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the three tools of GTD

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  • the three tools of GTD

    Hello, I'm a somewhat new GTDer. I got the book about a month ago and have since implemented it into my time management system. I think I pretty much have it down except for one area of the book. I am a little confused about how the 4 criteria for deciding work in the moment and the 3 options of defining work and the 6 levels of deciding priorties are supposed to work on a practical level. I totally understand the definintions of them and what they are but I couldn't quite understand how they work together to decide what to do. Just wondering how any of you guys make the these things work on a day-to-day basis. Especially how to make the 3options of work and the 6 levels of priorities work.

  • #2
    Habakkuk, the way I understand this is that the Six-Level Model provides a framework for planning your life and keeping decisions about what to do in sync with your long- and short-term goals and responsibilities and roles you have in your life. The Three-fold Model helps you evaluate what kind of work you want to be doing right now. And the Four-Criteria Model supplies criteria for deciding the actual next action to do based on context, time available, etc.

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    • #3
      Re: the three tools of GTD

      Hello, I'm a somewhat new GTDer. I got the book about a month ago and have since implemented it into my time management system. I think I pretty much have it down except for one area of the book.
      Wow…this is awesome! Please share how you got up and running so quickly! I know there are a lot of people who read the book, and go to our seminars, who would like to hear success stories about how others manage their actions and projects.

      I am a little confused about how the 4 criteria for deciding work in the moment …
      I explain this in seminars using an example. A couple of years ago, I was on a plane. I remembered there was someone I had to call, and I hadn’t yet done it. I didn’t have anything to do on the plane, so I used the airphone to make the call. It was great; I was productive, the client was pleased, and I felt good for doing something…then I got the phone bill. I had to pay close to $200 for that conversation. That’s when I realized, I would always have a list of “available” next actions with me. I start by looking at where I am (office, errands, home) and the tools I have (computer, phone); then, I look at my watch and calendar (what do I have to do, when?); then, I may assess my abilities (am I fresh? Can I think? Has it been a long/hard/challenging/stressful day?); then, with all that in mind, I check the lists I can do (context) in the time I have (time available) with the resources I have (focus, energy, direction) and make the best choice (priority).

      and the 3 options of defining work …
      Do I
      Call someone from my calls list? (1)
      Respond to someone who just called (2)
      Open my e-mail in box and process the last hour of e-mail? (3)

      I don’t know when I’ll do each one, but I do know that the day is filled with all three!

      and the 6 levels of deciding priorties are supposed to work on a practical level.
      Practically (and realistically) speaking, most of the time I’m on the runway level. In the weekly review (practically) I’ll do a complete review of my projects list. There, I’ll spend 1-2 minutes per project, asking myself about successful outcomes (Am I still committed?), next actions (What’s an easy next step on this?) project plans (Do I have to do any more brainstorming, or should I review the current project plan.

      Then, here’s how I do review them:

      20,000 foot list : Areas of focus (exercise, health), responsibility (homeowner, husband) focus (writing, speaking) are reviewed once every 4-8 months…looking for PROJECTS to add to the projects list.

      30,000 foot list : 12-30 month goals…once a year (usually in December)

      40,000 foot list : every time my life changes (graduated college, changed jobs, got married, etc)

      50,000 foot list : do it once, and you’re ahead of most!

      I totally understand the definintions of them and what they are but I couldn't quite understand how they work together to decide what to do. Just wondering how any of you guys make the these things work on a day-to-day basis.
      Day to day, here’s my routine:

      1) As soon as I’m not doing anything else: check the calendar (What HAS to be done today?)
      2) As soon as I have discretionary time (given my calendar):
      - process IN, or
      - check @action lists and pick one to work on, or
      - work ad hoc (do something that is NOT on a list)
      3) At least once a week...do a weekly review! Make sure I can work within numbers 1) and 2) and be comfortable

      Especially how to make the 3options of work…
      I find that the more ready I am for the next thing, the easier it is to focus on what I’m doing now. So, clean up, clear up, process my in-boxes and then work off the lists. The phone is going to ring, can I answer it and only be thinking about who I’m talking to?

      and the 6 levels of priorities work.
      For me, these have been higher level conversations with: Boss, Spouse, Community Leaders, Family and other people in my life whenever I need that boost of “Why am I doing all of this?”

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      • #4
        Re: the three tools of GTD

        and the 3 options of defining work …

        I forgot to link to this article by Meg...

        http://www.davidco.com/coaches_corne...article27.html


        Here's the first paragraph:

        Meg Gott
        The Three-Fold Nature of Prioritizing

        When we enter into the “Doing” phases in GTD we have to take into consideration how we are prioritizing what we are doing. Prioritizing is a highly intuitive process. The only way you can truly know that the thing you are doing right now is the highest priority is if you have everything clearly defined so you can make an informed choice from moment to moment.

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        • #5
          My story is probably not success story material. It was fast for me to implement GTD because I only 22 and doing an internship in Canada. I still don't have alot of open loops in my life. This fall I'm going back to University so I'll alot more work that I have to manage myself. I'll find out then if I really have implemented successfully. But thanks for the help and clarification of the three priorty frameworks. It's a big help. So just to clarify the six levels, should they be linked and build on each other or are you suggesting they are considered independently and just kept in balance?

          Comment


          • #6
            My story is probably not success story material. It was fast for me to implement GTD because I only 22 and doing an internship in Canada. I still don't have alot of open loops in my life. This fall I'm going back to University so I'll alot more work that I have to manage myself. I'll find out then if I really have implemented successfully. But thanks for the help and clarification of the three priorty frameworks. It's a big help. So just to clarify the six levels, should they be linked and build on each other or are you suggesting they are considered independently and just kept in balance?

            Comment

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