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The flaw in GTD priortizing

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  • The flaw in GTD priortizing

    Best post on this:

    "I think you should have the discipline to make the four criteria work for you rather than being controlled by them. When there are important, high priority, next actions that are key steps in achieving your 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 ft and above goals, you simply cannot let the four criteria get in the way. You need to use the four criteria as a checklist of things that need to be in place in order to complete your high priority items."

  • #2
    I've always assumed that priority is a major driver when you choose active projects versus someday/maybe projects. In that sense, priority comes _first_, chronologically -- you choose your active projects and someday/maybe projects before you even start considering what to work on.


    • #3
      The author of the blog has marked his most important tasks as 'a1' and in red. So what? The maturity to choose your important tasks when you have time and energy, to tackle the big things when you are fresh and alert, will never come from 'a system' anyway. Overcoming resistance is not part of organizing, it is part of doing. Of course your 'system' should facilitate 'doing' not hinder it. But is having another list or highlighting something really what you need to improve your doing? Maybe.


      • #4
        I think the author is trying hard to find flaws in something that David Allen says himself is just a rule of thumb.

        Your life is infinitely complex. Not GTD, nor any other system, is as complex as it. What David Allen suggests with GTD is a balance, organising as much as you have to, but no more. There's no claim that the system will work perfectly without your input in all circumstances.

        If you don't have the maturity to look through all your lists and decide which is the most important, given the vast number of interests in your work and life, bad news - the most ordered NA lists in the world wont decide for you. However if you do have that maturity, GTD can make that decision a lot easier.

        Hes right tho that the more important work and decision making takes place at higher levels.


        • #5
          I think the author is trying hard to find flaws in something that David Allen says himself is just a rule of thumb.

          After I read the article, I had a feeling writer just wanted to discredit David Allen and GTD, because he and it are regarded so highly in field of time management.


          • #6
            I've wrestled over this myself, having previously been a Steven Covey follower, and have concluded that while putting importance first and committing to making time sounds like the best way, in practice it just doesn't work.

            So many times I have planned time to do things that I know are important, but mentally I'm drained, tired, and spend an hour trying to write one paragraph. Failed. That's a waste of time. So I give up, wait until the next day, when I'm mentally refreshed and amazing, I get the whole task done in an hour. Sped through it like it was no major task at all. David Rock's book 'Your Brain at Work' also explains why your bain can't keep up a high performing pace all day long, and that you need to structure your work so the high demanding work is done when your brain is at it's mental peak (or energy level in GTD terms).

            GTD does work, if you aren't getting enough time in contexts to do your work that should be picked up in the weekly review and you block more time for that context into your calendar.


            • #7
              Didn't David address this in Making it all work?

              Today I listened Davids audiobook Making it all work, and in it David explained why he doesn't give more emphasis on priority. I think it was something like prioritising is so vast matter that it would require its own book. And most people are so stressed out because of stuff, that any larger priority system wouldn't give them any benefit when compared to current GTD version. Basically, if you are prioritising wrong things it doesn't matter how well you prioritise them.

              I may remember this incorrectly, or I may have understood it incorrectly, I was doing something else while listening. Read the book, I think it is good compendium to Getting Things Done.


              • #8
                It all starts with the problem that everybody calls different things "priorities". Some talk about their "priorities" but mean "things I am stressed about, because I did not finish them yet". Others have a list of "priorities" in minde and think of them as "list of things that my philosophy/worldview deems important". Yet others just mean "these things are urgent" when they mention their "priorities". The actual meaning of "more important and therefore should get allocated more ressources" gets fuzzled into that somewhere. But then again, what does "important" actually mean?

                So, when people ask about priorities in GTD, what do they mean? I am stressed because I took on too much work? I do not know what to do with my life? My boss does not communicate properly? I am unclear about what to do today?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cpu_Modern View Post
                  It all starts with the problem that everybody calls different things "priorities".
                  I think you hit the nail.

                  By the way. Those who want to give more weight to priorities, should explore Managing Projects & Priorities seminar.


                  When you have a solid foundation with GTD, the Managing Projects & Priorities seminar brings you deeper into the power of your focus, project planning and creative brainstorming, and developing your priorities. Our senior staff lead this graduate-level course.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kkuja View Post
                    I think you hit the nail.
                    [..] Those who want to give more weight to priorities, should explore Managing Projects[..]

                    I agree with you, having trouble with your priorities (one common sign is a way to crowded projects list) stems from unclarity in the HoFs.


                    • #11
                      GTD doesn't consider priorities unimportant.

                      The blog post says "... get in the right context", "... find the time", "... find the energy". That's good advice, and a good add-on to GTD.

                      However, I disagree with the blog about how GTD works. It seems to be implying that
                      GTD consider priorities relatively unimportant. I don't think so!

                      As I see it, by considering context etc. first, GTD is merely saving
                      a lot of time and emotion and energy by figuring out quickly and painlessly what
                      you would have ended up doing right then anyway.