About core project and tasks planning for the the upcoming week or later...

FocusGuy

Registered
I have also added on time contexts as follows: this week, this month, next week, and next month

Hi all !

I have a problem I still can solve with GTD. It is about planning the core things I need to do and see for focusing on my work.

For the moment I don't plan. I make a list of project I review each week and a list of next action. I choose day by day what to do according to GTD rules.

I wonder if I focus on the right things sometime. I have been so teached about planning than sometime it frights me not planning. (I used to plan such as did @Longstreet but sometime it occures me some procrastination, but I think my contexts were no as good as they are today....) not planning frights me...

So, Is it a good idea of planning a bit according to GTD rules eg giving for core tasks or projects an Omnifocus tag for things I intend to do within the week ? or Next week, or in the month or even next month ?

Wouldn't it be better to put it on my calendar ?

What is the best practice about this according to GTD rules and practice ?
How do you plan the core projects or the core tasks you need to do ? And where ?
 
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René Lie

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Hi!

I don't know how "best practice" this is, but I have a few things that I want/need to do every day and every week, and in my list manager (Asana) I have set up two projects; one for daily tasks and one for weekly tasks. All tasks in these lists are recurring, but I have set up a filter showing only incomplete tasks for this day/week, meaning that the lists are "populated" daily and once a week, respectively, and I only see what's left to do today and this week.

Works well for me!
 

mcogilvie

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We are all different, we do different things, and we use different tools to do them. There are at least two potential problems with “extra” practices beyond what GTD suggests. The worst is that the practice is unsustainable, which leads to system collapse. On the other hand, you may become habituated to a practice which you don’t need, but consumes time and energy. However, there will always be extra planning required when starting something new, so the best practice is to strive for simplicity and minimalism. David Allen’s claim is that GTD represents a minimum amount of work required to be consistently productive, and I think he is basically right.

It is completely normal to feel uncomfortable initially with this minimal practice, because it represents radical freedom to act in the moment, guided by your own goals and areas of focus.
 

Tom_Hagen

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In my opinion, planning makes sense if a given project has a specific completion date. In this case, you can try to estimate / divide it into parts and determine how much should be done in a given period. The plan also makes sense if the activity should be performed systematically, e.g. daily learning a foreign language. However, you have to be aware that we humans are not as good at planning as we think. Yes, we can define the entire structure of the process, but we are not very good at estimating costs and time.
 

Longstreet

Professor of microbiology and infectious diseases
We are all different, we do different things, and we use different tools to do them. There are at least two potential problems with “extra” practices beyond what GTD suggests. The worst is that the practice is unsustainable, which leads to system collapse. On the other hand, you may become habituated to a practice which you don’t need, but consumes time and energy. However, there will always be extra planning required when starting something new, so the best practice is to strive for simplicity and minimalism. David Allen’s claim is that GTD represents a minimum amount of work required to be consistently productive, and I think he is basically right.

It is completely normal to feel uncomfortable initially with this minimal practice, because it represents radical freedom to act in the moment, guided by your own goals and areas of focus.
I disagree that adding “extra” practices is unsustainable. I have not found that in my case at all.
 

Gardener

Registered
So, Is it a good idea of planning a bit according to GTD rules eg giving for core tasks or projects an Omnifocus tag for things I intend to do within the week ? or Next week, or in the month or even next month ?

Wouldn't it be better to put it on my calendar ?

In my case, if I'm not going to work on something at least as soon as next month, I'll put it into Someday/Maybe. So it's not a matter of tagging the items that I WILL work on in the near future, so much as making the ones that I WON'T work on in the near future, disappear from view.

That doesn't mean that everything in my active lists is ultra-important. The unimportant, like totally optional hobbies, is represented. But they'll be represented in limited quantities. If, say, there are twenty recipes I want to try, nineteen of them will be in Someday/Maybe and only one will be in my active lists.

I'm unclear on what you're thinking of putting in the calendar? I suspect my recommendation would be to refrain from doing so.
 

FocusGuy

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In my case, if I'm not going to work on something at least as soon as next month, I'll put it into Someday/Maybe. So it's not a matter of tagging the items that I WILL work on in the near future, so much as making the ones that I WON'T work on in the near future, disappear from view.
So you keep actionable items to do within the month and so what is over goes into the someday may list Folder or/and task. I guess you review it according to GTD rules eg each week and If they start then they go to the actionnable lists. That's seems to be if I understood it well the standard process. So you don't plan really in advance, do You ?
 

Gardener

Registered
So you keep actionable items to do within the month and so what is over goes into the someday may list Folder or/and task. I guess you review it according to GTD rules eg each week and If they start then they go to the actionnable lists. That's seems to be if I understood it well the standard process. So you don't plan really in advance, do You ?
I plan, but the products of my planning don’t all go in my current, active GTD lists. They’ll be in project plans and other documents, and I’ll harvest just a little of that for my current lists.

For example, I have a sketch of my garden redesign, which, to accomplish, would involve dozens of projects. But most of those projects, so far, are just implied by the sketch.
 

Cpu_Modern

Registered
If I plan "extra" I'l do it on a per project basis.

So we want to finish the "toil 500" widget project in eight weeks? Makes sense to map that out on a project plan and set a milestone to be reached end of the week. Add the "toil 500 milestone 1" into the calendar for friday or so. Now seeing it there every morning refreshes my intuition. Usually enough to pressure me into choosing the "right" Next Actions during the day.

The nice thing about a per project solution is that I can always just trash the whole thing if the plan doesn't work somehow, without having to fiddle around with my GTD system.

not planning frights me...
This can of course be related to something deeper, maybe something at Level 4 is somewhat unclear to you.

Baring that, I've found that setting a fixed time for the daily review with all inboxes processed to zero cures that.
 

Longstreet

Professor of microbiology and infectious diseases
Sure, but we all know you are experienced and thoughtful. I think David Allen had the example of someone who could not file things because they were out of the “right” color folder.
Oh, of course. And thanks! I will comment more on this thread on due course.
 
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