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In GTD method, one important thing is to clean the inbox tasks once time everyday.

But what is the best moment to do it? First at the morning? When come back from work? Before to go to the bed?

I know that it could be different for every person, but I'm wondering if there is "best moment" to do it, and why.

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Have you tried the different options for what fits you best? Our lives differ... :) –  Tom Wijsman Aug 19 '11 at 16:21
    
Well, actually the system is a mess. I've tried at afternoon and I've forgotted many times to do it, I've tried at evening and it was worse, and when I did before sleep and then realize that I forgot to do things that have to be due at the same day. I think that I need a little of improvement ^^ –  user674887 Aug 23 '11 at 12:19

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would avoid before bed; that could add stress and keep me up. Other than that, it depends. For many people in an office once in the morning and once in the afternoon works. The morning one keeps you responsive to others requests that came in first thing in the day or after you left.

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I plan inbox processing around my energy levels. Inbox processing involves a lot of decision making, which I find difficult to do when I'm tired, so I generally do my processing in the morning. (I also start with personal day and workday a little earlier than those around me, so I have a period of uninterrupted quiet in which to do it.)

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Something to consider is what kind of inbox are you meaning here. My work e-mail tends to be something I'd review first thing in the morning when I get into the office as I'd want to get up to speed on what happened while I was out of the office. There may be other people where the best time is just before they leave at the end of the day. Course it also depends on to what extent is e-mail used for sending messages within your workplace. Some places may send "Hi" e-mails and thus could have a lot of little messages that are cute while other places may only send what is needed and avoid courtesy e-mails. In contrast, a personal e-mail address away from work isn't going to be examined while I'm in the office.

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I clean as I go using this flowchart:

Is it actionable?
| Yes -> 
    Will it take less than 2 minutes to complete?
    | Yes -> Do It!
    | No -> 
        Can someone else do it?
        | Yes -> Delegate It!
        | No ->
            Is it multistep?
            | Yes -> Create a project!
            | No -> Create a next action!
| No ->
    Will you need to reference it?
    | Yes -> File It!
    | No -> Trash It!

With these steps you can process every email you read. Hope this helps.

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+1 for the flowchart. Really useful! Thanks. –  Paul T. Jan 28 '13 at 13:23

It's a subjective question but In my opinion, people should clean their inbox tasks before sleeping. What if people can have a task like Go to bed ?

  1. Go to bed
  2. Clean your inbox
  3. Sleep
  4. Wake up
  5. Follow the white rabbit, I mean tasklist.
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When I try to do it before go to bed, it keeps me up and spend more time to sleep. Maybe with other people works. Thanks –  user674887 Aug 23 '11 at 12:20

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