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  • Sinking Under Lists

    There were massive layoffs in my company. I'm probably a couple of months away from losing my job here, too. In the meantime, I've been given a "promotion" -- a few added breadcrumbs of money, a new title, and a view of the doorway to the henhouse where the axeman waiteth.

    In any case, in my frantic atempt to get organized -- and all of this GTD stuff I understand is a process and the effects of keeping-on-trying have cumulative, incremental benefits on one's psyche (none of which have turned up yet, still waiting, hellloooo psyche, please report to duty) -- I've found that my lists are ending up in too many places. Some on basecamp, some on index cards, some on tasktoy -- and I now have to check ike five lists every hour and update each one which is of course impossible so I end up getting confused about what I have yet to complete or what I already completed. The reason I have so many lists is that each successive one has seemed like an improvement so I gravitated toward it in the hopes of things being easier still. I feel like the Sorcere's Apprentice of task lists.

    This is crucial because suddenly I am reporting to a new manager and I realize that he thinks conversations we have had ended with me having an action item when thought they were merely informational. So tracking things has become quite essential.

  • #2
    Export all lists to a common format, it doesn't matter which one. Printouts on paper count as a common format.

    Review for duplicates and non-actionable stuff.

    Re-import what's left to whatever format you prefer.

    Go and sin no more.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Vilmosz
      .. he thinks conversations we have had ended with me having an action item when thought they were merely informational...
      Yikes!! You've already been assimilated. You post is purely informative and does not ask a question yet a response is most like expected.

      Irony aside, Katherine summed it up nicely. Pick one and don't experiment again until you have the spare time for it. {Pot calling the kettle black, as I am spending the afternoon doing just that.}

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      • #4
        I'm bad! I'm bad!

        But, I can make it good.


        Thanks for the advice... (and the absolution.) :)

        So it would probably be asking for too much handhloding to say, HELP ME DECIDE.

        Seriously, though -- I am using tasktoy and the free version of basecamp a lot and have lists on both. Are these viable GTD options for the newbie?
        Last edited by Vilmosz; 10-06-2005, 01:48 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vilmosz
          So it would probably be asking for too much handhloding to say, HELP ME DECIDE.
          OK. Use basecamp from now on. There you go.

          (just kidding -- how would I know?)

          Seriously, though -- it's not a lifetime commitment. You can play with others someday/maybe when you're not as busy.

          Originally posted by Vilmosz
          Seriously, though -- I am using tasktoy and the free version of basecamp a lot and have lists on both. Are these viable GTD options for the newbie?
          Which one do you use more right now? Which is easier, simpler, faster?

          I assume you are at a computer most of the time; otherwise a more portable system might be better.

          If you're a GTD newbie with a new overwhelming job, then use the simplest thing within reason for now. Once you get used to structuring information this way, plus the needs of your situation, you'll have a much better idea what features and functionality you could use.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vilmosz
            Seriously, though -- I am using tasktoy and the free version of basecamp a lot and have lists on both. Are these viable GTD options for the newbie?
            Which one do you find easier to use? Which one attracts you? Pick the one that make you eager to check your lists...

            ...and transfer ALL your existing lists to it. You have to be able to trust that all your commitments are in one place.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Vilmosz
              This is crucial because suddenly I am reporting to a new manager and I realize that he thinks conversations we have had ended with me having an action item when thought they were merely informational. So tracking things has become quite essential.
              On top of all of the other good advice given, don't forget to ask your manager at the end of each conversation, "So what's the next action on this?"

              Matthew

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              • #8
                I would be asking the manager, "So what is it you want me to achieve?" (or do). The manager probably cares about the outcome, not just the next action.

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                • #9
                  Rats, "What's the next action on this" is something you ask your colleagues during a meeting that's going nowhere, and not your manager!



                  Matthew

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                  • #10
                    So, How Now?

                    Vilmosz,

                    Which list making method did you land on?

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