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Gtd without actions for newbie?

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  • Gtd without actions for newbie?

    What do you think about using gtd without action management for someone who is new?Could this work well? Or would lead to bad habits?

    Basically the person would implent all non actionable data management practices and use projects but without managing any actions, contexts, due dates and etc.
    He would collect all incoming stuff to inbox and process it into project support materials or general reference. And so on.

    What do you think?

  • #2
    Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
    What do you think about using gtd without action management for someone who is new?Could this work well?
    Personally I don't think it will work at all. A key feature of GTD is keeping track of what you need to do. If you want to start small I'd do the opposite, start with a listing of all your current things to do or actions by contexts and slowly add the projects, AOF & project support.

    I think that is more likely to give you the quick wins you need to keep going and will show you that GTD can work in your situation by freeing up your mind to start looking at the other areas.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, btw this is not for me but for other person
      I personally feel like I'm super good at gtd.

      Anyway I agree with you about that actions are the key feature of gtd but I'm not convinced that it will not work at all without managing actions. I mean David Allen himself didn't come up with the idea of next actions right away, right? He was using a list of all outcomes at first first. The project list. I might be wrong but I think I heard it in some podcast or something.

      Look, the person has to proces all new input anyway, regardless of whether he does gtd or not, right?

      I'm not talking about achieving mind like water at this point.

      I kind of want to show him how to organize all stuff without doing gtd. He still would define successful outcomes as projects but will not manage next actions. He would still use calendar and tickler though. But no next actions. Action management is more of a next level and maybe too much at the beginning?

      And then when he has a very smooth and efficient non actionable data management system he could add actionable data management layer. Otherwise I'm afraid that non actionable data would just clog up the whole process.

      Do you still think it would not work? Any other opinions?
      Last edited by supergtdman; 12-16-2011, 10:17 AM.

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      • #4
        GTD without actions ideas

        I have implemented GTD basic for projects/processes for myself and co-workers before. I basically come up with a flowchart similar to the GTD process and have different stages for the data entry, or part inventory, customer management, etc. It's can also be done as a checklist. I then use email folders, or spreadsheet columns or a paper checklist to keep track of it. I don't want to track each item in my own GTD action list (too much data), but i track bigger sub categories in my GTD. I might also mark it as delegated/waiting for if it's all on somebody else, but i need to remember to check in with that person.

        Mike

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        • #5
          Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
          David Allen himself didn't come up with the idea of next actions right away, right? .... Look, the person has to proces all new input anyway, regardless of whether he does gtd or not, right? ... Do you still think it would not work? Any other opinions?
          No idea on your first point.

          No I don't think people routinely process all new input at all.

          I guess for me no I can't see how that will really be much different from whatever is being done now. The big new change for me from other time and project management systems was the idea of contexts for things to do. I think you get more bang for the buck and a jump start on how to do projects and everything else just by changing the existing list of things to do to be in contexts.

          So I'd say still start with actions first.

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          • #6
            I think the key here is: What are you trying to achieve?

            Certainly GTD practices can be adopted one step at a time, but where to start would probably be very individual, so if you can let us know more about why you are helping this person with GTD, that would help.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mthar1 View Post
              I think the key here is: What are you trying to achieve?

              Certainly GTD practices can be adopted one step at a time, but where to start would probably be very individual, so if you can let us know more about why you are helping this person with GTD, that would help.
              It is someone who does a lot of research and have to organize a lot of information. Pretty much all contexts are available to him most of the and he doesn't have much of a hard landscape. A lot of his work is mental like figuring things out, planning and making decisions instead of physical actions.

              That's why I think working from projects/outcomes perspective and having a smooth non actionable data management system/workflow could be basically more useful than a list of next actions. He doesn't have a lot of stuff going on at the same time in terms of different actions but the stuff he works on is very complex in terms of reference data.

              It takes a lot of time and effort to really master runway action management but I don't think this person would get as much value out of it when he would end up using project list most of the time instead of action lists anyway.

              Maybe I'm wrong though. That's why I'm interested in opinions
              Last edited by supergtdman; 12-17-2011, 09:58 PM.

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              • #8
                I'm sorry about nagging you on this, but you didn't answer the question of what you are (or he is) trying to achieve.

                If he is already motivated to learn GTD, then why not go for the full approach at once.

                If the purpose is to become better at not forgetting things like buying milk, that's different from trying to improve the ability to focus on what is the strategically most important projects, which is different again from needing to improve reliability in fulfilling external commitments.

                While working bottom-up with implementing GTD definitely is the only reasonable way of doing it when over-commitment and stress is a main issue, I do see that it is in some circumstances it could work just as well to work top-down.

                What defines GTD for me is partly the stress on capturing and processing even the tiniest minutiae externally, partly being very aware of your mental processes and discretely define outcomes, actions and contexts. If this is not where this person has his biggest development potential, then maybe GTD is not what he should be learning at this time anyway. What you write about having "a smooth non actionable data management system/workflow" sound just right to me, and finding a good reference managing system if he doesn't have one certainly should do wonders, but that is a very different thing from GTD.

                So, yes, I agree it could be done that way, but I still don't understand the benefit in this specific case.

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