Finally, after all the collecting, and processing, and organizing, and reviewing, it is time to DO. Time to get things done! Is there anything more rewarding than checking STUFF off your list? What a great feeling of accomplishment. Right?
When it is time to engage with your STUFF, you will generally have 3 types of work (and we use this term to mean ANYTHING you need to get done) to choose from.
Pre-defined work - things like regularly scheduled meetings, or paying bills on the 15th of the month, or the monthly PTO meetings at your kids school
Work as it shows up - there is no avoiding this type of work. STUFF happens and we all need to be flexible and able to adapt to changing priorities. The good news is that, if you have your systems for GTD and Getting Organized in place, you will be able to adjust more easily and with less stress as you know your other commitments have been captured and will be reviewed again as soon as this distraction is over.
The work of defining your work - this is the category that many of us don't really plan for. We want to be more conscious of the time needed to plan our work, to define or work, to determine what these commitments mean to us and what success will look like.
NOTE: we will talk more about project planning moving forward, just know that taking time to define your work may be a new concept you want to embrace.
Once you are ready to work. Ready to get things done. You should feel good about how you have defined all your commitments and you can trust your instincts and your system to guide you in choosing what to work on.
You can use these additional tools to choose in the moment...
Context - Choose based on your the context you are "in".
Is this something that can only be done at work, or at home, or at school, or at the clients office?
Are there other context I could apply to task to help me decide? Things like @phone @computer @shopping that are less of a "place" and more of a "state".
Time - How much time will this task take? If you only have 1 hour between meetings, then have a system to review only things that can be done in the amount of time you have available.
Attention - This is about focus and the level of attention needed. If you have tasks that are detailed and difficult and you know require a high level of attention, you might not want to engage in them in the late evening after a long day at work when you are already tired and exhausted.
Energy - This is related to attention and focus but is different with respect to the energy level you might need for the work. You might choose low energy / mindless work like filing or reading or running errands when you know you don't have the energy to tackle a more complex job or task.