What other time-management methods, other than GTD, have you tried?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Ship69, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    Hello

    What time-management methods other than GTD have you tried?

    Background
    I feel that GTD is not working very well for me at controlling the big picture.
    Although I am now quite good at getting through detailed stuff but when I look back over time I see that I keep doing the wrong/less important stuff.

    I am not looking to abandon GTD completely, but I want better tools for managing my higher Horizons of Focus (goals, objectives, vision, purpose/principles etc)

    Question
    What other time-management method & techniques have you tried? What were their strengths & weaknesses? How do they compare with GTD? Can any be readily used in parallel with GTD?

    J
     
  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I've never been managing my time. I have a rather rigid day/week schedule and I use GTD to have everything under control. Then I can use my time "spontaneously". for example: wind+sun --> windsurfing.
     
  3. danwh

    danwh Registered

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    Hi TesTes

    Do you use a rigid schedule for both personal and professional?
     
  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I try as much as I can. It's easier when you're a freelancer, or a boss, or a "linchpin" in an organization. I found that the world around me (both personal and professional) tries to respect my rigid schedule. And I like it!
    Of course I take into account my obligations when I'm creating my rigid schedule but then I stick with it.
     
  5. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I like Personal Kanban as an adjunct to GTD. I was initially thinking it wouldn't address your big picture question, but I think that it does address priorities--when you're limiting Work in Progress, you're more likely to start the most important things. I think.
     
  6. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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  7. Gardener

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    That has some of the Kanban stuff--specifically "visualize the workflow" and "manage flow". But I don't see anything about "limit work in progress", which, to me, is the most important part of Kanban. As I see it, the Visualize and Manage exist primarily to support Limit. Now, that's very much how I see it--I'm sure that anyone with substantial expertise in Kanban would shake their heads sadly at me and say no, no, no, I'm missing fundamental concepts.

    My previous rambling about GTD/Kanban is here, though I've probably changed my thinking a fair bit since writing this post:

    http://forum.gettingthingsdone.com/threads/merging-gtd-and-personal-kanban.12739/
     
  8. Suelin23

    Suelin23 Registered

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    I tried Stephen-Covey. More focused on mission, goals, habits, calendar time blocks. Not so great for the grains of sand, which is what GTD focusses on.
     
  9. sesteph6

    sesteph6 Registered

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    Michael linenberger... MYN. Totally compatible with GTD and has some good ideas about implementing within Outlook
     
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  10. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    Does it work well with GTD?
    Do you still use it?
     
  11. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Take a look at Cal Newport's book on "Deep Work" and "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. These approaches are perfectly compatible as an integration with GTD. Since I am a strong advocate of time blocking, these approaches are in line with this. And as David Allen said this in a discussion thread on time blocking: "Hey Folks, if you've ever committed to a meeting on your calendar, you've already acknowledged the value of a time block for some resulting outcome. Time-blocking with yourself is simply recognizing that you have an inner committee that needs corralling, in the same way, for the same kind of outcome. Block away!"

    THIS is an excellent way to control the big picture and give yourself the time to do so. BUT you must have a clear head and everything processed and in your trusted system. NOW you can be creative!
     
  12. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

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    Yes, I *definitely* feel the need to time-block.

    My problem is that I don't know how to manage that in practice. It feels like yet another layer of complexity. Are we talking about creating yet more lists? (when working on paper)... And if working digitally how would you do that? Are we talking about adding yet more tags to stuff as well as Context tags?

    Cheers

    J
     
  13. Longstreet

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    It is another layer, but I don't consider it too complex. This is entirely with your calendar -- not a list or tags. You create time blocks -- meetings with yourself on the calendar. And then you protect them to the best of your ability and do the focused, deep work! I decide on time blocks during my weekly review and also daily reviews.
     
  14. Longstreet

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    One more thing -- I have project time blocks, goal time blocks, and Area of Focus time blocks. It depends on what is on my mind and what has to get done.
     
  15. Longstreet

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    And some more....I have contexts in addition to the standard fare that are descriptive of the "type of work". So I have writing, analysis, thinking, web research, lecture design, etc. If I see that a particular area is growing and on my mind, I sometimes create "type of work" time blocks.
     
  16. Ship69

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    Okay... so if you write the time-blocks into your calendar (which I am assuming is technically a completely separate system of data) how do you know what is in each time block? Or do you just use your brain for that?

    Also I am curious about exactly how you use your Contexts. Do individual tasks (actions) need more than one Context. e.g. say @Research AND @Calls? Any chance of some examples?

    Personally I often find myself resisting adding even one Context, let alone two...!

    Also I find GTD fairly complicated as it is and worse I keep finding myself over-complicating things and then failing to execute as a result. So I am nervous about adding any further complexity to my processes.
     
  17. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I read "time management" books assiduously before I found GTD. Probably the most complete system, comparable to GTD in that way, was the original Franklin planner system (prior to the merger with Covey). It was not technology-neutral in the way that GTD is. Theoretically, it was a top-down approach starting from governing values. I never met anyone who made all the moving parts work.

    Covey had a strong higher-level focus, but was surprisingly weak on inplementation. Covey popularized roles and goals, "big rocks" and the important vs. urgent priority matrix.

    Probably the two most interesting people to look at today are Cal Newport, already mentioned in this thread, and Mark Forster. Newport is a strong advocate for simple approaches that reserve as much time as possible for his top work priority, academic research. He assumes that you know what you want. Mark Forster has spent a great deal of time looking at how we do or don't do things. At a technical level, I would describe a lot of his work as list traversal algorithms: how do you decide what to do next? I think he has a deep understanding of this, and his latest, most simple ideas are useful.

    I don't think any of this corpus of ideas really addresses your issue. All of the approaches to levels higher than projects look similar at a distance. I think you can safely pick what you like, from the mind-numbing HR online seminar to reading your preferred sacred writings every week (it's called wisdom literature for a reason). I agree with David Allen that building in a mechanism for awareness is key.
     
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  18. Longstreet

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    Well, your calendar IS part of your GTD system. SO there is already that integration. If I create a project time block, then I focus on the next actions within that project alone. If I have a goal or Area of Focus time block, I may write some notes on what I wish to focus on within those horizons of commitments. And yes, I usually assign more than one context to an action. I use a digital GTD system, so this is very easy to do.

    Try not to over-complicate. The essence of GTD is really pretty straight-forward. One thing to avoid is spending so much time on managing your system that you don't focus on your work! If that is happening, ask yourself why? What do I need to simplify so that this becomes routine.
     
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  19. Longstreet

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    I agree with these two. Mark Forster has had brilliant ideas over the years!
     
  20. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I couldn't agree more, with respect to GTD and life in general. So often I think people get in their own way by needlessly complicating things.
     

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