GTD 3.0 Mind Map

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by apastuszak, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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  2. greeno

    greeno Registered

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    Hi. I like the overall idea for the mind map. I have a few questions though.

    Why do you state that projects "should have a due date"? That's certainly not what I consider to be canonical GTD practice. You also state that you should use due dates for tasks you "plan" to do on a specific date.

    It sounds to me like you're using due dates to artificially raise the importance of tasks, which at least in my system, is a sign that I'm getting out of control.

    Due dates are drop dead dates, not targets.
     
  3. Folke

    Folke Registered

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    I totally agree with greeno about the use of dates.

    I have been very surprised by the mass of statements by plenty of people in other threads here recently about how extensively and liberally they use dates for planning purposes. To me, the practice of avoiding this in favor of more dynamic, situational choosing of what to do now has always been what makes GTD stand out from all these other date-planning methodologies.
     
  4. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    David Allen in a very recent session of "Up close with David" on GTD Connect stated that he uses "false due dates" to help him do better work -- get things done ahead of schedule. So using self-imposed due dates is fine within a GTD practice. David said this, @Folke.!. ;) One CAN do things a little differently than what was in the original 2001 book. Of course, you can still follow that book to the letter. It is what works best for each of us is how we should approach our GTD system.

    Take care, my friend.
     
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  5. ArcCaster

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    If we are going to use false due dates, seems like we need a way to distinguish between real due dates and false ones. Real due dates DO influence my priorities; false due dates, by definition, should not have as great an influence.
     
  6. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Nothing is more important to me than MY self-imposed due dates. Easy for me to distinguish.
     
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  7. ArcCaster

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    So maybe the false due dates are promises to yourself, and the real due dates are promises to others? One is certainly easier to renegotiate than the other.
     
  8. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Agreed -- promises that I have made to myself. Negotiable - yes, but I am pretty steadfast in maintaining those deadlines. As I have posted before, I would carefully review any new work in terms of priority of whatever else I had scheduled. Only then would I consider changing anything. Of course, external deadlines are important too. If one has to be able to distinguish on their lists/calendar which is which, one could easily come up with some sort of notation.
     
  9. chirmer

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    I kind of get the feeling, Folke, that you keep thinking those of us who use dates are using "artificial" dates when in fact, we are not. We are using hard deadlines. There just seem to be a lot of us with structured projects that must be done by certain dates, and therefore we must use dates (as David Allen has said and explained in all versions of his books and his podcasts) to keep the project on track. These are not arbitrary, they are necessary. Every thread I've read has people who must use dates frequently, who have many hard deadlines, and those who have few or no hard deadlines making the assumption that these dates are arbitrary or soft. Some people have a lot of deadlines, some don't. In general, it seems like there's a misunderstanding about the dates being hard or soft.

    I am in marketing. Almost everything I do has a deadline. Therefore, tasks frequently get put on the calendar so that I get the project done on time. David uses the example (either in his book or a podcast, I can't remember which) of blocking time on his schedule to finish the report for tomorrow's meeting. This is in accordance with GTD, this is what I, Longstreet, and others are saying are hard deadlines, and this is where we keep hearing from the date-adverse that we're imposing soft deadlines :D Clearly, there's a miscommunication going on. We're not putting things like "Sharpen all pencils on my desk" or "Research new project ideas" on the calendar (unless of course we have a deadline for them) - we're putting things that, if not done at that time, put the project at risk to fall behind immediately. If we're always choosing our tasks only after we're in already established free time, how do we know we're prioritizing efficiently? If certain tasks are just as important, or more so, than meetings or other time commitments, shouldn't they be considered when scheduling one's day? I certainly think so.

    And that ends that little rant :D As far as the mind map goes, I must be honest - I saw it and balked. It's certainly complicated and long. As David Allen asks - is that something we could tackle when in our lowest frame of mind? Does it require us to be at the top of our game to use it? If it does, perhaps it needs rethinking.
     
  10. ArcCaster

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    yes -- I can tell by the calendar item whether it is promised to me or not. Some of my next actions cannot start until events owned by others first take place. So, on my calendar, on the dates I estimate I can start my actions, I enter that action. So, it is date specific (please turn your attention to this item at this time) but not cast in concrete. In fact, unlike a normal calendar item, which is a 'closing' date, my personal entries are often 'opening' dates -- turn your focus in this direction at this time.

    This might be a good item for a tickler file. But, for those of us who have not made complete use of a tickler file, the calendar works well.
     
  11. TesTeq

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    I like it! And it is not very easy for me to renegotiate my self-imposed due dates. I'm a very tough negotiator. ;-)
     
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  12. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    I bet you are a tough negotiator! You should hear me argue with myself. :D ;)
     
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  13. Folke

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    I can understand that perfectly. Often there can seem to be greater differences of opinion between us on the forum than there actually are, as Longstreet and I have also concluded when debating this very issue.

    For example, I know and agree that when working in a collaborative project or organization, most of the planning is, and must be, date based. I do not see any other way when agreeing to a plan among different people. So, all those dates from the agreed master plan are then definitely hard input to your own personal plan. No argument there.

    At the other end of the spectrum we have the typical low-priority or backlog things that no one in the world would put a date on, not even the fiercest date-planner.

