Five Stages of Managing Workflow

1. collect inputs – Just anything you have to deal with.
2. process inputs – See Chart
3. organize results
a. project list
b. “next actions” list categorized by project and context
c. calendar for date or time specific actions
d. 43 folders
e. reference files
f. “waiting for” list list to track actions you are waiting for others to complete
g. “someday/maybe” list
h. email folders (make folders like from a-i)
i. read/review stack
4. review options for next actions
5. do a next action

Practices to Adopt
1. Habits
– Always have paper and a writing instrument with you to write down ideas.
– Process not ASAP
– Always bring something from your “To Read/Review” stack to meetings for waiting.
2.Daily Practices
– Address the following every day
a. 43 Folders
b. your calendar
c. your @ACTION email folder
d. flagged items in your next actions list
3. Periodic Practices
– Review all incomplete items in your lists.
– Flag the ones that need to be addressed soon.
– Clear out the content of all the folders in your reference
– Review your “Projects”, “Waiting For” and “Someday/Maybe” lists.
– Generate new items in the “Next Actions” list.
– Gather new inputs and add them to your system.

Deciding What To Do Now

Three techniques for deciding what task to perform at any given time.
A. Four-Criteria Model for Choosing Actions in the Moment
1. Location
2. Time
3. Energy Level
4. Priority or payoff.

B. Threefold Model for Evaluating Daily Work
1. Do an action from your “Next Actions” list.
2. Do work as it shows up if it is more important than anything on your “Next Actions” list.
3. Define additional work (adding to your lists) based on new inputs in your in-basket, email, voic-mail and meeting notes.

C.Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work

1. life goals
2. 3-5 year goals
3. 1-2 year goals
4. areas of responsibility
5. current projects
6. current actions