Processing means going through the jobs you’ve collected and getting them into a suitable format. If the job is one which would be quicker to do right away than to process, then do it.
Rules for Processing
- Go through your list of unprocessed tasks
- Process the top item first
- Process one item at a time
- Never put anything back into “in”
The key question when processing is to think what’s the Next Action? Too many jobs don’t get done because people aren’t clear about what the Next Action is. For example, you might want to tidy your office. What’s stopping you doing that? Perhaps you’ve nowhere to put the rubbish. In that case the Next Action is “Get Bin Bags”
Perhaps you need to arrange a meeting. “Arrange a meeting” is not a suitable Next Action. To arrange a meeting you need to find out when people are free. A more suitable Next Action would be “Phone Steve”
Taking a moment to decide the Next Action removes one cause of stress. If you have a job that’s preying on your mind it’s usually because you haven’t decided what the Next Action is.