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  • Let's see if I've got this right then...

    Hi,

    I'm new to GTD and have just read the book and browsed the forums. I agree with much of what Allen teaches, but I'm not quite sure how practical his system really is.. perhaps I don't quite get it yet?

    From what I understood, a typical GTD-style day would revolve around getting through hard-edged items and completing anything which has to be done that day before working through your action lists to get active projects and commitments moving forward as well as other smaller tasks.

    However, what I don't find clear is how you work through your action lists. I understand Allen's suggestion for determining where to start off with your action lists but to me it seems this system is only effective at moving lots of small projects and commitments forward, while the larger (and usually higher-priority!) projects lag behind due to a lack of sufficient and focused attention -- some projects require you to spend hours (whether at one time or on a regularly basis) or even days on just that one project. How does the GTD system deal with this?

    Perhaps I missed it during my first read, but I don't remember any mention of incorporating routine tasks somehow to ensure that the "big rocks" are in place and get done. Are we suggested to schedule appointments with ourselves to focus on selected projects during our daily review procedure?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Ted

  • #2
    It's impossible to move a *project* forward, except by a series of smaller *actions.* At some point, either when you create the project or during your weekly review, you need to figure out what those actions are and put them on your lists.

    If your action list has things like:
    Call car dealer re: battery replacement
    Call Mike re: sales meeting
    Email Steve re: 2005 budget
    Invade Albania

    Then "Invade Albania" is a huge lump that is never going to get done. In order to actually carry out the invasion, you have to do a series of much smaller tasks:
    Find Albania on map
    Call Italian Ambassador re: flyover rights
    Call SecDef re: Operation Dog Wag contingency plan
    Email SecState re: plausible reasons for Albania invasion
    and so forth.

    Before GTD, my time management approach had two failure modes. Either I would get so wrapped up in trivia that the big stuff didn't get done, or the big stuff would consume all my attention for so long that the "trivia" would blow up into a crisis. By breaking both big and little things into chunks that are roughly the same size and complexity, I'm able to keep everything moving along.

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      Why Albania?

      Originally posted by kewms
      Invade Albania

      Then "Invade Albania" is a huge lump that is never going to get done. In order to actually carry out the invasion, you have to do a series of much smaller tasks:
      Find Albania on map
      Call Italian Ambassador re: flyover rights
      Call SecDef re: Operation Dog Wag contingency plan
      Email SecState re: plausible reasons for Albania invasion
      and so forth.
      Could somebody explain me why as an example the "Invade Albania" project is sometimes chosen. Why Albania? I think there must be come cultural context that I do not know.

      Besides, is it politically correct to use the name of the existing country? I wouldn't be happy if the example would be to "Conquer Poland".

      TesTeq

      Comment


      • #4
        Coz,

        Thanks for explanation.

        TesTeq

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TesTeq
          Could somebody explain me why as an example the "Invade Albania" project is sometimes chosen. Why Albania? I think there must be come cultural context that I do not know.
          TesTeq
          I used it because of the movie "Wag the Dog," in which a US President fakes the invasion of Albania in order to distract attention from a scandal at home.

          Katherine

          Comment


          • #6
            Coz:
            Thanks for the historical up-date.
            Until I read your post, I had forgotten that somewhere over the past 57 years I had replaced "Tibuktu" with "Albania" when referrring to a backwater place.

            I believe the first time I heard "Albania" in that context was when "People Express" started flying on the US East coast. It was strictly a no-frills air carrier. There were no reservations - you lined up for a boarding pass on a first-come-first served basis, paid for your ticket in-flight, and brought your own snacks. The pilot, co-pilot, & flight attendants were usually standing at the bottom of the stairs to check your bags, unless you were one of the 50% who carried everything in your backpack. I saved a lot of $ flying People Express to & from the New York area, but early on we began calling it "Air Albania".

            Comment


            • #7
              completely on the "off" topic

              Just had to comment! I thought I was the only one in the world who had ever used People Express in the early 80's to and from NYC...so much alone am I when I refer to it that I was convinced that it was just a dream. I loved paying $20 bucks to go from NY to DC. I loved waiting in the belly of the airport for the double doors to swing open and someone run through shouting, "plane's here"! I loved raising my hand to do a head count when the amount of money didn't match boarding passes.

              Anyway, GTD rocks...you can't just think your way through it...you have to do it. Once you start, I mean really just do it, everything falls into place and the fog of "what am I forgetting about" is lifted.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think ...

                ...we should invade Mars! They always in invade Earth - let's get 'em back!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Invade Mars vs. Conquer Mars

                  Hmmm, I see "invade mars" more as a sub-project or high level next action at the launch pad level and "conquer mars" as the ultimate goal from the 184,800,000,000 foot level (ie 35MM miles b/w earth & mars).

                  Comment

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