In this segment of “The Whys of Productivity”, we will look at why productivity systems all want us to look at all the things we have gathered.
Processing: Part of Every System
Gathering everything you need to give attention to is crucial to productivity; however, until you actually give it attention, your stuff won’t be anything more than a pile crying out to you.
GTD addresses this during the weekly review and the clearing of the inboxes. Seven Habits doesn’t address it, but the underlying assumption is that you are aware of what is going on in your life. Do It Tomorrow is all about putting things into your work for tomorrow, and keeping up with the inflow.
Processing is what giving attention to the stuff you need to look at is called. Every system has this included, and I’m sure you can see why. After all, if all it required to be productive was to pile things around the house, we would all have everything done!
Processing is all about taking the time to think about what you have before you, deciding its importance and place in your life. Without this crucial step, you have no grasp of what life is demanding of you.
Things to Consider With Processing
Every system, productivity or organizational, has its way of dealing with processing. Some advocate only dealing with a piece of paper once; others say to do it immediately, or if it can be done in two minutes, do it. Others say to put it all in a bin and deal with it later.
The trick with processing is to find out what fits your style. This is one of the inflexibilities I see in most systems. If you are not effectively dealing with the stuff that is asking for attention, you need to figure out why.
In my case, I find that it works best if I process weekly, and in stages. The first stage involves me putting everything into my electronic system. Once it is in there, the second stage means I can start to make decisions about it, including its importance, urgency and what-not. I also have to figure out how I will know when something is done. The third stage involves deciding what I will work on in the coming week.
Photo by walker cleavelands