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Think big and act small. Leslie Koch
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Discussion Forum > Transitioning to DBY in RAF

I don't see a nice clear rule telling me when to transition from working on Yesterday + Today to working on Day(s) Before Yesterday. The rules say "when you come to the end of the list". But if I'm repeatedly scanning and working on tasks as they stand out, there's no such moment.

So I've been adding "Go to DBY" as an item in Today's task list.

That's fine, but am I missing something?
July 24, 2017 at 12:01 | Unregistered CommenterChris Cooper
It's your choice to work on a task or not work on a task. So you merely need to choose to not work on some task a couple times and you should reach the end, provided your list isn't ridiculously large.
July 24, 2017 at 12:48 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Mark's answer from the post comments (around #80 or so):

<< Or do you scan around over and over again until there is nothing left to be done before moving to the other side of the line? >>

No, you do one pass through Yesterday and Today (treated as one), then you go back to the Day Before Yesterday at the beginning of the list and clear it using Delete, Defer, Do. Once it's clear, you circle through Yesterday and Today (treated as one) for the rest of the day.
July 24, 2017 at 13:56 | Unregistered CommenterKjell S
A related question is how many times should one go around the list each day. I can envision getting absorbed in a task in the morning (before getting to DDD on DBY), and not even completing one cycle all day. Clearly this doesn't happen to Mark, or he would've put DBY clearing as first priority instead of after the first cycle of the day.
July 24, 2017 at 19:27 | Registered Commenterubi
I used to have a problem with open lists of not even making one pass through the list. It's a little early to tell, but I have not had that problem. I'm not certain, but it seems like you should keep a feeling for what's actually a good use of time and be more likely to skip items for now if they can wait.
July 24, 2017 at 20:32 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
Chris Cooper:

<< The rules say "when you come to the end of the list". But if I'm repeatedly scanning and working on tasks as they stand out, there's no such moment. >>

The first pass (though yesterday and today) is only intended to give you a chance to work on stuff that needs doing first thing. Then you start on the process of clearing the DDD list. You should keep the heavy-duty scanning and working on tasks until that has been done.

A good sense of timing shows your intuition is working properly.
July 24, 2017 at 22:28 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks, Mark and everyone. I really needed this clarification. Perhaps the rules could be slightly tweaked?

This fits well with my custom of beginning working on the list by starting a one-minute timer and dumping whatever tasks are at the top of my mind at the end of the list.
July 25, 2017 at 9:17 | Unregistered CommenterChris Cooper
Chris Cooper:

<< Perhaps the rules could be slightly tweaked? >>

Possibly. I'll think about it. It's not intended to be an absolute rule - just a guide to how it could work out. The less hard and fast rules there are about what should be done when, the more people can allow their own "feel" to develop.
July 25, 2017 at 12:55 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I observed in the past when devising my own system, it develops like this: i have a goal i want to achieve (re system flow); i pick a ruleset that could let me achieve that goal; i execute that ruleset with the goal in mind. The effect is my understanding of the reason for the rules alters how I follow them and the direction of my choices -- for example, how fast or slow I advance through. I'm sure
This is also so for Mark, and it's these subtleties that impact the effectiveness of other people implementing te same system. For Mark this is a matter of conveying heuristics and guidelines. For everybody else, this is where reflection can be useful: you know what needs to happen (e.g., daily DDD), so consider how can you adjust yourself such that it happens.
July 25, 2017 at 19:16 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Yesterday was my first day for Delete, Defer, Do in the office. First of all I took too long doing one pass through yesterday + today's lists. I only started DDD at the time I would normally leave. At first I wanted to leave DDD for the next day, but didn't want to break the system so easily. So I stayed an extra hour.

I had somewhat overloaded the section that was now above the solid line (DDD section) by listing items for review from a ticketing system. I realized that this is not the same as starting with an empty list, and crossed them off. I deferred a handful of items to the calendar.

The best part: delete delete delete! I found that I had quite a few idealistic ideas to think about. Normally these items would build up until I gave up on the list. Deleting them keeps the system fresh. I learned from from the previous No List concept: I will eventually think of these things as needed in the future, if I have time. I don't need to track them.

Today I am trying to do what I had suggested: don't do too many things (keep the "standing out" threshold high), especially on the first pass.
July 25, 2017 at 20:11 | Unregistered CommenterDon R