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A Few Rookie Questions

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  • A Few Rookie Questions

    Hey all... I've been working on GTD for a couple weeks now, and I think I'm doing pretty good... stuff isn't falling off my back burner and I've gotten some compliments about being on the ball. But I do have a couple questions... nobody has to reply with a Novel... if you only have one suggestion on one tiny part of one question that would still be helpful to me.

    1) I am struggling with the idea of the "next" action. For example... for one project I am responsible for updating six different documents. All of them have the same context, all of them will take about the same level of energy, same amount of time, and have the same priority. There are no interdepencies among them (I don't have to finish Document A to start Document B, etc.) Now what I have done, is add *each* of them as a next action. The reason I did this is that I wanted everything to be in my trusted system so nothing would be floating around in my head... yet now I have six items in my next action folder that are for the same project... which seems to violate the spirit of, "Only think of the next physical thing you can do."

    I considered two other options... one was putting all of them in the "Projects" entry and taking them out one at a time, only putting a new one in the hopper when one was finished... but then I'd have to choose which one to do "first" and there's no real priority to them. And this may sound odd but... even though they are of equal priority and take the same amount of work... I might "Feel like" working on the program bi-weekly survey *more* than I feel like working on the program handbook... if that makes sense.

    How should I be handling this? Any suggestions?

    2) I am doing much better (many many times better) at doing GTD at work than I am at home. I have a Toodledo account which I sync with Got To Do on my Droid X... but for some reason in spite of the success GTD is giving me at work, I sort of completely forget about it when I walk out the door. I *did* set up a workspace at home, but even when I'm in it I'm not in the GTD mindset. I recently went through a breakup and my ex left his desk... I'm thinking about coopting that and having it be a new "clean" workspace but that will be a lot of work if it's a whole other issue I'm having.

    3) Daily Tasks: I read the GTD FAQ over at Zen Habits, and there are several suggestions there on how to handle Daily Tasks. The approach I am taking so far is this: I have added a "Daily" "Folder" within ToodleDo (it's just a category type really, it isn't visually like a folder at all) so within different contexts (Work, Home, Errands, etc.) I have some "Daily" things visible. I even set these up on ToodleDo to repeat every day after they are completed.

    There's only one problem: I'm not doing them. Now the obvious problem is I'm either lazy or not paying enough attention to my own lists.. but even if that's the case, I'm wondering if there's a better way for me to keep track of them that will mesh better with my style. The overall system seems to be working great... I definitely *am* getting things done.

    ------------------------

    Well those are my questions. I have and have read the book and I searched several FAQ sites, so I apologize if this is stuff that's all explained super clearly here somewhere and I just couldn't find it. I really appreciate advice from any black belts... heck any white belts since I haven't earned any belts yet.

    Happy Thursday!

    Adam

  • #2
    First or random action. ZTD is not GTD.

    Originally posted by Adam616 View Post
    1) I am struggling with the idea of the "next" action. For example... for one project I am responsible for updating six different documents. All of them have the same context, all of them will take about the same level of energy, same amount of time, and have the same priority. There are no interdepencies among them (I don't have to finish Document A to start Document B, etc.) Now what I have done, is add *each* of them as a next action. The reason I did this is that I wanted everything to be in my trusted system so nothing would be floating around in my head... yet now I have six items in my next action folder that are for the same project... which seems to violate the spirit of, "Only think of the next physical thing you can do."

    I considered two other options... one was putting all of them in the "Projects" entry and taking them out one at a time, only putting a new one in the hopper when one was finished... but then I'd have to choose which one to do "first" and there's no real priority to them. And this may sound odd but... even though they are of equal priority and take the same amount of work... I might "Feel like" working on the program bi-weekly survey *more* than I feel like working on the program handbook... if that makes sense.

    How should I be handling this? Any suggestions?
    Pick first such action from your list

    or

    Throw a dice to pick one of the actions.

