to do with them. In GTD, the term used for this is processing and, when you get it done, your situation is as follows:
- You have eliminated every thing you do not need.
- You have completed small actions that require no more than two minutes.
- You have delegated some actions that you do not have to do.
- You have sorted in your organizational system some actions you will do when appropriate, because they require more than 2 minutes.
- You have identified as projects some tasks that require more than one action.
- There have been only a few minutes, but you feel pretty good. Everything is where it should be.