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  • GTD am I doing this right?

    Hello All
    I am concerned that I am not processing my tasks correctly. I start my day usually by opening Outlook today and seeing the quick summary of things that are on my list for the day ahead. I will go to my tasks and pick a priority item such as make a call to the Body shop about the van. I open that task and make the call the guys not there so I leave a message and note that in the tasks note section. Then I will change it's catagory and status to Waiting for and save and close. Should I be puting a reminder in my Calendar to follow up on that call tomorrow or just leave it in the Wating for Category? What do other people do?

    I have also found that if I try and assign due dates to tasks, things get too muddled on the task list and I don't know which dates to take seriously and which ones are flexible. So I decided to not assign any due dates to tasks unless thay had a hard due date attached like this grant has to be in by this date or else. How do others handle this situation?

    I also tend to use the calendar to trigger tasks that will need to be done far in the future like the pay out on a contract next year when a show closes off the road or a payroll needs to be activated. In Outlook are these all day events or do you assign a time to them in the future with a reminder? I just have to be able to do this right or I wont trust the system to remember and therefor we all know what that means.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Brent

  • #2
    1) If the bodyshop work on your van needed to be done this week then I would block a time in my calendar to call them back. If it wasn't that urgent then leave the @Waiting For as undated and pick it up during your next Weekly Review

    2) The way I capture dated todos is to hardcode anything that has a date associated with it directly into my calendar. For example, if somebody sends me a document to review by the end of the week....I create a calendar slot immediately, it never makes it to the Tasks. If no calendar time is available then I contact the sender, let them know I'll have to do it next week, create a @Office task and pick it up during the Weekly Review. If it has to be done that week then they'll need tofind somebody else to do it !!

    I find that hardcoding EVERYTHING into my calendar that's dated not only reminds me throughout the day how I'm progressing (Palm beeps away until I do something about it !) but it also acts as very good rationale to justify to people why I can't always dosomething when THEY want it doing. I just tell' em to look at my calendar which of course is full of appointments - I just don't tell them they're appointments with myself !!!

    Hope this helps, just my way of working....Good luck

    Comment


    • #3
      1. As far as the waiting for list, you're doing it right by moving the call to @waiting for, but then you have to review that list, and for me, that has to be more often than the weekly review. So what I do is each morning when I come in, I review the @waiting for list to see if anything needs to get some more action today. (Since you put the date you left the message in the notes area, you know how long it has been.)

      2. Re dates, I've completely given up on putting deadlines on things like that. Luckily, my projects don't really have firm deadlines, but someone with deadline driven work may have better input.

      3. As far as needing to get a reminder, say in November, to do something, I have a couple of ways to deal with that other than the calendar. I don't like putting NAs on my calendar unless they are truly hard landscape items like "must work on xyz for these three hours or the project will die." Instead, one technique is to put the item in the @Waiting for list, but include a "come alive" date in its title. That way, as you're reviewing your @waiting for list one day, you realize that the proper day has arrived to look at that project again. For things that aren't a specific date, I'll title things: "XYZ PAYROLL: is show complete yet?" so that my review of @waiting for will pop it up at the right time. The other thing that works extremely well for hard dated items like making payments at certain points in time is my tickler file. It isn't in the palm, but it's worth it. I"ll scribble on a piece of paper (or even print the todo from the palm) and throw it in there for the right date. It's magic.

      Hope that helps!
      Susan

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: GTD am I doing this right?

        Originally posted by Brett
        Hello All
        I am concerned that I am not processing my tasks correctly.

        Processing is the second phase of workflow. When you process something, you answer these questions: "What's the next action?" and "What's the Successful Outcome?"


        I start my day usually by opening Outlook today and seeing the quick summary of things that are on my list for the day ahead.
        REVIEW: this is the fourth phase of the Workflow Model that we teach. What you're doing here is looking over your predefined work, your calendar and your watch, and deciding what to make a priority...

        I will go to my tasks and pick a priority item such as make a call to the Body shop about the van. I open that task and make the call the guys not there so I leave a message and note that in the tasks note section. Then I will change it's catagory and status to Waiting for and save and close. Should I be puting a reminder in my Calendar to follow up on that call tomorrow or just leave it in the Wating for Category? What do other people do?
        You've got it! This is exactly what I do... I simply put it on my WF list, because I know that I'll review that list enough to trust that it reminds of things that need to be done.

        I have also found that if I try and assign due dates to tasks, things get too muddled on the task list and I don't know which dates to take seriously and which ones are flexible. So I decided to not assign any due dates to tasks unless thay had a hard due date attached like this grant has to be in by this date or else. How do others handle this situation?
        Me too! If my mind has to think "again" while looking at my calendar [this usually sounds like: "Does this have to be done today? Or, can I do something that's a higher priority and do that other one tomorrow...?] I will not trust the system.

        Remember, getting things done is about managing agreements. If you mismanage agreements with others (show up late, miss appointments, forget things, etc) the trust in the relationship goes down. On the flip side, when you KEEP your agreements about what you'll do, and when you'll do it, with yourself and with others, confidence and energy (and trust in the relationship!) go up!

        I also tend to use the calendar to trigger tasks that will need to be done far in the future like the pay out on a contract next year when a show closes off the road or a payroll needs to be activated. In Outlook are these all day events or do you assign a time to them in the future with a reminder?
        I make these "all day events." I look at my calendar every day, and in my weekly review I'll see the next 2-4 weeks with the thought, "Is there anything I need to DO to start getting ready for X?" (This will catch things that are a month out, but need to go on my action list so that in a month...something happens!)

        I just have to be able to do this right or I wont trust the system to remember and therefor we all know what that means.
        Any suggestions would be appreciated
        One thing that I've seen over and over, until you work your system, you'll doubt it. Great to get other ideas, but I always encourage people to set up what works for them. There isn't a "wrong" way to do this...other than not to do it. And even that is wrong! For EVERYthing you take action on, you're going to "do" the fundamental thought process:

        "What's the next action?"
        "What's the successful outcome?"

        It's not a matter of whether you do it or not...it's timing. Will you make those decisions, capture them in an organized system, review that as often as you need to, to make great choices about what you choose to do?


        Thanks

        Brent

        You're welcome! Keep up the great work...

        Comment

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