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Finding the right digital GTD system

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  • #16
    Originally posted by sdann View Post
    I don't really see GTD as a time management tool. Keeping a list of errands (my favorite context, since it's saved me so much time on the road) and a list of home and personal projects (planning dinners or trips, getting new furniture etc.) is what I use GTD for. Other than saving me time because I'm more organized, there is no time management involved. The actual time management comes afterwards, when I have to just do it. I use GTD to plan for all the great things I want and all the things I need to do and get out of the way.
    Ok, I'll put it another way - I don't need GTD to remember to tidy up my flat, or remember to go to a nearby grocery store to buy some food (except I need a scrap of paper with a list of what to buy).

    Whereas at my work I have zillions of actions, waiting fors, projects etc. so I absolutely need a system to maintain an iron grip on all that. And GTD has proved to be the best system to achieve that so far.
    Last edited by Conrad Sallian; 01-31-2010, 07:08 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Conrad Sallian View Post
      I'm trying not to get very obsessed with time management.
      I agree with sdann I also do not consider GTD time management at all.

      The big benefit with contexts is to keep yourself from switching mental gears even in mundane stuff too often. Even a simple switch takes time to get in the groove and working. So having contexts that cover all the various projects in your life will allow you to be more creative in how your approach even the mundane stuff.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
        I agree with sdann I also do not consider GTD time management at all.

        The big benefit with contexts is to keep yourself from switching mental gears even in mundane stuff too often. Even a simple switch takes time to get in the groove and working. So having contexts that cover all the various projects in your life will allow you to be more creative in how your approach even the mundane stuff.
        In my case it would be further splitting @computer context into other contexts that cover specific activities or technologies. Never did that. I'll try it out.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Conrad Sallian View Post
          In my case it would be further splitting @computer context into other contexts that cover specific activities or technologies. Never did that. I'll try it out.
          When I was doing more computer consulting I found that splitting my @computer context into separate lists for each program I used to do the various tasks really helped. Then when I got a program up and running I could just whip through all the things in that program before closing it down and moving to the next one. Right now even with my minimal stuff I have 3 computer contexts, @computer Mac @computer Windows and @computer internet. The reason is not so much that I don't have access to all 3 all the time but that it's a lot easier to corral my stuff and actions if I split it out that way. I can focus on one system and get a lot more done more easily rather than flipping between stuff.

          My mac is running Fusion so is also my windows machine and we have an always on wireless broadband connection so I always have internet. It is still useful to split the @computer context up.

          I tried using spaces on the mac to separate programs but ran into bugs with some things not running well on the other spaces so switched back. But if you are on a linux machine there are much better virtual desktop programs that can be used to help force a switch of contexts to keep you focused on the tasks at hand.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Conrad Sallian View Post
            Ok, I'll put it another way - I don't need GTD to remember to tidy up my flat, or remember to go to a nearby grocery store to buy some food (except I need a scrap of paper with a list of what to buy).

            Whereas at my work I have zillions of actions, waiting fors, projects etc. so I absolutely need a system to maintain an iron grip on all that. And GTD has proved to be the best system to achieve that so far.
            Someday, something dramatic will happen in your life, and you will need an airtight system for everything you do. Even mundane things will not get done.

            You can wait until that moment to set up a system, or you can have it running smoothly when it happens.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Brent View Post
              Someday, something dramatic will happen in your life....
              Yes! like getting a spouse, a house, a child, an investment portfolio, a volunteer position, etc etc.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Brent View Post
                Someday, something dramatic will happen in your life, and you will need an airtight system for everything you do. Even mundane things will not get done.

                You can wait until that moment to set up a system, or you can have it running smoothly when it happens.
                Wow, that was pathetic.

                Hopefully, if anything dramatic happens in my life.. I'll just stop doing and reconsider my life. I want to be human being, not a human doing.

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                • #23
                  So True!

                  Originally posted by Brent View Post
                  Someday, something dramatic will happen in your life, and you will need an airtight system for everything you do. Even mundane things will not get done.
                  ABSOLUTELY TRUE!

                  And when the sh** hits the fan if you are not prepared it can take years to recover.

                  Things like an unexpected death in the family, major financial issues (good or bad, winning the lottery is just as difficult to handle as being flat broke), marriage or divorce, fire, flood or other natural disaster, major health issues. Inevitably something will happen that causes you to have to completely change your life in some way. Having a system to handle the process of exploring that change and getting to the root of what makes sense to do in that environment is key to using those things as opportunities for growth and not just a trigger for a slide into a black hole.

                  GTD, practiced over your entire life provides a framework to explore what is really important, to align your doing with long term goals and to free up your incredible mental energy to go, think and do things you never would have had time or energy to do before. GTD practices also provide a comfortable backdrop so you are prepared to handle whatever challenges life deals out to you.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Conrad Sallian View Post
                    Hopefully, if anything dramatic happens in my life.. I'll just stop doing and reconsider my life. I want to be human being, not a human doing.
                    It's not an if anything dramatic will happen. It's more a matter of when. And my point is that GTD provides a great framework for the reconsidering you will have to do when stuff does happen. It also helps you to keep the basics going while you find your new balance.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Conrad Sallian View Post
                      Hopefully, if anything dramatic happens in my life.. I'll just stop doing and reconsider my life. I want to be human being, not a human doing.
                      Interesting! So, when a loved one dies, or you're presented with a limited-time opportunity, you plan to completely disengage and let all your balls drop?

                      (I'm joking, of course; I know you wouldn't do that.)

                      That said, I don't see how keeping track of your commitments makes you a "human doing." Having a system doesn't automatically make you do things. GTD gives me the freedom to know when I don't have to work, as well as when I do.
                      Last edited by Brent; 02-02-2010, 06:34 AM. Reason: Further explanations

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