    That essentially leaves us with more the difficult gray zone, the "upper" part of which is the most difficult, those tasks that are very time critical but not necessarily tied to any exact day in particular - as long as it happens very soon indeed. I have lots of those myself. A typical example is if I say to a potential high-value customer that I will send them something as soon as I can. There is no date, but it is still very time critical. I, too, miss a prescribed way in core GTD 2001 to deal with these. I am not happy with the complementary dating approach that I now keep hearing about (even if it comes from DA himself and has been described correctly), so I use colors, but I do agree that these critical things need to be highlighted in one way or another.

    What I tried to express in my earlier post above was just my surprise at the sheer numbers of people why say (in other threads) that they are date-planning. I had not expected that on this forum (maybe on the RTM forum, or the Toodledo forum, but I had not expected it here, not to that extent)

    But I appreciate your input. It makes sense to me, even if I do not quite handle it like that myself.

    I actually do not follow GTD at all. GTD just happens to coincide with my own system that I have honed since the late '70s. I never used soft dates. I never accepted the date planning methodologies of the '80s. I wanted to use hard fact as a base, and make the decisions as I ago, so that is what I did. I struggled a lot to get this onto a computer in the late '90s. When I finally understood, only in 2011, that there is this guy on the planet who actually wrote a book about this ten years earlier and also has apps named after him, and who essentially preaches what I preach, I decided it is time to stop fighting my own war with app developers who keep re-inventing ever newer versions of snooze buttons and alarm bells. I though maybe I had found a "home" of like-minded people with GTD. And to some extent I think I have. It is much "worse" at the RTM forum or the Doit forum. Those people are way more date-crazed than any of you guys here ;-) But I do prefer a "hard landscape" outlook.

    Yes, I have heard that one before. So if I drive a Mercedes and choose to call it GTD, then my car is a GTD. Fine. Great. With this interpretation, the word GTD actually only means "works for me" (WFM?). Let's say as a scientist you were to compare two methods, one being called "molar extraction" and the other WFM, the latter just being a summary term for any method ever invented (whatever has worked for someone - ancient herbs, whisky, knock on the head, prayers ... anything, including molar extraction). How would you actually go about making the comparison between something well-defined and something only vaguely defined? For example, how would you describe the difference between GTD and DIT? Or between GTD and collaborative project planning?
     
  14. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Okay, Folke. I AM a scientist, and there are so many things wrong in your discourse here, I do not know where to start. Therefore, I will leave it alone. Oh my.
     
  15. apastuszak

    apastuszak Registered

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    For the record, "I" didn't do anything. I merely found the post and passed it along. If you'd like to see changes, I recommend contacting the author on his blog.
     
  16. greeno

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    DavidAllen I'd be really keen to hear your thoughts on this. I've never heard you really talk about self inflicted deadlines and always took them to be something that should be discouraged in canonical GTD.
     
  17. DavidAllen

    DavidAllen GTD Connect

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    Anything that works for you and not against you is "canonical GTD." Usually when I recommend against something it's because people too often take that "something" as a big "should." And when they don't stick with it, it undermines self-trust. But structure of an sort is not inherently good or bad--only how it's used.
     
  18. Longstreet

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    Thanks, David! As you have seen, I have maintained that same stance in many discussions here. Everyone has a different style and you can be solidly within the GTD context (pardon the pun) using self-imposed due dates or time blocking....IF it works well with you.

    Best wishes, David!
     
  19. Folke

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    We probably all agree that we should do what works best for us.

    One thing we can do, if we are so inclined, is discuss the pros and cons of alternative approaches to the same problem (such as whether or not to use artificial dates). Such discussions, if properly conducted, can help put the finger on what counts and help people decide what is best for them under what circumstances.

    Another thing we can do is discuss what terms to use for the different approches, such that we can distinguish them easily when we discuss them. Or we can even decide to use one and the same term for all different approaches, if for some reason we do not want to be able to distinguish them. I personally do not see why we would need a synonym for "anything whatsoever that works for someone", but the term GTD has been proposed by some to carry that bland meaning.

    From a marketing perspective, the term GTD (and the name David Allen) has, over the past 15 years or so, gained quite some recognition in the world, not by being just another me-too proponenent of a structured approach, personal producticity, time management etc, of which there are many schools, most of them very similar, but by being perceived as fundamentally different from the rest. In marketing terms, it is those percevied differences that count, not all the similarities and commonsense stuff that everyone else also teaches or takes for granted. GTD has had a fairly unique image I believe due to its perceived strong stance against certain commonplace planning practices, and its advocacy of more intuitive practices. If this is reduced to just "one of many similarly good schools of personal productivity" it is quite a different ball game, but definiitely not hopeless. You can still make good money just being a good teacher, in the same way that one algebra book can describe high school algebra better than another algebra book. It is not relativity theory or a new religion anymore, just plain old algebra. And you are not a prophet or Einstein anymore, just a high school teacher. But if that works for you ... it is GTD, I guess.
     
  20. TesTeq

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    Calendar and your own assessment of task's date/time-specificness are parts of GTD so time blocking and assigning dates are GTD.

    Color coding is not covered by the GTD book but is not banned so it is GTD.

    Constant rewriting (rescheduling) tasks in your calendar is not productive so it is not GTD. That's why GTD protects your calendar.
     

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