Step 5: Engage

Does this happen to you?  engage

You’re in your office. You open up your laptop. And hundreds of emails that need a reply stare right back!

You immediately start tackling them, attempting to knock them off one by one. But just as you can see an ‘end’ to the pile, you get interrupted by a team member who’s got something ‘more important’ for you to look at.

And once that is taken care of you realize, “Oh there’s an urgent board meeting I need to attend!”.

You intimate your secretary and rush to it.

Do you find yourself being crazy busy and with very little time?

You’re being busy alright, but not necessarily productive.

Being productive is not just about checking things off a list. It’s about being conscious of your choices, so that you know you’re doing the right thing at the right time.

The final step of getting in control with GTD, shows how you can make confident priority decisions.

What is Engage?

Once you’ve got all your next actions categorized in their appropriate lists, you’re ready to engage.

But how do you know which one to take action on first? In short, busy people have multiple commitments and they need to prioritize.

An easy way to answer this question is to go with the task that gives you the maximum bang for your buck, based on the available resources that you have. Ask yourself these three key questions:

  • How much time do I have?
  • What context am I in?
  • How much energy do I have?

Another practice to improve your confidence in your ability to make right decisions around priority , is it to clarify your commitments at different horizons.

gtd_Horizons-of-Focus_opt1

The more clear you get about your long term goals & visions, the easier it will be for you to make moment to moment priority decisions.

Best Practice of Engage:

–  Making a trusted choice, by aligning your next actions to your higher priorities.

Worst Practice of Engage

–  Getting Stuck in the busy trap. Working on what’s latest and loudest.

What are my next steps?

Use the Horizons of Focus model to identify your commitments at different levels.