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  • deadlines

    I've been using GTD for a couple of months now and had pretty good success but have missed a couple of deadlines (something I normally don't do) Anyone else had this problem? Any tips? Also, I always seem to be getting projects done at the last minute, which creates alot of stress.

  • #2
    Are you not seeing these deadlines in your weekly review?


    • #3
      When I started off on GTD the same thing happened to me a couple of times.

      GTD makes us look right across all of the things that are underway or that we have committed to in all areas of our lives. Most of us would have been more accustomed to the forward looking, next dead-line, fire-fighting, way of looking at work. It can almost seem as if GTD does not deal with dead-lines, that it somehow disregards and dismisses them.

      The horizontal view is one of the great tools in the GTD tool-kit, but it isnít the only one, and GTD will not function properly if we only focus on the horizontal point of view.

      The natural planning model for example will turn your attention 90 degrees to the forward view. As soon as you apply the natural planning model to any project, you will find that several dates emerge which should go on your hard landscape. Most important of all is the finish date, and it should go in your diary.

      What things need to happen before you hit the deadline? When do they need to be done by? What is the next action?

      Horizontal control plus an empty in-basket bring on a great sense of calm. Thatís ok. But many of us have been stressed out for so long, that we are reluctant to leave this oasis of tranquillity and plunge back into the work. Although GTD promises peace of mind, this peace of mind is not the final objective of the system. The objective is productivity, relaxed productivity.

      I found it hard at first to dive back into the stormy waters of work after I got my first hit of calm. But now I realise that the advantage of the system is that when I work, I am not preoccupied by what I am not doing, and so my mind can focus better on what is in front of me.

      Hope this helps.



      • #4
        Weekly review sometimes not frequent enough

        I have a very reactive job. Essentially it's product support, the product being a sales data warehouse. Many projects are long term and the weekly review is fine, but many multi-step projects are opened and closed within the work week. Obviously, waiting a week to add the next action to the appropriate list isn't viable.

        Following the 2 minute rule, any action that has been "listed" has taken some time to do. If that task is related to project, I'll do a quick review of my project notes and immediately assign the next action, it's often just a @Waiting for, but that keeps the project moving. I usually have an outline of desired outcomes in the notes section of my "@Projects Work" list, so I have a good idea about what items are actionable. I sync several times a day and keep my Palm Desktop open to @Work tasks, so it is almost a current "to do" list. I do assign dates to project tasks, so my tasks are sorted by due date.