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  • Is there an easy way to choose?

    I want my system tell me what to do My calendar informs me of that actions but sometimes I don't do them and then blame myself for that (i.e. workouts). Action lists are telling me "you have a lot on your plate". Now it's my turn to choose what's the most important. GTD concept of context, time available, energy and priority doesn't work here.

    I have actions that have to be done @office while I'm sitting @home so there's no such a thing like context, just have to do that inspite of the context. If I need to read the full article for 2 hours till tomorrow then it doesn't matter how much time I have available, just need to spend those 2 hours. Energy: if you are toast then you should have a rest and don't work your lists. So the only working context is PRIORITY.

    And choosing the most important task from a list of even 20 items is not an easy job. I'd better read through and not do anything.

    Is there any easy way to choose to spend more time DOING than choosing? Any ideas?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ivanborisov View Post
    I want my system tell me what to do
    Sorry to tell you this but no system, however sophisticated, is going to tell you what you should be doing at any given moment. It's always an intuitive judgment call. A good system can only help you to trust that you're doing the right thing rather than hope you're doing the right thing. I lived for several years under the illusion that a system could tell me what to do. Learn from my mistake and don't waste your time looking for one. It doesn't exist.

    Originally posted by ivanborisov View Post
    My calendar informs me of that actions but sometimes I don't do them and then blame myself for that (i.e. workouts).
    Why is it that you don't do them? Do you not review your calendar enough, or do you just break the commitment because you don't feel like doing it? If it's the latter, that's an issue with personal commitment, not organization. You've not fully committed yourself to exercising regularly. Another way to put it is you've only made it a "should" not a "must" to commit to a regular exercise program. You have two options here.

    Option 1: Find a way to make it a "must" for yourself. If I don't exercise regularly I'll lose my health and my good looks, others will find me unattractive, and I will find myself unattractive. But if I do I'll look attractive, feel better about myself, and have abundant physical energy to pursue my dreams

    Option 2: Put "set up exercise program" on your Someday/Maybe list, review it once a week, and decide to commit to doing it or feel okay for not doing it.

    Originally posted by ivanborisov View Post
    I have actions that have to be done @office while I'm sitting @home so there's no such a thing like context, just have to do that inspite of the context.
    I don't understand what you mean. If an action requires you to physically be in your office, that's the context. You can't do it at home or anywhere else; the only way to do it is get in your car and drive to the office. Then you're in context.

    That's why context is the first limiting factor in deciding what to do, and frankly it's the most sensible way to organize actions that are not day or time specific. I don't want to be staring at lists of actions that I cannot take because I'm not in the right place or I don't have the right tools (phone, computer, etc) to do them.

    Originally posted by ivanborisov View Post
    Is there any easy way to choose to spend more time DOING than choosing? Any ideas?
    One suggestion is not to overcommit to the point that your action lists are so long that you cannot easily decide what to do. That's where the Someday/Maybe list comes into play. It's not just for "blue sky" or "dream" projects. This post might help.

    Good luck to you.

    - Luke
    Last edited by ellobogrande; 12-18-2009, 07:23 AM. Reason: addendum

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ivanborisov View Post
      Is there any easy way to choose to spend more time DOING than choosing? Any ideas?
      Never put anything in a calendar that you can put off. (exercise for example, unless it's a class you attend) Keep the calendar for things that absolutely MUST be done that day or for future options (going to a concert for example) that are also similarly time and date dependent but that you are considering. Esp. in the Holiday season keeping track of the potential parties and events is a way to see if you are over or under committed each day.

      Make more contexts so that you have only 3-5 items to choose from at any given time and try to stay in a single context until you clear all those items before changing contexts.

      I can choose to be in almost any context because of the nature of my work. So when I get bogged down in procrastination I find a way to make the context lists shorter, either put some projects on hold or make more contexts as appropriate.

      Review the calendar and all next action lists first thing in the morning when deciding what context to be in (if you have a choice)

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      • #4
        There is an easy way to choose. Use the Random Number Generator. It works so long as you have some way of numbering your next action list.

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