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Question on Fundamentals of GTD - I am sure any GTD follower would get these...

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  • Question on Fundamentals of GTD - I am sure any GTD follower would get these...

    Hi there,
    I have few basic questions that arised when following the GTD methodology.

    Background
    I COLLECT mindsweep lists, ideas, etc... to my IN basket / file folder.
    I PROCESS this IN basket often (about thrice a day) and ORGANIZE them into context based action lists.
    If I find that an item from my IN basket requires more than one action item for its outcome, I would consider that as a project.

    Questions
    1) In order to find the next action for the project, I will have to do brain storming / project planning and list all the possible steps to accomplish the outcome.

    I may not have time to do this during the processing (every time) , as it usually would be during lunch time, tea break, . How do I decide the NEXT ACTION then?

    2) Most of the time I would know the next action for the item getting into my IN basket. David says "not to" get tempted to do that immediately. What is your opinion on this?

    3) When at office, some of the action item obtained from the meeting will have to be done by end of day of the day. It might not even wait till my next "Executive Decision making" time. How to take those through the GTD process then?
    Last edited by WintheWin; 05-19-2010, 02:58 AM. Reason: corrected the first question

  • #2
    I found this at first. Essentially what you're saying is "when do i decide the next actions in the middle of the working day"

    For me I tend to find one of two times - either on the front end or at my weekly review.

    Sometimes its obvious what the next action is - if someone asks me about attending a meeting, I can tell if im free or not, so i can reply straight away. If it takes two minutes do it, if not stick it on a list.

    Other times its less obvious. I can normally at least tell if its a project or not, so if im not sure what something is and I don't have the time to deal with it I add it to the project list, called "decide whether to x". That way I can forget about it and deal with it at the weekly review. This includes those things where I need to project plan. most stuff that comes my way where I have to actually write a list of steps tends to be measured in weeks not hours, leaving plenty of time for the weekly review.

    Its also true that sometimes stuff comes in where you have to deal with it that day - hey, thats life, and GTD doesn't stop life happening. What it does mean is that you know exactly what you can drop and what you cant, so you can focus as much attention on sorting out whatever project just landed on your lap. If you have to work out what it is and what to do, then thats what you have to do, but at least its the only thing you have to work out what to do that day. Its also true that systematically using GTD reduces the number of these last minute bombshells.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that you dont have to review projects only weekly. you should be doing them at least weekly. So if you have to jump into a project mid-week to keep it moving, then so be it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WintheWin View Post
      1) In order to find the next action for the project, I will have to do brain storming / project planning and list all the possible steps to accomplish the outcome.

      I may not have time to do this during the processing (every time), as it usually would be during lunch time, tea break, . How do I decide the NEXT ACTION then?
      I would file the documents/information away into my reference system, create a new action that would be 'Sit down and mind map Project XXXX', and in that action note where I filed the reference documents. This keeps you under the 2 minute rule and allows you to focus on getting through the Process phase.

      Originally posted by WintheWin View Post
      2) Most of the time I would know the next action for the item getting into my IN basket. David says "not to" get tempted to do that immediately. What is your opinion on this?
      The basic rule is if can be done in 2 min or less, do it now. Otherwise see steps listed above.

      Originally posted by WintheWin View Post
      3) When at office, some of the action item obtained from the meeting will have to be done by end of day of the day. It might not even wait till my next "Executive Decision making" time. How to take those through the GTD process then?
      I put these onto my calendar as an all day event. I know I have to get this done sometime that day, but I don't have a deadline or specific time to do them. As these items get completed, I highlight them and shade it a different color to mark them as complete.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by WintheWin View Post
        Questions
        1) In order to find the next action for the project, I will have to do brain storming / project planning and list all the possible steps to accomplish the outcome.

        I may not have time to do this during the processing (every time) , as it usually would be during lunch time, tea break, . How do I decide the NEXT ACTION then?

        2) Most of the time I would know the next action for the item getting into my IN basket. David says "not to" get tempted to do that immediately. What is your opinion on this?

        3) When at office, some of the action item obtained from the meeting will have to be done by end of day of the day. It might not even wait till my next "Executive Decision making" time. How to take those through the GTD process then?
        1) Brainstorming lists of next actions for a project is too often procrastination. For 80% of projects, the first action is clear, which leads to two more, and then another, then you're waiting for someone, then you have something else to do, and eventually you're done. For the other 20%, you often need to figure out what the project really is before starting, and apply mid-course corrections as you go. Keep moving.

        2) Two minute rule.

        3) If it has to be done today, put it on your calendar.

        I have found that doing what David says to do is pretty generally the right thing to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          1) I'd say that while thinking about a project, I might think of many actions (and capture these into project support) most of the the time the real NEXT action to get the project moving takes less than 2 minutes to "discover" if i just give myself the time to think about it.

          2) my decision to do the next action depends on how much time I have. This is something I struggle with... Getting caught up in the busy trap is too easy, so I've been trying lately to capture and move on.

          3) if it has to be done that day it goes on the calendar, or my working daily handwritten list.

          Comment

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