How do you manage projects and priorities?

Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 by GTD Times Staff

The Managing Projects & Priorities seminar is a wonderful opportunity to take GTD to the next level in your professional and personal life. Upcoming seminars in 2011 will be held in Boston, Chicago, and Dallas.

You will learn:
• The power of creative brainstorming
• How to define your priorities through the Horizons of Focus® Model
• The advantages of using the Natural Planning Model®
• How to effectively develop and move your projects to the next level

This is how David Allen Company staff member Kari McGee described her experience with Managing Projects & Priorities:

Sometimes a vision seems to be all we have, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the lesson I walked away with after attending the David Allen Managing Projects and Priorities seminar. I realized that the projects piece of GTD is where the magic really happens. To be able to work through clear purpose and not just be prepared for the latest and loudest is really where the bigger dreams start to take shape on the GTD Journey.

Like any GTD enthusiast, I thought I had the world conquered once I realized how I could manage all of my tasks through lists and contexts. The Mastering Workflow seminar cemented this learning further into place and pretty soon I was explaining this approach to relatives and friends. After a few months I was scanning my projects and actions during my Weekly Review. I started to become haunted by a small, creeping suspicion that I just couldn’t shake: my projects list looked much too small in relation to the responsibilities my life called for. I called my GTD Coach and asked her how many projects I should have on my list, and as I suspected, I needed to enter the next phase of my practice.

When I was offered an opportunity to attend the Managing Projects and Priorities seminar, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. As I spoke to other people attending, I realized that many people were having the same experience of, “I don’t quite get the project piece.” Halfway through the workshop I realized that the reason I had struggled with projects was because I had been ignoring one of the most integral pieces of project planning—the Natural Planning Model.

The Natural Planning Model connects the purpose of why we are investing in a larger goal, and the actions to reach that goal. After all, what is action without purpose? The presenter went through this model in careful stages to really explore the different steps of clarifying, brainstorming, organizing and implementing (taking action). By the end of the workshop, no project seemed too large or out of reach. In fact, I started of thinking of all the projects that were sitting on my Someday Maybe list and I couldn’t wait to get started.

The Managing Projects and Priorities seminar really aided me in rounding out my whole GTD system. The workshop offered an interactive breakdown of my Horizons of Focus. I was instructed on how to use projects as a way to achieve the goals that add purpose and value to my life. I realized that every domain of my life needed a project; my health, my work, my finances, my relationships. Having the instruction to be able to implement that kind of structure into my everyday reality has proven to be invaluable.

At the most basic level, the reason we organize is to accomplish projects, whether that be creating a new website or buying a new toilet seat. Whatever level of responsibility the project requires, we still need to be aware of the reasons driving us to create the path to achieve it. Maybe buying a new toilet seat will make your spouse happy for a week, and maybe creating a new website will help you reach an even higher vision of professional autonomy and financial success. In this seminar, the objectives of the individuals were that different, but they were all equally addressed. I know that my projects were clarified on a level that really catapulted me into a greater place of motivation. Now I fearlessly add on more every week, knowing that my intentions will quickly blossom into real results.

Kari McGee is an enthusiastic team member at David Allen Company. She works on the administrative team for our GTD Connect program and GTD Interactive course. We hope you enjoy her story!

One Response to “How do you manage projects and priorities?”

  1. Kelley says:

    I love this article! I signed up for the MPP seminar in Newport Beach after a GTD Connect webinar on Horizons of Focus whetted my appetite. Now I really can’t wait to attend!

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