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My GTD-ish method + dilema

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  • My GTD-ish method + dilema

    I love GTD. Have never been so organized. Well, at least I've never had all my thoughts and ideas down in one place (currently using the awesome omnifocus on my iPad 2, iPhone and iMac... all work seamlessly together). My method includes a routine of Pomodoros (review todos each morning, make a list of items that I want to accomplish in a day, set them on paper in order, and go through them noting each 25 mins with an "X" until that item is done, then onto the next one). The problem is two-fold: first, my todo lists just keep piling up because everyday something new takes priority (this is perhaps the most problematic thing of GTD for me) and I can never finish all my Pomodoros in a day, so they accumulate. My GTD projects, WF, Agendas, etc, are mushrooming like mad... I'm not sure what to do next to get back on track.

  • #2
    Originally posted by PeterR View Post
    make a list of items that I want to accomplish in a day
    No wonder you never finish all your Pomodoros! We all have lots and lots of things we want to accomplish in a day. But planning and estimation is part of the Pomodoro system so that we have a realistic, finishable plan.

    Originally posted by PeterR View Post
    everyday something new takes priority (this is perhaps the most problematic thing of GTD for me)
    I'm not sure why you're experiencing this. What in GTD is leading you into this problem?



    Cheers,
    Roger

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    • #3
      Just say NO more often.

      Originally posted by PeterR View Post
      The problem is two-fold: first, my todo lists just keep piling up because everyday something new takes priority (this is perhaps the most problematic thing of GTD for me) and I can never finish all my Pomodoros in a day, so they accumulate. My GTD projects, WF, Agendas, etc, are mushrooming like mad... I'm not sure what to do next to get back on track.
      Just say NO more often.

      It is not a GTD problem.

      Comment


      • #4
        Things are going to pop up during the day no matter what productivity method you use. If you have 8 hours in the day and at the start of the day are listing 8 hours worth of things you want to get done, you're not taking into account the fact that new things will pop up. Could it be that you're setting unrealistic goals for each day?

        If you're already working in a very efficient way and things are piling up, perhaps you're taking on too much. I used to think that GTD would allow me to take on and complete an *unlimited* amount of work. But of course no system can do that (although it has still let me become one of he most productive people I know). I have a list of questions to ask myself during the weekly review, and one of them is now "Are you taking on too much", which i find useful for when things are piling up for me.

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        • #5
          How are you getting on?

          Just saw that you haven't been on for a week. How are you getting on now?
          Allie

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Peter

            It sounds like you may be setting yourself up to fail to a certain extent by making mini lists of things to do for the day, but not having enough time in the day to do them. Try not to forget the threefold model for daily work:
            - Doing predefined work
            - Doing work as it shows up
            - Defining your work
            You seem to be concentrating wholly on the first section and not allowing the others to be part of your work.

            If you prefer to work with Pomodoros perhaps a better way of working might be to choose only 2 things from your list that you absolutely want to get done. Once those two are done you can feel satisfied with your efforts and should you have any further disgressionary time (around doing work as it shows up) you can choose from your next action lists depending on context, time available, energy available and (lastly) priority.

            In terms of your mushrooming workload, you could perhaps take a look at your areas of focus and see whether you are being asked to take on work that isn't actually your responsibility. If it is work that is your responsibility, you may need to look at all the projects on your plate and make decisions about which could move to "Someday/Maybe" to reduce the feeling of overwhelm.

            Best of luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              I have this problem. I think it's because my boss is a perfectionistic crazymaker and treats me like a personal assistant. Like this week, I was given the task of writing a memo to the general managers so they can approve a decision our project team made. The memo was signed by my boss and the civil assets representative. Why didn't my boss or the other guy draft the memo? Why do I have to do tasks my boss is responsible for? There's no use asking, I have before and he seems to get really upset and always comes up with a logical reason. Never mind I am behind on all my own work. And of course I got asked to attend the meeting where my boss presented the memo. Why do I need to attend I asked, I need to work on XYZ. Oh, but what if the GMs ask a question I don't know the answer to? The civil assets rep is going to be there, he'll know. Unfortunately my name was specifically mentioned and I had to go, and a one hour meeting took up 4 hours of time. 6 if you include the meeting preparation time.
              This is one example of an issue, but it happens a lot and I don't know how to manage it because my boss is usually the cause of this.

              Our work policy in dealing with stress is that we are supposed to talk to our boss about it, but I can't do that because my boss is the problem and any time I try to talk about it things don't go well. I can't stand talking to him, seeing him or working with him.

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              • #8
                Is it a problem or an opportunity?

                Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
                I have this problem. I think it's because my boss is a perfectionistic crazymaker and treats me like a personal assistant. Like this week, I was given the task of writing a memo to the general managers so they can approve a decision our project team made. The memo was signed by my boss and the civil assets representative. Why didn't my boss or the other guy draft the memo? Why do I have to do tasks my boss is responsible for? There's no use asking, I have before and he seems to get really upset and always comes up with a logical reason. Never mind I am behind on all my own work. And of course I got asked to attend the meeting where my boss presented the memo. Why do I need to attend I asked, I need to work on XYZ. Oh, but what if the GMs ask a question I don't know the answer to? The civil assets rep is going to be there, he'll know. Unfortunately my name was specifically mentioned and I had to go, and a one hour meeting took up 4 hours of time. 6 if you include the meeting preparation time.
                Is it a problem or an opportunity?

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's a problem if I'm behind, which I am. If I can get up to date then it will be an opportunity because he will encourage me to get ahead of the game, and hopefully that will look better to others and I'll end up with a better job (hopefully not working for him!).

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