    Originally posted by Adam616 View Post
    3) Daily Tasks: I read the GTD FAQ over at Zen Habits, and there are several suggestions there on how to handle Daily Tasks. The approach I am taking so far is this: I have added a "Daily" "Folder" within ToodleDo (it's just a category type really, it isn't visually like a folder at all) so within different contexts (Work, Home, Errands, etc.) I have some "Daily" things visible. I even set these up on ToodleDo to repeat every day after they are completed.
    There's no such thing like Daily To Do lists in GTD. There's only a hard landscape in Calendar.

    Daily lists are part of Leo Babauta's (Zen Habits) Zen To Done (ZTD) methodology. ZTD is not GTD.

    Comment


    • #3
      put your 6 items on your list

      Originally posted by Adam616 View Post
      There are no interdepencies among them (I don't have to finish Document A to start Document B, etc.) Now what I have done, is add *each* of them as a next action. The reason I did this is that I wanted everything to be in my trusted system so nothing would be floating around in my head... yet now I have six items in my next action folder that are for the same project... which seems to violate the spirit of, "Only think of the next physical thing you can do."
      There is no rule that says that you're only allowed one single next action for every project... the rule is "on your next action lists there should only be next physical things to do". So, if you have 6, non dependent actions that all go with one project, it's ok to have all 6 of them on your next action list. And if they're really totally equal in context, work load, etc... then picking "the one you feel most like doing" is a perfect choice.

      Succes!
      Myriam
      Last edited by Myriam; 03-24-2011, 09:03 AM. Reason: typo

      Comment


      • #4
        a bit short as answer

        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post

        There's no such thing like Daily To Do lists in GTD. There's only a hard landscape in Calendar.

        Daily lists are part of Leo Babauta's (Zen Habits) Zen To Done (ZTD) methodology. ZTD is not GTD.
        well, no, ok, there is no such thing as a daily to do list in GTD. But in real life there are daily to do's. And the question here was "how do I cover those within GTD". Because you do want them done by the end of each day.

        Adam, you might want to search the forum on the topic of "creating habbits" or things like that. This question has been covered many times and those threads might help you.

        Myriam

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello there,

          I'd recommend signing up for a free, two-week guest pass to GTD Connect to watch the Keys to Mastering Workflow webinar, if nothing else. Lots of good nuggets in that one on the essential best practices.

          I also posted a Q&A with David to the GTD Connect Forums. Here's a copy of that:

          Question: I find myself putting things on my to-do-list and then moving things to do the next day over and over. I'm wondering if you had any thoughts on if what this means and how I can get past it. Is is procrastination, does that mean these task just aren't important or possibly that its part of a bigger project? Make sense?

          David Allen: Daily to-do lists are usually (as in your case) unrealistic (given changes and surprises). My suggested way to organize reminders of "as soon as I can get to them" is a set of on-going lists that you review when you have discretionary time. And save your calendar and must-do's for the day (meaning CAN'T do any other day) as your "hard landscape" view.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post

            ---

            There's no such thing like Daily To Do lists in GTD. There's only a hard landscape in Calendar.

            Daily lists are part of Leo Babauta's (Zen Habits) Zen To Done (ZTD) methodology. ZTD is not GTD.
            Is Adam referring to a list of things that must be done each and every day, rather than a do list that has been composed for the day?

            An example would be GTD itself. If you are new to GTD, where do you put your reminder of the parts of GTD to run through each day?

            In my case, I consider the action or project to be one of creating the habit.
            I have a calendar category that I call Reminders. In my calendar system, these have been set to not be displayed as they would clutter my hard landscape.
            However, they have alerts that send a message to my email inbox.
            So, if I were starting GTD on day one, I might create an alert with title 'GTD Workflow' and the body would be:

            1 - Check Calendar
            2 - Inbox Zero
            3 - Process collectors to zero
            4 - Choose a next action

            When I'm done for the day, I delete the message and I get another one tomorrow morning.

            Once I feel the habit has been formed, I might reduce the frequency from daily to weekly and so on.

            Comment

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