Process: Clarify what it means

In the Process stage you empty your Inbox. This doesn't mean you have to do all the possible actions you have collected. Instead, you have to analyze each item you have collected and decide what you have to do with it.

As a result of the processing stage, your Inbox will be empty again. In doing so, you may need to add new elements to your organized system, such as actions, projects or reference material.

In a very summarized form, you should do the following for each item:

  • Does it require an action?
  • If not actionable, you could do one of the following
    • Archive it as reference
    • Putting it into incubation, as something that may require an action on your part in the future
    • Delete it, if you don't need it anymore
  • If actionable, then you should determine which action it requires. Then:
    • You should just do the action if it takes less than 2 minutes. This is known as the 2-minutes-rule
    • If not, you should create an action that could be
      • Delegated, if you are not the right person to do it
      • Deferred to do in the future. In this case, actions can be:
      • Actions to do as soon as possible
      • Calendar actions to do at a specific time