Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Jan Ernest, Oct 4, 2017.
Calls is probably the only list I don't use the verb "call".
And what do you use, Kelly?
Longstreet - re: shaving his beard
Baba Ganoush - re: dinner Friday
Oh my....you will wait a LONG time for that to happen! Like never....
Errands ARE Next Actions on the @Errands context list. Nothing to convert here.
No, errands ARE Next Actions on the @Errands context list. Not in calendar except for special cases when a particular errand is date specific.
Not at all in my system. Errands are next actions with a context of the town or city where I can perform the errand. The only things that go on the calendar are hard appointments or events that are day/time specific.
Well, except time blocks for important, focused work so no interruptions.
Okay? so do you mean to say in my previous example - Get a haircut, since this is an errand. It goes into your Next Action as "Get a haircut"?
Can you please give me an example how you do yours please. Thank you and appreciate Sir
- Get a haircut (barber)
- Buy a hammer (hardware store)
- Buy nails (hardware store)
- Send a letter (post office)
I usually don't include places because most of the times they are obvious.
I think I understand what is the problem with getting a haircut. It is a recurring event. We don't want to have it on our @Errands list until "it's time to get a haircut". In some systems you can assign a start date to an item so it automagically appears on your list out of nowhere. Some people use a mirror as a "get a haircut" trigger. ;-)
Not a sir but I'll tell you how I handle exactly that problem. I have a recurring project of get Haircut. It's set to start again 10 weeks after it was last completed. When the 10 weeks is up the first action becomes available to me which is call the hair salon for an appointment in the context of phone business hours. It's usually about 2-3 weeks waiting time to get in and I usually like to have my hair cut about every 12-14 weeks so that timing works out well for me. The action after that is put shampoo into my purse with a context of inside by myself. I'm allergic to the stuff the salon uses. When I get the confirmation of the day and time it goes on my calendar plus I add in the travel time to get to the salon. My action of put shampoo in my purse has a start date the day before the apt and a due date the day of the apt. I've been known to forget it so that's why all the extra reminders. Once I figured out the formula or checklist if you will I just replicate it as needed. Actually in my Omnifocus system it just happens automatically. Why reinvent how to handle it? I did the hard work of figuring out how to do that recurring task once, documented it and now it just rolls along.
I'm not sure we understand each other. If an errand is date or time-specific, it goes in my calendar. If it's something I want to do "as soon as possible," it goes in the "errands" context in my next action lists.
In Getting Things Done, David Allen recommends that you *don't* use your calendar as your primary action list reminder. Instead he recommends you reserve your calendar for things that are truly date or time specific. The reason behind this is that people tend to go numb to what's on their calendars when they're a mix of things that are truly date/time specific and things that are not.
May I make a suggestion? Rather than analyzing things to this extent and asking for validation from others, trust your own intuition. You hit the nail on the head when you asked if "get a haircut" is an errand. Yes. It is. All you need is enough verbiage to remind you of what needs to be done.
I think the amount of time you're spending agonizing over verbiage is coming at the expense of actually doing things. Adding an errand to one of your lists shouldn't be this hard.
If it sounds like I'm being harsh, it's because I've been there. I've over-analyzed to the point of paralysis. The thing I've learned is that the simplest way of doing something consistent with getting the job done is usually the correct option.
It's possible for people to analyze too little, but I doubt that will be a problem for you. I'd suggest adopting Thoreau's admonition to "simplify" in all things.
Thanks @bcmyers2112! In the system I used, I put all actions in my Next Actions List. I dont have an Errand List. All actions in my Next Actions are further processed and placed in the Google Calendar. I make sure everything is time specific.
There is no problem if your replies sound harsh. I think I need a reality check here. I think you're right. That what works for most, not necessarily works for some. As long as the system is simple enough to be repeatedly used day-in day-out that's fine. I think my understanding of GTD is done. I have already validated some questions but it is a FACT that we will have our own system that works specifically for us.
I appreciate the wisdom. I think over reading and over researching is already causing more harm than good. I understand the principles, that's good enough. Again, thank you for your wisdom @bcmyers2112
Same goes also to all contributors. Appreciate it!
This was excellent and a lesson to all of us. Don't overthink -- simplify! Focus on your work and do not agonize on your approach. I too and quite guilty of that very thing and these reminders are a somewhat slap in the face. Cheers!
Do you use contexts at all?
You talk as if there is only one next action list when in fact there should be many, one for each context you use, when practicing GTD.
What you describe does not sound at all like using the GTD method to manage stuff. That's ok, GTD is only one of many ways people can choose to organize their tasks, but it isn't correct to call it using GTD when it's so far apart from the generally accepted GTD principals.
Well, a "slap in the face" was a bit harsher than what I'd intended...
Actually, I'm not certain you understand the principles. According to GTD best practices, once you've identified something actionable that takes longer than two minutes (the "two-minute" rule is just a rule of thumb, not an absolute rule, by the way), you put it in your calendar if it is date- or time-specific, or you put it in next action lists that are organized by context (calls, computer actions, errands, etc.).
If you're putting all of your actionable items in one single list, and then scheduling each and every one of them, you're not doing GTD. There's nothing inherently wrong with that; I've become much less of a hard-nosed GTD purist over the years. I do think, however, that it's a problem if you're trying to practice GTD and derive all of the benefits from it, but you're in fact doing something else.
It sounds to me as though you've been drowning in the details when it's the bigger picture that needs attention. If you're trying to engage in a standard GTD practice, I suggest you may want to share a little more about how you're organizing your lists and implementing the system at the big-picture level, either in this or another thread. It sounds like you have some misconceptions about GTD principles, and that's something we may be able to help you with.
And here we go with the continual debate between schedulers and non-schedulers....
I hope not. I sure as heck am not trying to resurrect it. While you use "time blocking" more than I do, I actually think you and I are in complete agreement about how best to use -- and not use -- your calendar when practicing GTD.
In a 2015 GTDConnect webinar with Kelly Forrister and Meg Edwards, Meg made this statement, and I am paraphrasing: If you have an action that will take > or = one hour, you will have to block time on your calendar to get it done. Otherwise, it just sits on your NA list and you look at it over and over in weekly reviews and it does not get done.
Notice this was not only an item that has to be done on a specific day or time. There is ample research evidence that what gets scheduled has a better chance on getting done. SO, I do schedule major actions directly on my calendar. I maintain them also on my next actions lists in case things change and I cannot do them at the time designated. I simply then reschedule. And contrary to what others state, I AM DOING GTD!