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Two question: Prioritizing and Next Actions

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  • Two question: Prioritizing and Next Actions

    I have two questions. I've been working through the GTD system since January and it is working for me. I recently read a book by Brian Tracey on time management. His approach is the way I was used to prior to meeting up with the GTD system. He keeps a master to do list, prioritiezes and then breaks down into daily to do lists. How is that compatible/incompatible with GTD?

    My second question: If I have a project that is "Move into new office building" and it has the following actions I must do "Order new internet circuit", "Test new internet circuit", "Move computers in", "set up new computers", "test computers", etc. should I have all these things captured at the same time or should I wait until I've finished one to add another as each are considered "Next Actions"

  • #2
    My Hybrid System

    Prior to GTD, I used the Franklin/Covey system. As a result, I learned to plan each day. After some fiddling around with different approaches, I created a simple hybrid system that seems to work well.

    I created a "!Today" category. Each morning, I go through all my tasks and assign the !Today category to those tasks I hope to complete today. I don't delete the previously assigned category. It stays in place and, as a result, the task shows up on more than one list. For example, in the category field I might have: !Today, @Computer.

    The reason I use !Today rather tham @Today is because the exclamation point sorts ahead of the at symbol.

    The value of this system is that once I begin my day I can just focus on one list. This may not work for everyone, but it works great for me.


    • #3
      !Today sounds like a great idea MIchael


      Thanks for the idea. I think I will add "!Today" to my categories and give it a try. It sounds like a great additional filter on what I need to really focus on day to day.



      • #4

        I use Outlook at work and syn it to my Palm. As I am looking through my lists, if I see an item that MUST be done today or for some other reason want to give it a high-priority status, I simple remove the category name. That puts it in a category called "None" on Outlook (which sync to "Unfiled on the Palm). The "None" category appears at the very top and puts in front of me the things that would otherwise weigh on my mind. Often those items drive which contexts I work from. (When I make the phone call that MUST be make today, I will go ahead and knock out a few others from the Calls list.)

        As for the question on your project, it looks from the examples of next actions that you have that they must be done in a certain order. I would make the first one that has to be done the next action and put the others in the note section of that task.

        If sounds like, however, you have spelled out some subprojects instead of next actions. If you are going to physically "set up computers" and have all the equipment/supplies at hand, you have a next action. If you are going to call someone to do the setting up, need to pick up cables, etc., then setting up the computers is a project. Personally, I think it's OK to leave those subprojects in the note section, and when you get down that far, figure out the next action.

        Hope this helps.