What Verbs do you use that are similar to the context of Waiting For

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Jan Ernest, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    @Longstreet, again, I have no argument with anything you are saying, or for that matter anything you have said about time-blocking. Your approach is entirely consistent with GTD.

    I don't use the calendar to the extent you do, but I have come to think of GTD as a pretty big tent. I think the only thing that would be truly antithetical to GTD would be deliberately managing things in your head.

    My concern about what @Jan Ernest described, though, is that it sounds like he is keeping all next actions in one single list and then scheduling each and every one of them or otherwise managing his entire next action list in his calendar. I don't think that's quite consistent with the GTD system. Which, again, isn't a problem... unless you're trying to do GTD. I think it would be pretty hard to manage the long list of actions created by capturing everything meaningful in one's life that way.

    So... if you were expecting an argument, I am afraid I am going to disappoint you. It wouldn't be the first time I've disappointed someone. And it won't be the last, I'm sure. :confused::):D
     
  2. ggray50

    ggray50 Registered

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    I wonder if some people starting out with GTD try to take short cuts to get their system up and running eg by surfing the net and posting questions on the forums, without having first read the book. I'm not saying that's the case here, but a lot of questions raised in the public forum are answered in the book. And I'm not criticising anyone for doing that btw - that would be hypocritical of me, as I did it myself! But once I read the book, I found it a lot easier to understand and implement GTD. The fun after that, is in tailoring it to fit your individual needs and by reducing any inherent friction to make it as easy and instinctive to use as possible. And, of course, in feeling a bit less stressed about all the commitments you have.
     
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  3. aderoy

    aderoy Registered

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    Sometimes I need to 'schedule' a next action, due to the simple reason it is a remote site that has a 45 minutes travel to reach prior to even starting.

    i.e.: replace failed modules at TX site, scheduled for Tuesday 09:30 - .

    Project TX-xxx site
    • are modules for replacement ready?
    • load vehicle with toolset (wrenches/test gear) and parts (of course..)
    • site keys and access badge
    • charged cell phone (safety since working alone, and also network link if DSL service is down)
    • laptop charged, case is always loaded with USB-Serial adapter, Cisco console cable, cross-over network cable.
    • require 4 hours (including travel & install, test) offsite if all goes good, if not then longer
    Best to schedule on a calendar to make it happen, not critical time relation just needs to be done. If not scheduled it will be pushed until it is critical (failed, off-air) just due to the normal in rush of tasks during a normal day/week.

    Of course have a next action list for site and would review day prior to see if anything else could be done while there. File folder also holding any printed materials related to next visit, which is packed in laptop case.

    Not everyone is desk bound, isn't that right Oogiem?
    going to hide under my rock once again.
     
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  4. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    @bcmyers2112 Well to share how I run my GTD system. I begin by ensuring that all "stuff" are captured appropriately, with this I work with Evernote.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 16.29.15.png

    After making sure all stuff are appropriately captured using my tools,. I make sure that there is a scheduled time for reviewing these stuff. As you can see, I begin by sorting the Non-Actionable Items through the Clarifying Phase.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 16.31.09.png

    The remaining stuff are still processed and a list of Next Actions is established. If an Item is determined to be not the final outcome. A notebook for that project is created and is moved to the project notebook stack where they are further processed. Same in the clarifying process, if an item is determined to be a waiting for, they are tagged with "Waiting For" and moved to the Waiting for Notebook. Further, those in my planned actions are same with Next Actions but already with time specifications.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 16.33.44.png

    Next Actions are processed to have a specific time and placed into the Google Calendar to ensure that Actions are time-blocked.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 16.36.10.png

    Once Next Actions are performed and done, they are simply moved to my Archive Notebook for reference on demand/ as needed.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 16.39.57.png

    X-----------------------------------------------------------------X

    So basically this is how my GTD system works. Please let me know if there are things that are not conforming with the principles of GTD.
     
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  5. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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  6. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Decide that it's working for you and move on. It's not GTD (Where are your different context lists?) but if it's working then go with it.
     
  7. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    @DavidAllen is not against scheduling and blocking time but I think that scheduling EVERYTHING is not GTD.
    Why?
    Because scheduling everything creates an unnecessary overhead and causes the REALLY BIG problem: RESCHEDULING.
    If you assign 30 minutes to Next Action you must reschedule EVERYTHING if doing it will take 15 or 45 minutes.
     
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  8. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I disagree, Contexts are IMO the core facet of GTD that differentiates it from all the other systems for managing tasks, goals, projects etc.
    Without contexts I don't think it's a GTD system at all.
     
