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Dialy Routine and Urgent to Do

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  • Dialy Routine and Urgent to Do

    I am curious and may not understand correctly... Does David suggest we do not keep a urgent to do list at all? By the sounds of it he does, when you read and listen to his discussions regarding 'DO'... What is your thought on that?

    One more thing, I am self employed and most of what I do is sales orientated. How can I work the daily to do into this system, for instance prospecting which is not a project that will really come to an end but needs to be done regularly. It kinda falls in with the above question as well. If one does not do regular prospecting or cold calling you are not going to have business coming in which means you are not going to get other stuff to do... Do you recommend I put aside specific context time frames for those...

    I believe in arranging stuff according to what your task(s) are worth at that point in time in that context. If all companies are open from 8:00 to 17:00 then you choose to do the more expensive task(s) e.g. sales, cold calls or rather the thing that brings you closer to making your money etc. So I will have to fix specific times for specific stuff... or not? I don't know

  • #2
    I don't have an urgent to do list, and whilst it initially seems strange, it doesn't if you use your calendar well. Anything I MUST do today is on today's calendar. So I know if I get every task done that falls today, I'm ok for now. In the weekly review, if a task is slipping that I need to get done more quickly, I might choose to assign a due date in light of all my other project tasks etc. I try not to use due dates, and apply them carefully, as I don't want to eternally work off the calendar list, but if something needs to be done urgently and I know people will start chasing me up if I haven't done it, I'll assign a date to make sure I meet their expectations. If I have too many tasks on my calendar it's a sign that other people's expectations are unreasonable, and I need to have a talk with the others or my boss to set more realistic expectations.

    Routine stuff - I use three main checklists - a morning checklist (at home), daily work checklist and an evening checklist (at home). So when I'm choosing what to do, I'll review both my checklists and my action lists to decide what to do. I like to have a balance of both, but sometimes if life is too hectic the action list items might take precedence, but on a normal day I try to get a lot of the checklist items done so they don't buildup and cause problems later.

    It is certainly true that some activities are best done at certain times. I find that making work phone calls around lunchtime can be a bit of a waste of time, but personal calls at lunchtime can be a great time for many people. I think you need to observe what patterns occur and take these into account when choosing what action to do, but still be a bit flexible and willing to change this, you don't need to fix it into a hard and fast routine.

    I think the essence of GTD is to be aware of everything - the routine actions, the next actions, the context/time/energy/priority of things, and also the best fit for some actions at some times, and use all of that knowledge to make an intuitive choice in the moment of what to do. GTD is about being flexible, so the decision you make one day may change the next day, and keep responsive to events and be able to stay in the moment and not be so fixed to a routine that you miss a great opportunity. However if there is nothing of interest happening at the moment the routines are still there.

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    • #3
      Checklists

      Aaaaahhhhh Checklists! Before GTD I had an idea of actually having checklists of everything routine to do... Thank you! You just reminded me of them. How do you actually work them into your GTD system, do you for instance just move the daily checklist to the next day on your calender or something? How and where do you remind yourself of the checklist...

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      • #4
        Yes, before GTD I was a big believer in prioritisation systems - A/B/C importance, 1/2/3 urgency, etc. Certainly dropping all of this is helpful. I'd suggest re-reading chapter 9, in particular the 4 criteria model. Keep in mind that priority is number 4, in chronological order. I find that once I'm in a particular context, the time and energy available are very quickly intuitively determined, and I then have a much narrower set of potential actions that I prioritise.

        The other relevant point, as the second post notes, is that genuinely urgent (ie, 'to be done on a particular day') items will be in your calendar, which takes precedence over your action lists.

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        • #5
          I have my next action list manager on my iPhone (Pocket Informant), and my checklist is a separate app (Checksheet). I like Checksheet because the items can disappear once ticked, so you don't think about them over again. I usually always start with the checklist, and somewhere in the list I have 'Check PI' and that's when I compare what's on today's calendar with what's on my checklist and decide whether to keep going with my checklist items or change to PI items, or prioritise the checklist items in light of whats on today's PI list.

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          • #6
            Sometimes I put a "priority" on an action list item, but it's only to bring the item to the top of my list & attention. It's what I want to focus on for that day, if everything goes according to plan (which is rarely the case...LOL) The idea is that it helps you to focus on the things you'd like to get done, but you still have to keep the list flexible for emergencies and other priorities that can (and will) shift during the day.

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            • #7
              Precedence

              That is true ladies and gentleman! The calender should take precedence over the NA. I will work out a checklist of routine stuff I need to do e.g. prospecting, client follow-up etc and then work that into my calender, depending on how important it is it will take precedence over my NA lists...

              I will basically put everything out on the table and have a look at what needs to be done and choose intuitively what is more important based on the GTD system (sometimes) and then go ahead and do those.

              Everything just as you all pointed out. Thanks!

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              • #8
                I agree that the calendar is the place for things that need to be done at or by a particular date, but I also use a short list of "burning issues" -- the four or five projects that are on the front burner for me. It's the first thing that I look at in the morning most days. And most days I need a little bit of reminding, maybe not for the absolute top priority project, but there's usually an "oh yeah" at a couple of the others. I might miss them if they're just in the larger project list.

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                • #9
                  Burning Issues

                  Hi Tomata

                  Thanks for the idea around the burning issues... I borrowed it, hope you don't mind

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