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  • How do I process something like this...

    I'm pretty good at categorising most things, and have a good system going using Remember the Milk... But, here's the thing: I play the violin, very occassionally, and I want to play it more. It's in my inbox as 'Play the violin more' and I can't figure out how to process it. Does it go in someday/maybe, do I schedule practice time in my calendar? I'm at a loss as to how to process this and make sure I actually do it.

    Or do I really just need to get the thing out of the box and play it...

    I guess this also applies to 'get fitter' or 'eat better', but I think those things are easier to break down into next actions.

    Thoughts appreciated

  • #2
    I've got a similar action/project in that I want to write more. I ended up creating a project to "write in my journal" with an action "journal entry for today written" set to repeat 1 day after completed and due daily.

    What that does for me is make the item red if I am late (I use Omnifocus as my list manager) and once I've done it it's a regular next action until it's overdue.

    Keeps the item on my radar even when I don't do the writing daily.

    End result, I am writing a bit more frequently. Still not daily but i am improving.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have morning and evening checklists, and I have recently added music practice to the evening checklist (I have a violin too). I have estimated the time to do everything on my checklist, and assuming I didn't get distracted or have other things to do, I can do everything on the list each night. In practice that doesn't happen, I choose to skip items to fit in other actions, but I tend to be practicing about 3 times a week which I think is ok for now.

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      • #4
        Do you really want to play more? Why?

        Originally posted by mostin View Post
        I play the violin, very occassionally, and I want to play it more.
        Do you really want to play more? Why?

        I think it is really important to ask these questions.

        If I really want to do something I can't wait to do it. I even do not need to write it down because it is always on my mind.

        For example I want to windsurf more but it is possible only when there's a windy weather. So everyday I check the weather report in anticipation and hope.

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        • #5
          If you want to increase the amount of time or attention you're giving an area of focus in your life (recreation, creative expression, exercise, etc), then you likely have a process project like "Set up exercise regimen" or "Implement regular violin practice program". Once these are established, new projects related to these items will appear as you discover and define new goals for yourself in these areas.

          For anything that requires a time commitment I suggest setting appointments in your calendar, but there's more than just setting aside time to do an activity. You have to regularly evaluate what you want to learn on the violin over the next week, month or 3 months. Same thing with exercise. After doing just 30 minutes of cardio 3x per week for several weeks you might have to add additional exercises to your program.

          Of course, getting started is the hardest part, and GTD won't actually force you to get started with or stick to a commitment. It can only help you track your commitments.

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          • #6
            Thanks guys! Some food for thought here.

            I guess I didn't want to put it as a reminder on my calendar, as it would just make me feel bad when I didn't do it, but I reckon if I develop a program that is realistic, and that I actually want to do, then that might help.

            Someone elsewhere suggested I simply put it on a 'Goals' list, but I'm not sure that's helpful as it would just sit there with no action...

            But thanks - I've now arranged to go and play at my friend's house next week, as she plays the cello. So there's an incentive to brush up before then.

            Comment


            • #7
              Reminder on calendar

              I can see why you wouldn't want to put it on your Calendar, only to feel guilty every time you see it. There may be another way.

              You can put a "check-in" reminder question on your Calendar every few days, just to remind you to think about playing violin. For example, "Played violin recently?" may be less guilt-inducing than "practice violin for an hour".

              I use these check-in reminders on my Calendar because they are things I want to think about on a regular basis (therefore, are time-based, so appropriate for Calendar). I have found them incredibly useful.

              I have found that one result is that many of the things I want to do become things I would eventually like to do, but now is not the time for them. In that case, I put them on a Someday/Maybe list to look at in the future.

              Best of luck!
              -JohnV474

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnV474 View Post
                I can see why you wouldn't want to put it on your Calendar, only to feel guilty every time you see it. There may be another way.

                You can put a "check-in" reminder question on your Calendar every few days, just to remind you to think about playing violin. For example, "Played violin recently?" may be less guilt-inducing than "practice violin for an hour".

                I use these check-in reminders on my Calendar because they are things I want to think about on a regular basis (therefore, are time-based, so appropriate for Calendar). I have found them incredibly useful.

                I have found that one result is that many of the things I want to do become things I would eventually like to do, but now is not the time for them. In that case, I put them on a Someday/Maybe list to look at in the future.

                Best of luck!
                -JohnV474
                I do something similar, but I have a special calendar for these. They are set to *not* display in the calendar on my Mac and iPhone, but to send an email to me. This keeps my calendar clean. I get regular emails saying "Keep your diary up to date", or "Copy all government mail to your accountant", which I delete immediately. I have about 20 of these, all running at different frequencies.

                I consider these Reminders to behave differently from Tickler or Someday/Maybe items.

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                • #9
                  Why not just increase the frequency of play.



                  tasks like this sounds like repeating things. u normally schedule them once a week.



                  if u enjoy it just remind yourself more?

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                  • #10
                    Play the violin more sounds like an amorphous pile of stuff that David talks about...it needs more specific definition. What does that actually look like - Play an hour a week? Three hours a week? Two times a week?

                    I am learning to play the guitar. I have a daily task on my @Home list as Practice guitar. Some days that's 15 mins...some days it's 90 mins. Depends on my time and mood, but I have only missed three days in the last five weeks!

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                    • #11
                      mostin, you may want to refer back to an old thread that I started back in 2003 and it was revived in 2007

                      http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...icians-and-GTD

                      From that thread you can see a few different approaches suggested. I can't say that I have landed on the definitive approach. Even to this day I go back and forth as to whether something creative like music belongs on a regimented list or if it "just happens". I have had success with a paper and pencil approach to my music lists but I also like the reminders built into a software app or web app. At this point my web app of choice is RTM as well. I am trying to prep 15 or so songs to play on guitar for my step daughter's wedding so I have each song as a project and I will list my next actions for each song - song name: learn bars x to x. I also have repeating tasks set up to play each song each week. I use some tags - mostly simple contexts. At this point I don't see the need to connect the project to the task. I've done that in the past with other apps that allow that but for me it seemed to complicate things.

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                      • #12
                        question ont the side

                        Originally posted by ddewees View Post
                        I have each song as a project and I will list my next actions for each song - song name: learn bars x to x. I also have repeating tasks set up to play each song each week. I use some tags - mostly simple contexts. At this point I don't see the need to connect the project to the task. I've done that in the past with other apps that allow that but for me it seemed to complicate things.
                        If a song is a project and you list your actions as "song name-learn bars x to x", then aren't you in fact linking project and actions? If you really wouldn't link them, you would have an action called "learn bars x to x"... (not a good idea of course)

                        Myriam

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                        • #13
                          Myriam, yes you are correct. I do include the song title in the task name, creating a link. I meant to say that I usually do not add multiple tags to make that connection. With RTM, some users make use of multiple tags to link projects and tasks. The other web based apps I have used; todoist and toodledo allow for subtasks to make this connection.

                          I found that the extra tagging or the physical nesting of tasks isn't necessary for me. Stating the task name clearly seems to be sufficient. Backing that up with a weekly review helps ensure each song / project has a next action.

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