• If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.


No announcement yet.

GTD Roles

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • GTD Roles

    GTD Roles

    Understanding and implementing GTD is simple if you picture yourself playing five distinct roles at each stage of Collect, Process, Organize, Review and Do

    DA pointed out in his book that he found it very helpful to separate the five stages as he moved through his day; and observed that a major reason many people do
    not succeed with "getting organized" is simply that they have tried to do all five phases at the same time.

    Playing distinct roles will allow you to pay attention and become focused in what you do at any one time. Each role will give you a cue, a license and a different mind
    set to implement the five stages. You will not mix them since you will be one and same person who plays distinct role at different times/places and your actions will
    naturally be separated.

    You will become systematic in applying GTD

    I have done this and found it very helpful. Let me explain.

    I took a leaf out of Roger von Oech's book "A Kick in The Seat of the Pants " and his methodology of separating creative thinking process into four separate roles
    of Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior, see .

    I converted the five GTD stages into five distinct roles of a Housekeeepr, a Judge, a Librarian, a Maintenance Engineer and an Action Manager

    The activities of these roles are:

    1. HOUSEKEEPER: (Collect)
    Begin as a Housekeeper and start to collect "stuff " and to look for open loops.

    Have as few collection buckets as you can get by with.

    Search in all areas, corners, drawers, filing cabinets, etc. to collect stuff not in their place or which command your attention.

    Use physical in-tray, electronic devises, e-mail, paper notes, voice mails, etc.

    Carry out "Mind Sweep" - RAM dump

    Place collected stuff in one "In Tray" (try to minimize containers)

    2. JUDGE (Process)
    Next put on your Judge's robe and be a Judge in processing your "In Tray". Your Judges' role is crucial, as it will impact future actions handling.

    Process "In Basket" by picking items from top to bottom.

    Handle each "case" (item) once only and do not return it to "In Tray". Decide by asking "What is it ?" and then select one of the following options:

    Non actionable item:

    #Condemn it to Trash bin
    #Keep it for future Reference (retrievable when required)
    #Put in Tickler file
    #Put it in Maybe/Someday tray

    Actionable item:

    Multiple steps: ask, "What is the Successful outcome?" And then draw a Project Plan.

    Single step: ask What's the Next Action?

    #Do it (if less than two minutes)
    #Delegate it (for someone else to do)
    #Defer it
    - Decide on NA (to be done later)
    - Decide on date (for time/date /day specific action)

    Close each "case" with a note to Librarian on what the Next Action should be.

    3. LIBRARIAN (Organize)
    You should acquire a Librarian mindset to play this role.

    You will organise, and categorize judge's notes, reminders and materials:

    #Sort, organize and prepare lists of NAs based on contexts.
    #Prepare lists of NAs extracted from Project Plans and organize them into contexts.
    #Transfer specific date /day actions to your Calendar
    #Use support materials: folders, filing cabinets, labels, computer, etc. to organize your work

    Your role as a Maintenance Engineer will be to:
    #Schedule and carry out daily checks of NAs
    #Daily review of Tickler file
    #Daily review of Calendar
    #Schedule and carry out Weekly checks of NAs
    #Ensure all open loops are closed and loose ends tied.
    #Ensure system is working.
    #Ensure availability of supplies and support materials

    Become an Action Manager for your last role.

    By now you will confidently pick each NA knowing that all preparatory work had been done and the NAs will move your work/project forward.

    As Action Manager you will do all listed NAs based on:

    Work Criteria

    Type of Work
    #As it shows up

    Levels of Work
    #50,000+ ft
    #40,000 ft
    #30,000 ft
    #20,000 ft
    #10,000 ft

    You can practice these roles separately so that you become comfortable and proficient in playing them.

    I prepared a chart, which I will be glad to share:

    1) If you are a member of this forum you can e-mail me (subject line GTD) by using my profile.

    2) Guests/visitors of this forum can e-mail me direct: mssultan(at)

    3) I uploaded copy of the chart at Getting_Things_Done group at Yahoo for members of that group
    Last edited by Mohamed; 04-14-2005, 10:48 AM. Reason: Updated e-mail information

  • #2
    I would like a copy of this chart

    I would love to receive a copy of your chart. Please email me at:



    • #3
      GTD Copy of your chart

      please send me a copy as well


      • #4
        I will love a copy for me too.


        • #5
          I'll take one too please



          • #6
            I'd like to get it. Please.




            • #7
              gtd roles

              i would like one also if you don't mind.




              • #8
                Thanks for that post!


                • #9
                  Great post! I'm looking forward to the chart.


                  • #10
                    Me too!

                    I'd also like a copy of your chart.




                    • #11
                      I would love a copy of your chart



                      • #12
                        [GTD_Tools] Chart

                        Originally posted by joeycan
                        I would love a copy of your chart
                        Me too, please.



                        • #13
                          GTD Chart Request

                          Great post!
                          I'd love to have a copy of the chart too.



                          • #14
                            Could I have one too please.


                            • #15
                              Would it be possible for you to post your chart HERE, rather than having you send it to each person separately?