You should have as few inboxes as you can, but as many as you need. Most people will need at least two: an email inbox and a physical inbox on their desk. You may be tempted to pull things out of your inboxes one at a time to look at them or deal with them. Resist this impulse. Instead, set aside time to process your inbox to empty, as often as necessary to keep it manageable. You may need to process your email inbox a few times a day, but your physical inbox may require processing only once a week.
How and Why a Lawyer Should Implement a Getting Things Done System
Next action items need to be categorized for easy reference. This sounds obvious, but here’s the interesting twist: you might not want to label them as you have in the past. Instead of organizing your tasks by what they are, organize them by where you can perform them. If you have a list for “Courthouse”, “Phone”, or “Computer”, then you can always know what to work on based on where you find yourself.
I do what you do (content writing).
I suggest doing something like this:
Work Projects -> Awesome Articles Making -> 20 articles for client X -> article about fish / deadline: tomorrow midnight – and into the calendar.
done with that? put the next article as action to do.
In order to see how it all fits in the scedule, I use Google calendar.
Or you can do it per client but I think it’s less efficient.
I have categories like:
Spreading Noy in the word (self-marketing). Article writing, Facebook posts (for clients), Instagram posts, etc. and I diviede my attention according to their importance. for example: self marketing takes 20% of my work time (cuz this is what I decided). so i know tjat out of 50 hours work a week, 10 hours will go on marketing meaning 2 hours A day – and that way I could scedule in the calendar properly.
hope this made sense for you.
Basic GTD: Organizing Projects
Project support materials do not require actions nor reminders, therefore, they must not go on any list of actions. This is auxiliary information that will help you think, analyze and make the best decisions to complete the project. This materials must be fully accessible because you have to consult them to perform some actions and, of course, during the Weekly Review.
I wonder why law firms don’t do something like this. Here’s my speculation: they don’t actually have much to gain from associates being more productive. Partners bill the hours out at $XXX, regardless of what actually got done. Sure, they may cut the bill a little here and there, but probably not a ton. So maybe it’s not worth the cost of teaching productivity. The firm stands to lose more by hiring a consultant to teach GTD.
Evernote helps lawyers get organized and get things done–Part 3
I was wondering if lawyers used Evernote and mirabile vissu I found your wonderfully inciteful blog. I am a 5 day old convert to Evernote and got hooked on Evernote’s usefulness through Michael Hyatt’s amazing blog postings on Evernote. Two takeaways I got from him are 1. Buy the fujitsu scansnap s1300 scanner that is integrated with Evernote. The second takeaway was how to email notes into your folder hierarchy by putting a @ before the notebook name and a # before the tag name. Ah…there is a third takeaway….a $25 dollar PDF on Evernote that has received rave reviews. The name escapes me but it’s featured prominately on Michael Hyatt’s Evernote blog. …I look forward to reading more of your blog!
@Joao: The trick is to put blinders on your next actions to avoid thinking about the project it belongs to, and therefore everything else related to it. When I’m making a phone call, I only want to think about the phone call, and not everything I have to do afterwards. At any one moment in time, we can only focus our attention on a single action. Anything else is a waste of emotional energy. That’s why I recommend keeps project headings in a different “drawer” than next actions.
@Charlie: In the case of a research project, unless I had a lot of experience with the material, I would avoid mapping out a complete time allotment on the front end. Instead, I prefer to block a single session for gauge the pace of apprehension, then schedule each subsequent session individually — at least until I have a reliable idea of how much ground I can cover per session. Reading 100 pages of Being and Time will take much longer than reading 100 pages of Time and the Art of Living, so the density of the material needs to be factored in.
