In the moment in which the things are collected, they are imprecise and incomplete, mere sketches that caught our attention for consideration. Later, the things in the inbox are processed, recovering each thing, becoming aware of what really are, asking if they require of some action and deciding what to do accordingly.

The process involves making a filter in order to know what has been collected, if it is useful and decide when must be run. The ultimate goal is to be clear about what we have and what to do with it, besides empty the inbox for new collections.


Preliminary advises

In order to achieve the most efficiency, it is advisable that the processing:

  • is agile and quick. Processing each thing should take a few seconds.
  • applies the rule of “what come out don’t come back”. Those that is being processed must be concluded. You must avoid the procrastination.
  • takes and processes one by one each thing contained in the inbox, from the first to the last.
  • finishes with the inbox emptied. There should be nothing left unprocessed.
  • must be performed whenever possible and necessary. If the inbox has one or two things, and you know these are urgent, will be necessary to process them as soon as possible. If the inbox is filling up a lot and you have a moment, you can process the inbox in that moment. This is our own choice.


How is it processed?

Processing is basically a method for filtering and preparing the things contained in the inbox. To accomplish this filter you must extract each thing at a time from the inbox, analyze it and decide what to do with it, in a sistematically way. This valuation is obtained making a flow of questions that will allow you to valuate and decide what to do next.


What is

Sometimes, knowing what are the things we have been collected is not so obvious. You need to know what is exactly each thing, in order to value their importance and decide if this one requires some action.


Does it take action?

If the thing does not take an action:

  • Could it take an action in the future? The thing must be in the “Someday” list.
  • Could it be useful as information in the future? The thing must be in the “Consultation” list.
  • If you answered NO to the previous questions, then the thing must be discarded.

If the thing takes an action, ask yourself “What is the next action?”:

  • Can it be done in about two minutes? Do it immediately! (Rule of two minutes). You must avoid to accumulate these microtasks in a “infinite way”, as well as procrastination and disorganization.
  • Are we the right person to do it? If not, delegate it to the appropriate person. The thing must be in the “Waiting” list for its tracking.
  • If you answered NO to the previous questions, postpone the thing, moving it to the “Next” list.

GTD Flow processing


Read this article in SpanishRead this article in Spanish