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WoW - GTD is pure magic

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  • WoW - GTD is pure magic

    I took up reading GTD last week with a bit of skepticism which I suppose is excusable because the other books I had read on Time management and Personal effectiveness including the much praised '7 habits' did nothing to get me out of the mess I repeatedly found myself in. But GTD was refreshingly different. I could not even wait to complete the book before I wanted to implement David's ideas.

    I worked last weekend and set up my 'outlook' the way David advises (I still have to get his PDF download and my outlook 98 is not exactly made for his plug-in) and reined 'in' and processed every bit of 'stuff' in my office.

    I have never had a Monday morning experience like the one I had yesterday. Instead of desperately searching my RAM, I quickly went through my task lists under @Agendas, @Calls, @Office etc. and got more done by lunch time than ever before. I did have a 'To Do' list before; but now I know why it never helped. All the items on it were 'projects' as per GTD.

    So these are early days for me with GTD and I have some queries especially on setting up my outlook:

    1. How does one decide which task goes under @agendas and which under @calls?
    2. What is the best way to tackle subjects which need discussion with more than one person?
    3. As one keeps clearing tasks and further actions arise in the process, are such further actions noted in 'outlook' immediately or later? Which is the preferred option?

    Can somebody advise me. Many thanks,

    Venkat.

  • #2
    Congratulations!

    Question 1: I use @Agendas for people I deal with in person regularly to keep track of things I need to talk with them about when I see them. If I happen to be on the phone with one of these people, I will check thier @Agenda as well. I use @Calls for one-off phone calls I need to make.

    Question 2&3: I deal with both of these things the same way. I keep "non-next" actions in the note attached to the project task. If I have two next actions for a project and it doesn't matter which one of them gets done first, I sometimes just put them both in my next action lists.

    Hope that helps,

    Arthur

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    • #3
      I keep a separate @agenda category for each person/meeting. That way I can drag and drop easily from mail/ calendar to the right person's list, without having to open it up.
      This does leave me with a lot of task categories (so many friends!!), but I do find grouping tasks by category helps a lot, as does the keyboard shortcut: "alt-v x p"!

      Using this approach, it is easy to have a task in both @agenda fred and @phone. And after @phone, it may well stay in @agenda fred and move to @waiting. I also find it helpful to put in a due date to track people's commitments to me.

      rgds,
      Will

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      • #4
        Re: WoW - GTD is pure magic

        Originally posted by svenkat52
        I have never had a Monday morning experience like the one I had yesterday. Instead of desperately searching my RAM, I quickly went through my task lists under @Agendas, @Calls, @Office etc. and got more done by lunch time than ever before. I did have a 'To Do' list before; but now I know why it never helped. All the items on it were 'projects' as per GTD.Venkat.

        Hello!

        Your note reminded me of something I shared with a client some time ago:


        Some of our clients refer to the "workouts" we give as calisthenics for the mind. The game of defining your work, at all levels, is the act you participate in as you follow the Workflow Diagram. As something comes in, you’ll begin to find yourself (if you practice!) automatically asking, "What is it?" "Is it actionable?" "What’s the Next Action?" "What’s the Successful Outcome?"


        Then, take the answers to these last two questions and put them into a system that you trust to hold all of the project and action reminders you have captured. As you review these action lists (when you are in the context to take those actions) you’re mind will begin to look for the "win." (What can you mark off as *DONE*???)


        Just like sports have lines, goals and rules, so too you can impose these truths on your work. What are the borders of your work (projects), how do you add points to your score (next physical, visible actions) and how do you choose what to do (rules)?


        Good luck, and keep on practicing those moves!

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