Simply GTD: Digging out from an email landfill

After Thanksgiving, GTD coach Kelly Forrister had 1,155 new emails in her Inbox.  She brought those down to zero in three hours following the 4D’s – Delete, Do, Delegate and Defer.  Read the rest of the article for the detail.

I like Kelly’s style – she recommends really taking the time off when you go on vacation and scheduling extra time when you get back to tackle the inevitable information build-up. 

"First, I knew the morning I got back to work I’d have about 6x more input than normal, so I blocked that extra time on my calendar to give myself the time I would need to get it processed. I think this is essential. There is no way a week of email can be processed in the same time I normally allow. I need a cushion of extra time that first morning back."

I advised something similar in my Vacation Email Triage post:

"I have two more "peace of mind" tips for you.  I have read several recent articles that quote people who feel the need to check email while on vacation to try and avoid the inevitable email crunch.  This is a mistake and should be avoided at all costs.  Email begets email – the more you send the more you get in return.  If you answer the important messages while "relaxing," the result is likely to be the same amount of email when you return.  My advice is twofold:

  1. Block the last day out before you leave to tie up all your loose ends, clear your Inbox, and hit the road with a sense of accomplishment and relief knowing that you got things done before your break. 
  2. Keep your schedule on your first day back clear.  You’ll have a full free day when you return to devote to catching up before everyone realizes that you’re back in business."

Keep that in mind when you take vacation over the holidays this year.

On a related note, if you haven’t seen it already, we have recently updated our GTD setup guide for v4.  Check it out here.