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What's the project / resource on these?

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  • What's the project / resource on these?

    I'm new to GTD. I've got a pre-GTD "To Do" item that I'm trying to convert to the Project/Action model that I just can't figure out. Any advice would be appreciated.

    ToDo = Clean House. This is a recurring chore that I don't see as part of a project. It is not really a one-off item, because as soon as I complete it, it needs to incubate for about 2 weeks and then it shows up again. Is it an Action with no project, or is it something else?

    TIA

  • #2
    Another One

    In a similar vein -- what about a ToDo of "Exercise 3 times this week."

    It doesn't go on the calendar, because it doesn't happen on a specific day. I'll take any 3 days (except 3 in a row -- I'll accept 2 in a row somewhere).

    It isn't an errand because it isn't something I'll do "while I'm out."

    I go to the YMCA, so it isn't @Home or @Office.

    What resource/category does it go under?

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd suggest you try to move away from thinking about "to do" items as the GTD system really doesn't use them. What it uses are Focus Areas, Projects and Next Actions.

      Your plan to "exercise three times per week" isn't a Next Action. Instead, it is probably a reoccuring project or a general focus area. In any case you would put three exercise appointments onto your calendar each week when you do your weekly review.

      It's a focus area if you have a general self-improvement goal in mind. It's a reoccuring project if you have a specific and measurable goal (for example, to exercise three times each week in preparation for a martial arts tournament or other specific event).

      Hope this helps.
      Scot

      Comment


      • #4
        ToDo Priority

        I would say that whether the stake in the ground is Area of Focus, Goal, Project or whatever, the actions are time-sensitive. Your goal is to exercise 3 times a week - probably never on successive dates, but probably never allowing 3 days to pass without another session. Your housekeeping is on a bi-weekly cycle. I suggest that for each area you set a Calendar entry for the next session and keep up your momentum by setting the next Calendar entry immediately after each completion. The amount of writing on the action part (as opposed to the goals) can be minimal if the Doing habit is established. The completion of a session may be a sufficient reminder to schedule the next session.

        When you set your Calendar entry, you can keep in mind the Context and perhaps, if time permits, lengthen the Appointment duration in that Context and add one or more items from your Context List to that time slot (e.g., Health Club, including Car - 2 hours - lengthen by 45 minutes and add Grocery Shopping to the Appointment).


        Andrew

        Comment


        • #5
          Ain't No Project

          kleinfelter said:
          ToDo = Clean House. This is a recurring chore that I don't see as part of a project. It is not really a one-off item, because as soon as I complete it, it needs to incubate for about 2 weeks and then it shows up again. Is it an Action with no project, or is it something else?
          It is a next action with no project. They are "allowed" in GTD.

          There are lots of recurring maintenance tasks that are like this: fertilizing the yard, getting a hair cut, getting your car inspected. I use my tickler file to control these kinds of things. To take your example, assuming I would be cleaning every other Saturday, I would put a tickler card in the file for this Saturday. On Saturday, when I emptied the file, I would put the action "Clean the house" in my House action list, and then refile the tickler card into the folder for the Saturday after next. I would then clean the house some time that weekend. Two weeks later, I would get another reminder.

          I would handle your exercise example differently. First of all, I would indeed classify it as an errand, because the only thing you do at the YMCA is exercise and you make a trip to go there. And Andrew has rightly pointed out how you could become more efficient by combining your trips to the "Y" with other errands. Considering how often you exercise, you might just want to control it with a daily checklist. One of the checklist items might be "Exercise?" If you need to exercise, put it on your "Errands" next action list. If you exercised yesterday or you are still carrying the next action from yesterday (or the day before, or the day before that), then you're already set.

          Comment

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