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Spotting the priority item in action list

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  • Spotting the priority item in action list

    Dear GTD Guru's

    My action list for @office is too long. I struggle to spot the priority items at a glance. Is there any usefull tip to still identify priority items. At the moment I am reverting back to Outlook's flag system. I don't want to get sucked back into using due dates.

    Please assist.

  • #2
    This is an issue that I wrestle with as well. One solution has been to at weekly reviews, if an item is urgent and must be done by say Wednesday, I put it on my calendar on Monday. Likewise, when I am doing my daily-ish collection, if i find an urgent task for that week or the next, I will put it in my calender.

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    • #3
      See my replies #3 and #8 in another thread for this:
      http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8903

      They address a little different issue, but I think they will serve your purpose as well.

      Of course this applies after you have taken the usual precautions: Done weekly reviews weekly, trimmed your project list (move to someday maybe, dump, etc) and action lists.

      Flagging is a good idea, if you go through the list marking priority items afresh everyday, without hesitating unmarking a few of previously marked ones, since priority is a dynamic entity. Use flags for real urgent ones, since too many flagged actions will just change the name of the problem rather than solving it. You can do this say every morning. It takes about five minutes for about 100 actions (3 seconds per action on an average to decide whether to flag it).

      Regards,
      Abhay

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      • #4
        I've been keeping a separate list of my highest-priority items for the week. Franklin-Covey calls it a "Weekly Compass", because it helps keep you oriented in the right direction.

        This list is separate from my projects and context lists and is populated mostly with items from my project list, but also includes a few goals for the week as well.

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        • #5
          One option is to put your high-priority actions at the top of your list. This gives you one place in your list to look at for those high-priority actions, while the entire list remains visible.

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          • #6
            You know, I still don't think you can beat simply knowing your lists well enough that the priority items are familiar and thus actionable in time for them to get done. Weekly Reviews, daily mini-reviews and my calendar keep me functioning as I should (and must!) so that I can get things done in a timely fashion with a "mind like water" sense of well-being.
            Last edited by GTDWorks; 11-08-2008, 09:05 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
              You know, I still don't think you can beat simple knowing your lists well enough that the priority items are familiar and thus actionable in time for them to get done. Weekly Reviews, daily mini-reviews and my calendar keep me functioning as I should (and must!) so that I can get things done in a timely fashion with a "mind like water" sense of well-being.
              It really is familiarity of your lists that makes a huge difference. I will scan my various lists and pick those that I know are top. I can see at once what I should and can do on a particular day or time of day (energy, time etc.) If the unexpected comes in, it's my familiarity with these lists that lets me decide quickly at that moment with what to proceed. (I do daily mini-reviews too.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                You know, I still don't think you can beat simple knowing your lists well enough that the priority items are familiar and thus actionable in time for them to get done. Weekly Reviews, daily mini-reviews and my calendar keep me functioning as I should (and must!) so that I can get things done in a timely fashion with a "mind like water" sense of well-being.
                This is really the most effective way to do it. I've been guilty of spending more time "flagging" items than actually doing them! The more familiar you are with your lists, the better you can go through and just pick out which ones need to be done right now.

                A couple of things you might want to think about (and this is what helped me): Do you maybe have too many items on your action lists? The list should really contain what could be done that week. The rest would go to someday/maybe. Could your list perhaps be broken up into several smaller @office lists? I work at a school and I've broken mine into @school-media center, @school-copy machine, etc. This has really helped me out by keeping my lists still in context, but keeping my work ones seperate.

                I hope this helps!

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                • #9
                  How can you mark your NA?

                  http://www.davidco.com/forum/showpos...93&postcount=9

                  I use this system. Simple and immediate!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ossewa View Post
                    Dear GTD Guru's

                    My action list for @office is too long. I struggle to spot the priority items at a glance. Is there any usefull tip to still identify priority items. At the moment I am reverting back to Outlook's flag system. I don't want to get sucked back into using due dates.

                    Please assist.
                    The tasks cannot be prioritized relative to a context. The context does not have an "end", so you know what is more or less important to arrive there.

                    If you want to prioritize, prioritize the tasks inside the project, then in a particular context you'll see them all at a glance. From the different projects.

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                    • #11
                      Two Ideas

                      I use Outlook with the GTD Add In, but this works for Outlook regardless. Just put a dot in front of the task, and it moves to the top of the list. Meg Edwards taught me that in a private coaching session (very well worth the money, I might add).

                      Something else I do when my lists are getting a bit long and/or I'm super busy and don't want to mess with looking at various lists: I have a Context called @@Today. I just drag tasks from the various lists and put them in that new context. @@Today is a temporary context for me, though. I don't do this all the time. It's also helpful if you seem to be getting a bit numb to your lists.
                      Last edited by Barb; 11-12-2008, 04:25 AM.

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                      • #12
                        This question gets asked very often. I'm just getting back into GTD so it is possible that the answer below will solve the problem for many/most people. To be safe though, I'll do what I've always done i.e. put *** in front of the relatively few items in whatever context that need to get done in the next few days/week. When I make the changeover to paper..perhaps I'll highlight the first few words.

                        Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                        You know, I still don't think you can beat simply knowing your lists well enough that the priority items are familiar and thus actionable in time for them to get done. Weekly Reviews, daily mini-reviews and my calendar keep me functioning as I should (and must!) so that I can get things done in a timely fashion with a "mind like water" sense of well-being.

                        Comment

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