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How to structure things done regularly, but for an indefinite period of time.

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  • How to structure things done regularly, but for an indefinite period of time.

    If I want to write one post on each of two blogs every week and use that time for exercise on the other three days of the work-week . . . and I want to do this for an indefinite period of time (i.e., there is no "end," making it difficult to define these things as projects), what are the best ways to do this within the GTD system?

    This seems like such a common type of thing; I'm surprised it isn't addressed in the book. Or is it and I missed it?

    Cheers!

  • #2
    Calendared event. Simple.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by alenabakai View Post
      Calendared event. Simple.
      That would work if they were always on the same day, at the same time, and for a definite period of time.

      I have five 1-hour "things" that need to get done every week, one every day. It doesn't matter which one is done on which day. And, I don't know how long I'll be doing them all, e.g., I may stop writing for one blog at some unknown date in the future.

      Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        You can automate such things in Omnifocus with start and due dates and repeat after interval.
        Other than that you'll probably have to track it manually. The easiest way would be daily checklist which you check each day to keep things simple.

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        • #5
          These are Habits not GTD tasks

          I used to have repeating tasks and calendar events for all sorts of little things that needed to happen on a daily or weekly basis: water plants, take out the garbage, publish my blog entry, etc. This didn't work. It cluttered my task list with a lot of actions that needed instead to be automatic, and happening below the GTD radar.

          Think of it this way: you wouldn't put "brush my teeth" on your GTD list every day, unless you were trying to ingrain a habit that you'd fallen out of. GTD is not good for habits.

          Instead, do as a previous poster suggested: have a daily or weekly checklist of these items. Your task is to go through the checklist on a regular basis. Keep track of how well you're doing on each habit on the checklist. A good place to look for this kind of thing is here:

          http://everydaysystems.com/habitcal/

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          • #6
            The easiest solution is to set a weekly schedule.

            Originally posted by innovyse View Post
            That would work if they were always on the same day, at the same time, and for a definite period of time.
            You can decide that you will do them on the same weekday. The easiest solution is to set a weekly schedule.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
              You can decide that you will do them on the same weekday. The easiest solution is to set a weekly schedule.
              Absolutely. You have stated that you want to intertwine two very different activities: exercise and blogging. If you don't want to commit to specific days or times, about the best you could do with an electronic system is to have weekly recurring events like blog 1, blog 2, exercise 1, exercise 2, exercise 3. Omnifocus, for example, will let you hide exercise 2 and 3 until exercise 1 is done. You can put a reminder in your calendar to do something on a given day, but do you only want to do this on 5 our of sever days of the week? Any five or perhaps just weekdays? I understand you want what you want, but it's up to you to figure out how to do something like this. A weekly schedule is easy. Even easier is to decouple the two activities.

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              • #8
                Put a recurring reminder to schedule weekly

                I have a piece of paper in my tickler file (but a reminder on the computer would work too) to schedule my weekly review and some other recurring events for the week.

                Every Monday morning, I look at my week and determine where these will fit - at that time they go on my calendar to block the time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by innovyse View Post
                  If I want to write one post on each of two blogs every week and use that time for exercise on the other three days of the work-week . . . and I want to do this for an indefinite period of time (i.e., there is no "end," making it difficult to define these things as projects), what are the best ways to do this within the GTD system?

                  This seems like such a common type of thing; I'm surprised it isn't addressed in the book. Or is it and I missed it?

                  Cheers!
                  I'd say it depends a lot on your setup in general. I can see either a daily reminder in your calendar, an item on your daily checklist or an item on your NA lists working equally well, as long as it fits with your GTD workflow. For me, using OmniFocus, I can have my daily checklist and my NA lists mixed together as that works well with my setup. For others, that doesn't work, for various reasons. But really, the only thing that is essential is that you put the reminder in a place where you trust that you will see it at the appropriate time - be that a note on the bathroom mirror if you will.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Best Practice

                    Originally posted by innovyse View Post
                    If I want to write one post on each of two blogs every week and use that time for exercise on the other three days of the work-week . . . and I want to do this for an indefinite period of time (i.e., there is no "end," making it difficult to define these things as projects), what are the best ways to do this within the GTD system?

                    This seems like such a common type of thing; I'm surprised it isn't addressed in the book. Or is it and I missed it?

                    Cheers!
                    Hi!

                    As some of our other members advised, these are the types of things that I definitely put into my calendar. I don't put it in as a note or reminder, I physically block those hours to ensure my commitment is set for that time.

                    Best of luck to you!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      calendar and review

                      Since it has to do with a specific time of the day it needs to be on your calendar, not in your action management system. It very easy to schedule these kinds of things in modern calendar applications. If it will end in the future, or you're not sure how long said calendar item is going to repeat, you can set it to repeat for one month. Then in one month you can review and see if it's still going to go on for another month.

                      The key for these kinds of unknowns is a review because only you can decide whether or not something will keep going or not and you can only make that decision based on information you receive in the future. For that matter, sometimes the information you need to make your decision will only come through experimentation. So take a guess on how long it'll probably last and when you get to that point review and extend, alter, or terminate as necessary.

                      Hope that helps!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by innovyse View Post
                        I have five 1-hour "things" that need to get done every week, one every day. It doesn't matter which one is done on which day.
                        Since you can do each of those 5 things in one go, they are Next Actions. So, you have 5 Next Actions with a due by date <insert last day of the given week>.

                        In the raw plain vanilla paleo GTD system, the intended tool for these kind of things is the tickler file. Do you have a tickler file (digital can be ok, too, but do you have a tickler file?)? No?

                        If yes, put a checklist with the 5 things on it in the tickler file for <insert last day of the given week>. That way it pops out at the end of the week and you can re-enter the 5 NAs.

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