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Project for New Habit

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  • Project for New Habit

    There are things I want to improve about my communication skills, and I'm pretty clear about what they are (the "succesfull outcome") and I also know I can make a GTD Project for them... but...

    the next actions aren't, at this point, things like "take a course." They're remembering to practice the habits when I work with people, then evaluate what I've done each day.

    How do people setup tasks for this kind of thing with GTD? How do people setup reminders?

  • #2
    I put stars on my calendar for the days I complete whatever new habit I am trying to establish. So when I see the stars, I am reminded to practice my habit so I can add more stars.


    • #3
      In my experience, GTD isn't suited for this sort of thing.

      You can create a tickler file, and every day after completing your practice, insert the reminder into tomorrow's folder.


      • #4
        I use a recurring tasks organizer that helps remind me everyday what I tasks I want to do. It isn't apart of GTD, because I couldn't find any solution within GTD to create new habits.

        What Brent said is pretty the best possible way of trying to get a new habit down using GTD. Just stick a note into the tickler to do newhabit, then once you've seen the reminder, re-use the note and put it back into the Tickler.

        Or you can schedule time everyday into your calendar for this event, and I believe Outlook has a decent ability to create a task that recurs every day or week or whatever. So if you are already using Outlook, it might be simple to use that.


        • #5
          I have created daily habbits through GTD by making a "daily" checklist that has become part of my routine. It contains such items as:
          -Review Calendar, Next Actions, Projects
          -Check all @Action email folders
          -Take Vitamins (could never remember to do this before)
          -Log consulting hours at the end of the day

          It is simple but it works, you just have to make sure you look at your daily checklist everyday and of course do them. In your case of trying to improve your communication skills, you might put something you might want to try everyday like: "speak to one person today and employ active listening".
          Last edited by TyQ; 09-12-2005, 02:16 PM.


          • #6
            While there's a limit to what can be systematized, it's easy enough to put your evaluation on your @anywhere list or as an untimed recurring action on your calendar. You can also add some notation to your Calls and Agendas list to incorporate particular communication technique like active listening. Then, even if you forget to focus on your communication skills in your spontaneous encounters, you'll at least have a few action triggers throughout the day to keep you conscious of your project.


            • #7
              I'd make the "adopt a new habit" item into a project. Then put the next actions on the right NA list. Write down the new habit as an outcome and work from there. You could then put reminders on your calendar and/or tickler file. I've been working on developing a habit of getting up at 5 a.m. to work out, and that just sort of sorts itself out without help from GTD. Just a suggestion.


              • #8
                I'm a big fan of the idea (promoted at and of choosing an arbitrary time boundary -- eg., deciding to do something every day for 30 days. So then you have a clear project outcome -- "eat five portions of fruit & veg a day for 30 days". (After 30 days, you can set up a new project if you need to, but with luck it'll be second nature...)

                But of course you're not going to start listing "eat a piece of fruit" on your NA list (I hope). I draw a little check-box in my calendar and then check it off when I've done that day's thing. Something about wanting to have the box checked appeals deeply enough to my anal mind to get me to actually make sure that I eat the fruit and veg. This hasn't quite worked for going to the gym yet, though...