I am, once again, trying to get into the swing of using the Getting Things Done (GTD) method of time (or more accurately action) management. If you haven't heard about GTD I recommend checking out 43 Folders on GTD, however the starting point is gathering all the tasks, projects, things to get done and putting them in your inbox(es). That part isn't necessarily that hard - but the next step - processing that inbox - now that can be a challenge. Just as an example - how well do you process your email inbox - does it get cleared and then magically build up seemingly overnight. (Ok, maybe it is over a week or so but it is still fast.)
Really my email is my main inbox. I will email myself notes on projects/voicemail/etc. so it really is a general collection area so letting it build up is a fast path to ruin. I realize that some of this comes from lingering through my email frequently rather than giving it focused attention at specific times each day but it is sometimes hard to motivate myself to just do it.
Anyway, I was pondering this and in a silly mood the other day and thought, what if GTD was a competition sport. How fast and how accurately can you sort your in-box. In my mind I envisioned the ESPN coverage of the competition and laughed at myself. But I wonder if there was some way to make task management a game where you can win & level up if it would make it easier to keep up on it? Sure keeping on top of stuff is its own reward but sometimes the pain of getting through that inbox seems greater than the pleasure at the end. What tricks do you use to make this process easier.
Oh and for those who want to see the geeky ESPN coverage that played in my head, here is an approximation.
Ann: Ok, Goldie is getting ready
(Goldie stretches & cracks knuckles)
Ann: The clocks are about to start
Beep beep buzz of the starter clock
Ann: And she's off!
Ann: Look at her go
(clicking dragging data flying)
(Cuts between other competitors and similar observations)
Ann: Oh wait - she's spent more than 2 minutes on a task - that's a penalty - 4 points
Ann: Wait...she's getting up? Her filing isn't by her desk!?! Oh this is going to cost her some serious time.