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Handling Project-less NAs and Recurring tasks

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  • Handling Project-less NAs and Recurring tasks

    I am brand new to this...I found a post on GTD on Sat. evening, and read on it all day Sunday...Now it's Monday, and I am trying to start the process...I should probably read the book...

    I work at a small organization, so I am the Systems Administrator, and the Help Desk.

    I have lots of things related to the overall direction and improvement of IT that are clearly Projects with lots of NAs to do before I complete them...No problem there...How do I handle the Help Desk stuff though? They are one time tasks just need to be done.

    Reset user password...Do it now...< 2min...OK. Replace Monitor in G3...Not possible in under 2 minutes, and received with 5 other things of this nature.

    I have created a "Help Desk" Project, and I am trying to file the requests using this. I also thought about just not having a project assigned, but that didn't feel right.

    I would appreciate some feedback on this method, and I would like to see if there is a better way that someone else is using.

    The other category of ToDo's is similar. "Recurring tasks" I have to pop tapes for the backup system every Monday, for instance. Just a task. No real Project, but I need to keep things like this organized too. Should I create a "Recurring Task" Project? Just Calendar Appts.?

    I downloaded the free 30 day trial of Netcentrics Outlook plug-in to impliment this.

    Thanks for your time.
    Last edited by ShadwSrch; 03-26-2007, 05:49 AM. Reason: Edit title

  • #2
    If you already have a ticketing system for the IT items, I wouldn't try to duplicate the tickets in your GTD system. If your organization is small enough that you don't have a ticketing system, then each request (or the first step of each request) can enter your system as a Next Action. In this case, even though you would not record "Reset password" as a NA as you can do it in under 2 minutes, you may want to capture it so you can track how much work is being done and what types of issues recur. this way you may be able to identify an improvement project or a training project that will reduce the number of problems for your users.

    Having the HelpDesk as a project is probably a good idea. It may get tricky as far as identifying the outcome. Helpdesk work as a whole is not a true project in the sense that it will never be complete. You could have a daily or weekly project to complete all urgent items that come in this week within a half hour and all other items within two days, if that makes sense for your environment and of course set to whatever timeframes are appropriate for your environment.

    I do recommend that you read the book. That way you are shown GTD as a whole system, where here you will get threads that focus on different pieces of it.


    • #3
      If I have a single-step Project (such as "Call Jerry to tell him his account's ready"), I'll just put the Action on a list without creating a Project.

      If it's truly more than two steps, like "Replace monitor on G3," I'll create a Project and an Action. Writing down the Project takes, what, five seconds?


      • #4
        Break the rules!

        Since you're using Outlook, I would recommend creating a recurring task to handle your 'swap tapes' task every Monday.

        In order to do this, you will need to assign a start/due date. DA recommends against this practice, but I view it no differently than a tickler, so I ignore his advice on this one.

        Disclaimer: The danger in this approach is that you may be tempted to start assigning dates to whole host of things that are not really due on a particular date, and then you slip into the 'daily to-do list' trap. So watch yourself, and keep this kind of stuff to a minimum.

        If you maintain a tickler file, then you can just move the item to the following week after you add the task to your list. This is probably a little closer to what DA would recommend, but my tickler-fu is weak.
        Last edited by jknecht; 03-27-2007, 04:30 PM.