Once I map out a project plan, I extract the next actions and file the plan away for retrieval on an as-needed basis. It might take me eight weeks to complete a research project, but I’m generally not concerned about anything that lies beyond the week ahead (i.e., past the next weekly review) unless I’m behind schedule, or need to ensure that something else I’m scheduling that far in advance doesn’t conflict. As long as I’ve done everything I’ve scheduled between weekly reviews, and assuming there hasn’t been a change of deadline, I don’t need to review the plan to reaffirm than I’m on course. But if I find myself lost for any reason, that’s when I pull out the project plan again. Sometimes I do find that I’ve left something out, but as long as I know I’ll see the plan once a week, I usually don’t have to think about in in between.
GTD® Step 3: Organizing – Projects
The Project list is simply that, a list of all of your Projects. It does not include all of the various steps needed for the Project and it does not need to be listed in any order of priority. It simply serves as an index that can be quickly reviewed so that you can determine the steps necessary to complete the Project. Most of these steps will be placed in/on one of your other lists/folders such as Next Action or Waiting For. Some people find it more efficient to sort their Project list into these categories:
Basic GTD: How to manage your projects
It doesn’t matter too much if you divide a large project into subprojects or simply define each subproject as a whole project. What matters is that you review all project components as often as necessary to keep them going. If in doubt, start by defining a single project and if any part becomes important, you can split it into another project.
The definition of a GTD project is much more simple and adapted to personal organization. Projects are anything that needs more than one action for its achievement. For example, “buying a bicycle” is a project: it implies defining exactly what type of bicycle you want and how much money you are willing to spend, researching on the Internet all the different models that thousands of brands offer, checking and asking any doubts with the nearby distributors and going through a process of selection and elimination until you pick the right one. And then it’s when the actual buying takes place.
Projects and Tasks are two different things (so track them separately)
There are a million reasons why we tend to have a hard time maintaining peak levels of productivity... some people have a difficult time staying focused for long enough to get anything done, while other people procrastinate so much that they can never get themselves to begin doing any of their work in the first place.
As we first started studying law offices when creating Rocket Matter, I was struck by the lack of GTD adoption in legal circles. I thought it would be a given. I mean, here’s an industry where time is literally money. Furthermore, if you miss a deadline you can be sued, or even worse, have your license revoked. Literally and figuratively, law firms have a ton of i’s to dot and t’s to cross. And in a typical law practice, there’s a lot of balls in the air at once, so it’s very easy to miss something.
Do you ever struggle with managing competing priorities and don’t know how you’ll get it all done? Join David Allen for a conversation that’s packed with practical GTD coaching advice on how to deal with competing priorities–from getting a higher perspective on your life and work, down to trusting your moment-to-moment action choices. Listen […]
Law Practice Management Software
Conflict checking. An actual conflict checker is different than a mere search box. This applies to software that actually has a conflict checking feature. Implementation varies, but—at a minimum—you should be able to search the entire database for matching names. It should check for conflicts accurately and intuitively, work from anywhere at any time, allow all the attorneys and staff in your firm to use it simultaneously, allow for a lateral hire to input her conflict database into the system, work quickly when new clients call, and comply with the rules of professional conduct for checking conflicts. Finally, remember the “Garbage In, Garbage Out” principle. Even the best conflict checking tools are only as good as the data upon which they rely.
Top 5 Reasons to Hate GTD
This is a great post. What I don’t like about GTD is it’s flexibility. While it is a strength, I think (for me at least) it is GTD’s biggest weakness. Instead of just sticking with one way to GTD, I’m always tweaking my system. It’s hard to GTD when you don’t have a set system.
GTD in 15 minutes – A Pragmatic Guide to Getting Things Done
When you have determined the next action, you should consider if it takes less than two minutes to do it. If this is the case: do it. Right away. (Things like “e-mail funny cat video to grandma”.) The reason for this is simple: if the action takes two minutes or less, the overhead of tracking it will be large compared to how long it takes to just do it. If it takes more than two minutes you should delegate it if appropriate—noting what was delegated, and when—on a waiting for list, or add it to your own next actions list of things you want to do as soon as you have the time. Unless your secret superpower is delegation, next actions is probably where most things will end up. If the open loop will take more than one action to close, the overall goal should also be noted on a projects list which will be explained in a few sections.