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  • Work/Home?

    I'm new to GTD.

    Just had a 5 week vacation, after an immensely stressful spring. It took me two weeks to be able to relax. I decided,that this cannot go on. I have always been proud of myself having the ability to keep everything in my head. No lists, no written notes. Finally, I realized that the reason for not being able to sleep at night was the constant re-iterating thought in my mid: "what have I forgotten, what have I forgotten...". Silly, isn't it?

    Implementing lists and sorting through and organizing my workplace - now my desk looks like I have an empty mind... - made me relax at home. I have been able to fall asleep within minutes.

    Talking about home. I sometimes feel i have more stuff to do at home than at work. Call the plumber, maintain the house, plan the new kitchen, buy new tool. The goal is to add this into GTD, and today I started with a small notebook (74mm x 105mm) and wrote everything down that I could think of.

    But a question arises. Do I have separate system for work and for home? I don't want to do my home stuff at work during billable time. And I prefer to think about work when I'm able to bill someone for it!

    Work/Home does not have any connections really, I cannot get to work data from home, and vice versa. Inboxes totally separate. The only thing I like to do is to take notes in my notebook whenever I come to think about it (work/home does not matter).

    Should I have two separate systems, with two weekly reviews and so on? I bet someone out there have already figured this one out.

    Thank you for any input!

  • #2

    I'm with you on the proliferation of tasks at home. I'm a relative newbie, and I do have two systems. But my @Errands and @Calls lists merge, and that's where I gain efficiency. Same stops or same parts of town for buying stuff for both home and work, and the late afternoon (when I'm already home) is often the best time to reach folks for work-related calls.

    Also, someone posted that it's essential to review actions when you change contexts. I'm fortunate that I don't have to take much physical work home, but my downfall is forgetting something quick but essential after I leave the office. If I'm not careful, I don't see it again until the next morning.


    • #3
      I am guessing you will get a wide range of answers on this one. It depends on the individual and the work environment.

      For me, I keep one system for everything, business and personal. I frequently work from home and conversely I frequently take care of personal matters (small, quick NAs) at the office. So it makes sense for me to have one trusted system.

      Just curious, if you keep a separate system for work only, what are your contexts? For me, @Work is its own context.


      • #4
        I have one common system that takes all the next actions for work and home but still divides where to do what. As you I didn't want to do home next actions at work and visa versa (except for some special cases like calls that should be done at working hours anyway) so I used two instruments: time map and task management (aka GTD). Time map gives borders between different focus areas, i.e. work from 9 till 17 and home from 18 till actually morning And task management gives me Next Actions to choose while at home or at work. I use the following: @Agenda (checked at Weekly Reviews to arrange meeting calls), @Call (checked whiled driving), @Office, @Home, @Waiting (checked at weekly review to arrange follow-up meetings or callls). I have one portable paper inbox that takes any new papers for checking at daily review, my project and reference systems always travel with me as I don't have too much of them (I'm executive , I have a few email boxes. My capture tool is Benq P50 smartphone, I go through collection and organize stages immediatelly after getting some new stuff. I can provide example of how to use that system if you need.




        • #5
          Thank you for your input.

          I have only set up this system at work, and it's not much more than a Todo/NA list and Waiting for list. No contexts yet, it work in the sam context all the time.

          My idea is to do a weekly review of 'work' at 3pm every Friday.
          A weekly review of 'non-work' I do when I get home.

          Note: I'm a consultant so when I say 'work' it is the billable work I do at the customers site. 'non-work' does of course include non-billable time such as bookkeeping (which I do at home).


          • #6
            Home/work - separate systems?

            I have separate systems for home and work but as far as I know David Allen would not be happy with it. In the description of the GTD Black Belt ( it is written that:

            Originally posted by apinaud
            * There is little distinction between work and personal life -- just a focus on whatever you're doing


            • #7
              I, too, have one system and everything (work and home) is in it. I am black belt in this respect, as I do not differenciate any longer between the two and I flow between them quite effortlessly now.

              Notetaker wallet is my UCT when not at my MacBook Pro. When seated at the Mac, Entourage is what controls the entire system. I use a Pocket PC when out of office.


              • #8
                Do you bill for your entire weekly review, or that part that is related to work, or not at all?

                (Exchange 'bill' to 'do at office' or 'write up as work time' as applicable)


                • #9
                  For me, the Weekly Review is togtally personal - I need it to stay on top of everything - and thus would not "bill" for that time.


                  • #10
                    Two Weekly Reviews

                    My work-related weekly review I do on Wednesdays at my office and the personal-and-home-related review gets done at home on weekends.
                    For personal stuff that I need at work and work files I want to peruse at home I use travel folders like they were recommended by DA. And I send emails to myself from home to the office and back. One system with two places.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justanengineer
                      Do you bill for your entire weekly review, or that part that is related to work, or not at all?

                      (Exchange 'bill' to 'do at office' or 'write up as work time' as applicable)
                      I used to keep to separate systems: one profile on the Palm Desktop that synched to the Treo, and another office-only profile that stayed on the desktop. If I needed to add something to the office profile when I wasn't at work, I would put in on Treo's calendar or its @Office category.

                      Now I keep a single profile, only using context entries for actions that aren't exclusive to work or personal activity. Calls that can be made from any phone go on my @Calls list. Calls that require being in the office go on @Office or, if necessary, my calendar, not on @Calls.

                      The crux of the issue is: Do you really want to do the review in two places? If you're like me, summoning the willpower to do the Weekly Review even once each week is hard enough. Two reviews would, and did, double my chances of procrastinating on the process. Doing a single review at the office was more logical than doing it at home, since most of us need to keep track of more commitments at work than at home. Furthermore, when I tried to review at home, not having access to my work files forced me to dredge up too much from memory.

                      One approach to maintaining a system at work with personal content is to simply collect and process the personal items into your systems without doing them (except possibly the 2-minute items -- use your discretion).

                      Should you bill for the Weekly Review? Let's just say it didn't go over too well the last time I put that line item on the invoice.