Clarification regarding AoF

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Idreamofclarity, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    If one is capturing and clarifying absolutely everything potentially meaningful in one's life per DA's recommendation, the problem with organizing by AOF is that you'll have to constantly be reviewing actions you can't do when and where you are. That creates resistance to using one's lists. That's not dogma speaking, that's my personal experience.

    If someone wants to manage actions using a top-down approach, I don't think it makes much sense to practice GTD which is at its core a bottom-up approach. It might make more sense to try something like Franklin-Covey or one of the other more traditional approaches.
     
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  2. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    That's pretty much my experience too.
     
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  3. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    For several years I tried to stuff all my projects and next actions into AOF's and then I finally decided that it was more trouble than it is worth. I was continually frustrated when I wanted to add things to existing projects and couldn't find them. Now I have a totally separate list of AOFs that I review quarterly on the solstices and equinoxes that keeps me on track.

    Critical to keeping the system clean and functioning is clear unambiguous contexts. I know you said contexts don't work for you. My suggestion though is that you haven't found the right contexts. Contexts should be adapted to your world and fluid in nature. You should feel free to create, use and delete contexts as necessary to accomplish adequate separation of tasks so that you are not overwhelmed when facing long lists. Contexts also allow you to stack up tasks and avoid the mind reset and delays incurred from rapid switching. There is a lot of evidence on how hard it is to get into the flow of working when you switch constantly. Also just because you can do many things everywhere doesn't mean it's the most efficient way to work. I'm currently managing 275 active separate projects with 288 available next actions spread across 37 separate contexts. (Gotta love the OF Stats script ;-) ) There is no way to manage that level of stuff without clean edges and clear contexts.
     
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  4. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I think without knowing more about the problem that prompted the OP we're just spitballing. That's why I asked the questions I did.

    The OP's attempt to read my mind notwithstanding, I'm not against people coloring outside the lines with GTD. Hell, I'm not against people not practicing GTD. If someone organizes their life from the top down by AOF or something similar and finds that it works, more power to them.

    But if there's something else at play -- like attempting a full-on GTD system with next actions that aren't truly clarified, ambiguous contexts, an incomplete inventory of open loops, no hard edge between actions/reference, etc. -- simply moving from organizing by contexts to AOFs won't help and will likely exacerbate the problem. I feel like if I'm going to give advice, it should be the best advice I'm capable of giving even if it's a bitter pill to swallow.

    Given that the OP asked a bunch of strangers for help and then lashed out at us for trying to do just that, however, I'm not sure there's anything to be gained from further discussion with him or her.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
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  5. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I have a friend who, in many contexts, interprets questions as arguments, and seems quite, quite unable to even conceive of the idea that a question could ever be a request for information. I think that's what's going on here.
     
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  6. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    The OP doesn't want to discuss "contexts." ;)
     
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  7. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    Same here. That's why I always find it simultaneously amusing and wearying when people accuse GTD'ers of being "dogmatic." As though we're doing something just because we're told.

    At the beginning of the book DA welcomes people to "challenge" the material (his word, hence the quotes), to really kick at the tires, rather than just take it on faith that the system works. Like a lot of people, you've done just that and decided for yourself that this stuff works. That's not "dogma," that's learning lessons from trial and error.

    I realize this thread is already run its course but I had to get that off my chest.
     
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