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Daily Comitments?

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  • Daily Comitments?

    Going through the GTD book i found it somewhat unclear on how to deal with with daily things that you want to get done but dont necessarily feel like they are absolute callendaring commitments necesarily.


    Practice one unit my piano program each day
    Do one unit of my language course each day
    Walk 10'000 steps each day
    Review material in supermemo each day.

  • #2
    I use a program called Sciral Consistency for this kind of thing. It creates a nifty spreadsheet with green, yellow, or red boxes for things that are on time, due, or past due.

    If I'm being inconsistent about something, I'll also block off time on my calendar until I establish (or re-establish) the habit.



    • #3
      Originally posted by slaie
      Going through the GTD book i found it somewhat unclear on how to deal with with daily things that you want to get done but dont necessarily feel like they are absolute callendaring commitments necesarily.
      GTD assumes that you have all your commitments in one System. All means all. You're right - daily piano lessons are not so absolute commitments - as so they should go on your NA's list (@Home or @When-in-mood-to-play). Then when you have free time slot you go to your NA list and take whatever you feel needs to be done. Intuition will help you to take the right NA like to play the piano and it doesn't require any software - you'll feel it. If you want to be sure you're making equal progress in each area of your interests and not only with piano then Katherine's advice about scheduling some time daily for playing piano is good. I use timemaps as well but I don't think it's a real GTD concept.




      • #4
        One system?

        Originally posted by Borisoff
        GTD assumes that you have all your commitments in one System.
        One trusted system but it can consist of several modules that are tailored to the specific functions. I can have my address book in a cell phone, recurring actions in Sciral Consistency and Project / Next Action Lists in Moleskine notebook. The only requirement is that I must know where I can find this information.


        • #5
          Originally posted by TesTeq
          The only requirement is that I must know where I can find this information.
          To expand upon that slightly, it seems to me that you must know where you can find the information, and you must trust that you'll look at the information when you need it.

          If I throw all my information in an industrial-sized dumpster in my parking lot, I know where to find it. But I'd have little trust that I'll be able to lay eyes on a particular piece of information often enough to keep clarity on the open loop.

          It's for that reason that I'm gradually dumping various add-on applications and going back to the plain Tasks and Calendar programs in my Palm (and plain Outlook on my desktop). The other tools add some nice features, for sure, but they added enough complexity (and tediousness to putting stuff in) that I lost the ability to trust that everything was where I could find it. Simplifying helped me with this problem.

          That's not to say that a combination of tools is a bad long as you know you can trust the system to yield up the required information when you need it, so you don't have to worry about carrying around a "backup" copy of it all in your head. If you can do that, then the system works for you, so go for it. If you can't, it's time to simplify.

          -- Tammy


          • #6
            If there are daily things that don't need to be done then I might start off scheduling them in a diary, but because I do them daily, I tend to remember to do them automatically. I guess it becomes something that I "don't need to get out of my head" because it's automatic like remembering to eat or wash. Once I have reached this stage then there's no point in scheduling them because more often than not the time it is scheduled for is not the best time because I'm doing something else, being interrupted by someone, etc.

            There is a possibility that I might, over time forget to do the thing because maybe I was extremely busy for a few days and let it slip. That is why I would consider these kind of items to be an area of responsibility (20,000+ feet). Yes, learning the piano might not be an extreme priority in the short term if your busy moving house or preparing for a job interview, but honoring your long term ambitions and goals for self improvement is essential in the long term.

            I have a simple note containing areas of responsibility which I can use occasionally to remind me of these kind of things (usually when I need to add to it is when I tend to review it).

            Anything that would cause a complete disaster, or even minor convenience if it didn't get done, I would always schedule as a daily repeat in my diary (this is one case where an electronic calendar really is more useful than a paper one). Even if it didn't get done at the time it went beep there's still a very good chance that I will remember to do it that day.


            • #7
              A tickler's good for this sort of thing.

              Though personally, I have a small index card with these sorts of daily things printed on it, laying next to my home computer. It works.


              • #8

                Great question! Have you tried creating a daily checklist for yourself? Paper or digital, it's just a list of your goals for every day that you train yourself to check. Apparently the idea's been around a while (you can even print your own).


                • #9
                  Rubber stamps are your friend

                  I have two ways of tracking the various little things that I want to accomplish every day:

                  Method 1: Choose a stamp (or sticker or whatever) to represent the thing that you want to do; do the thing and then stamp that day's calendar page to show that it was accomplished. This method is good for tracking activities, but not good for reminding yourself to do something.

                  Method 2: I have a custom message stamp that comes with two stamp plates - 4 lines each. One of the plates is dedicated to my daily checklist - up to 4 items that I want to do each day. I then stamp each day's calendar block for however many days that I want to remember to do the activity. If I want to establish a new habit, for example, I'll stamp the next 30 calendar blocks. Each day when I look at my calendar, I see a reminder of whatever I need to do; after I've done it, I check it off or scratch through it. The custom message stamp was less than $20 at OfficeMax, and I've already found 25 different ways to use it.

                  If you're using a digital system, why not just set up daily recurring tasks? No matter what system you use, either you want to do these particular things each day, or you don't. If you really do want to practice a unit of piano each day, go ahead and put it on your calendar - at least until it's become an established habit. I've found that this is the edge that I need to go from wishful thinking to action.

                  If the tasks don't really matter that much (lean more toward wishful thinking) or if you just want to make sure that you do it at some point during the week, put them on your NA list.

                  ETA that I think a printed daily checklist is also an excellent idea; it's just that I'd rather not use an extra sheet of paper for something like that. My planner is already stuffed as it is!
                  Last edited by Dawn; 03-28-2006, 08:14 AM.


                  • #10
                    For some of these, I have an appointment (with time marked as free) in my Outlook calendar, so it dings to remind me. For others, they go on my daily paper calendar page (which is also my complete NA list--I generate a fresh one each day), and I mark a tick mark when they are done. (Take my vitamins, have protein for lunch, walk the stairs at work, etc.) The latter approach is esp. useful if it's something I would ideally do more than once (the stairs) or something I want to track over time (how many steps I took each day).


                    • #11
                      printed daily checklist

                      Just remembered one more tool I use--the printed daily list, but in a plastic sheet protector. You can cross the items off with a dry-erase marker, then wipe it clean at the end of the day. Reuseable ad infinitum.