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Work Diary

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  • Work Diary

    I am about to start a new job and I've been focusing on tuning my GTD skills as I approach getting started.

    One of the things that I've been thinking about is potentially keeping a work "diary", capturing what happened during the day: meetings attended, tasks completed, decisions made, etc.

    GTD is perfectly focused on capturing the future and dealing with the present, but it doesn't help me analyze or focus on the past. I could see a diary as very useful when analyzing goal-orientation, accomplishments for official reviews, and general productivity questions.

    Does anyone else do this for their professional life? Do you find it useful?

  • #2
    It can be a lot of work!

    Originally posted by mmorowitz View Post
    One of the things that I've been thinking about is potentially keeping a work "diary", capturing what happened during the day: meetings attended, tasks completed, decisions made, etc.
    It can be a lot of work to update a separate register of all the work you are doing.

    Writing down main accomplishments and lessons would valuable but detailed log can be overwhelming.

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    • #3
      Try Pomodoros

      I used the GTD method in combination with a Pomodoros strategy. Aside from drastically helping a procrastinator increase his productivity, it let's me review my day, where I faltered and got lazy, when I did my best work, etc. Google it.

      Originally posted by mmorowitz View Post
      I am about to start a new job and I've been focusing on tuning my GTD skills as I approach getting started.

      One of the things that I've been thinking about is potentially keeping a work "diary", capturing what happened during the day: meetings attended, tasks completed, decisions made, etc.

      GTD is perfectly focused on capturing the future and dealing with the present, but it doesn't help me analyze or focus on the past. I could see a diary as very useful when analyzing goal-orientation, accomplishments for official reviews, and general productivity questions.

      Does anyone else do this for their professional life? Do you find it useful?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mmorowitz View Post
        I am about to start a new job and I've been focusing on tuning my GTD skills as I approach getting started.

        One of the things that I've been thinking about is potentially keeping a work "diary", capturing what happened during the day: meetings attended, tasks completed, decisions made, etc.

        GTD is perfectly focused on capturing the future and dealing with the present, but it doesn't help me analyze or focus on the past. I could see a diary as very useful when analyzing goal-orientation, accomplishments for official reviews, and general productivity questions.

        Does anyone else do this for their professional life? Do you find it useful?
        I have done this on and off with some success, but as TesTeq says it can be a big job in itself to keep it up.

        My best success comes when I am in the office and I can use a spreadsheet as a time log - I log start and finish time and just a sentence or two on what I did and any if necessary why.

        If I am working on a more complex project and have to make some decisions or figure out something new (like recently I had to install a new laptop onto our network at work) then I make some notes as I go along and keep those for future reference.

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        • #5
          I disagree with the general consensus. But I do so politely.

          I think this could be a great idea for the beginning of a new job. I think having a goal to keep it up indefinitely is probably more effort than it's worth--every new job eventually becomes routine. But keeping track of the details for a few weeks and reviewing them at your weekly review would help you see areas where your system can better mesh with your new environs. Then you can just keep track of major issues as needed.

          In your position, I would commit to doing it for a short period--say, two weeks--and then reassess.

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