  9. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Yes, I agree. I would call it CBTB - Context-Based-Time-Block or BPTB - Batch Processing Time Block. It combines time blocking with NA time independence.
     
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  10. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Really? Can't we strongly disagree here and coexist? ;-)
     
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  11. ggray50

    ggray50 Registered

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    I don't have many traditional GTD contexts either. I don't have a calls list, computer list, anywhere list etc. I have home, work, errands, read review (waiting for, agendas, incubate). My work 'contexts' are actually areas of focus eg training, events, staff, policy & procedure, local area support, etc. That works for me as I can filter them to get an overview of each core area of work. I also find it easier to work through a group of similar next actions rather than, say, a group of unrelated calls that I have to make. I still class it as gtd, but it's personalised to my needs. I think the 5 steps and the flow chart are the essentials of GTD; pretty much anything else is open to interpretation and customisation, including the number and type of contexts. Which is probably why we have so much to talk about :)
     
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  12. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    You mean to say - GTD recommends a different list according to Context? I use tags heavily to place filters amongst Next Actions.
     
  13. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    I use tags heavily with Evernote. I tag the Item with its appropriate Context instead of placing them in Notebooks of different Context. This allows me to optimise the search/tagging function of Evernote
     
  14. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I don't use Evernote, so I don't know how that software works. For me the core feature of GTD is the notion of next actions separated by contexts. How you sort them, whether it's using tags, a separate list for each context, paper with one sheet per context etc. doesn't really matter.

    I also don't disagree with the notion of SOME time blocks, but again in my view once you start scheduling EVERYTHING on the calendar it's not really a GTD implementation. It works and it can be efficient but that isn't really what I think GTD offers that is different.

    I think everyone does at least some scheduling, whether it's time for concentrated work on a single project or context or appointments,
     
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  15. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    @Jan Ernest: GTD recommends grouping next actions by the person, place or tool needed to accomplish them (calls, at computer, at home, at office, etc.). How you do it is up to you. If you're using Evernote tags to do it and it works, there's no problem. When you said you had your next actions is one list, it thought that meant you weren't using contexts.

    As for scheduling each and every one of your next actions, I think @TesTeq makes a great point and I'll add another: if something comes up out of the blue that changes your priorities for the day, that's another thing that will force you to reschedule everything. Can't speak for anyone else, but I know from experience that undermines my confidence in my system (and to an extent in myself).

    But I really don't want to participate in another knock-down drag-out argument about who grasps the heart and soul of GTD and who doesn't. It looks like someone threatened to leave the forum and GTD Connect over this thread (although I don't see the post, just quotes from it, meaning the original post may have been deleted) which is unfortunate. I just want to offer my own personal experience in hopes it may be helpful. People are free to take or leave my advice as they see fit. If this turns into another epic disagreement, I'm just going to bow out of this particular thread and leave the battles to others.
     
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  16. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    This is where I practice some productivity habits such as Eisenhower Matrix. If something can be done in less than 2 minutes as a rule of thumb, I do it right there on the spot. Else, I delete, or defer it, I put in my someday maybe list, for as long as that thing forcing me to reschedule is processed through the GTD System. Since I am using a minimalist approach here, I use EN also as my task managing app. It may not have all the things todoist has, but to have multiple system working is quite difficult for me at the moment.
     
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  17. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Agreed.
     
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  18. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I may be misunderstanding, but it sounds like you're scheduling every single next action, and scheduling them pretty soon after they're defined as next actions? Like it's almost not a next action unless and until it's scheduled?

    That strikes me as a fairly substantial variation from GTD. We can argue to the end of time about whether actions that are not "hard landscape" should be scheduled, but scheduling everything, and scheduling it soon after it's entered(?), is IMO not usual. If it works for you, it doesn't matter if it's usual. But if you're doing it because you feel that the method requires it--the method does not require it. And it does seem in conflict with other elements of the method, because it pretty much eliminates the opportunity to choose the current task based on available resources.

    I schedule very few things. I may set "Leave me the bleep alone--I'm programming" afternoons, but that's not quite the same as "Fix widget bug--1:30-2:15 Wednesday."

    In your system, what do you do if you finish something early or late?
     
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  19. Jan Ernest

    Jan Ernest Registered

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    I schedule next actions during review time. Say if something comes up, I enter it in my main stuff. I process in the afternoon and also decide when I need to do the next action.

    If a NA on my calendar list (scheduled NA) is finished earlier, I see if I can proceed to my next NA for the day. I use the saved time to work forward. However, if a NA is not finsihed as per schedule. I move them to my next available time slot.
     
  20. Gardener

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    If it works for you, it works for you. But I would say that it's definitely your personal addition to GTD, rather than the standard process.
     
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