This week we continue the ongoing series on GTD practices with a discussion on processing. If you are not familiar with the GTD concept, read my GTD overview. Also, as a reminder, if you missed part one in the series last week on the process of collecting or capturing, I highly encourage you to start there first.
In a broader sense, this step of processing encompasses clarifying objectives or outcomes and the decision process behind determining what is a project vs. what is a task and if each item is actionable (more on organizing and actions next week.) This concept might be easier to understand and implement by following the work-flow diagram below. In this case a picture may indeed be worth a thousand words.
To jump-start your GTD routine and clarify the method further I highly recommend listening to the GTD Best Practices of Processing podcast from David Allen the creator of the GTD system. David and some members of his team share tips and strategies for processing, including keys for getting to inbox zero, why things get stuck, the process for deciding and more. Even more crucial they discuss how this process works when you are managing a project or as part of a team.
As with any other routine or skill, this process does get easier and become almost automatic with time and practice. Please share any tips or comments you might have on how you are using this system. Stay tuned for next week’s discussion on the process of organizing…..and in the meantime check out the related posts on the GTD system.