GTD Faux Pas?

Chris Austin

Registered
Question for more experienced GTD'ers. I suppose this situation is dependent on the type of tool one uses, I use Facilethings, so the option to do this exists for me...doesn't mean its right.

Here is my scenario...with regards to projects and next actions, almost all of my projects begin with an idea that requires me to meet with others to further develop the project, so first the next action is "ask secretary to set up meeting with @name", the project name is usually what I envision as an outcome from my initial idea but all of my ideas almost always require meeting with others to further develop.

The thing that I do and I'm wondering if I'm technically breaking GTD rules. As mentioned earlier, my normal mode of operation is when I process the idea "ask secretary to set up meeting with @name" and assign it to the appropriate project name, I let that sit in my next actions until I complete the task "ask secretary...". Once I complete the task "ask secretary...", rather than marking the task as complete, I use the task editor in Facilethings and I change the task name to something like "waiting for confirmation of meeting set up with @name" and I then move this task to the Waiting For list, but still within the original project. Then, when I get confirmation that the meeting has been set up, I add the meeting date to my calendar and I change the "waiting for confirmation..." task to something like "prep for meeting with @name re: project X" and I move this task back to my next action list, still within the project.

This method of editing task names works for me, but if you are familiar with Facilethings, within the the project itself, where you can track all of your actions...I don't actually have any "done" or "complete" items...I just keep changing the original task name to meet the current next action. What does everyone think about this method...is this bad news to operate this way? Thanks for any input.
 

Longstreet

Registered
Question for more experienced GTD'ers. I suppose this situation is dependent on the type of tool one uses, I use Facilethings, so the option to do this exists for me...doesn't mean its right.

Here is my scenario...with regards to projects and next actions, almost all of my projects begin with an idea that requires me to meet with others to further develop the project, so first the next action is "ask secretary to set up meeting with @name", the project name is usually what I envision as an outcome from my initial idea but all of my ideas almost always require meeting with others to further develop.

The thing that I do and I'm wondering if I'm technically breaking GTD rules. As mentioned earlier, my normal mode of operation is when I process the idea "ask secretary to set up meeting with @name" and assign it to the appropriate project name, I let that sit in my next actions until I complete the task "ask secretary...". Once I complete the task "ask secretary...", rather than marking the task as complete, I use the task editor in Facilethings and I change the task name to something like "waiting for confirmation of meeting set up with @name" and I then move this task to the Waiting For list, but still within the original project. Then, when I get confirmation that the meeting has been set up, I add the meeting date to my calendar and I change the "waiting for confirmation..." task to something like "prep for meeting with @name re: project X" and I move this task back to my next action list, still within the project.

This method of editing task names works for me, but if you are familiar with Facilethings, within the the project itself, where you can track all of your actions...I don't actually have any "done" or "complete" items...I just keep changing the original task name to meet the current next action. What does everyone think about this method...is this bad news to operate this way? Thanks for any input.
Technically breaking GTD rules?? Do what works best for you. There are no rules, just best practices. And the last time I looked, GTD police do not exist and won't carry you away. Seriously - relax and find what works best for you.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Technically breaking GTD rules?? Do what works best for you. There are no rules, just best practices. And the last time I looked, GTD police do not exist and won't carry you away. Seriously - relax and find what works best for you.
I will second what Longstreet said. Nowhere is it mandated that every next action completed be recorded. One way to think about next actions is to consider them as like bookmarks, telling you where to start when you resume work on a project. So you’re just moving the bookmark. I think just about everybody does this at least sometime.
 

TesTeq

Registered
This method of editing task names works for me, but if you are familiar with Facilethings, within the the project itself, where you can track all of your actions...I don't actually have any "done" or "complete" items...I just keep changing the original task name to meet the current next action. What does everyone think about this method...is this bad news to operate this way? Thanks for any input.
It's great! Zen GTD! You're not attached to the past. You've got just the action to do as soon as possible.
I've heard a story about zen monk who was reading a book in the train. And after reading each page he was tearing it from the book and throwing out the window. "Why?" - someone asked. "I've read it so I don't need it." :cool: @Longstreet @mcogilvie
 

Chris Austin

Registered
It's great! Zen GTD! You're not attached to the past. You've got just the action to do as soon as possible.
I've heard a story about zen monk who was reading a book in the train. And after reading each page he was tearing it from the book and throwing out the window. "Why?" - someone asked. "I've read it so I don't need it." :cool: @Longstreet @mcogilvie
I like that story...thanks for the input everyone.
 

Cpu_Modern

Registered
@Chris Austin you are raising the topic of accomplishment tracking within a GTD system. I remember, this was over a decade ago, that DA said this makes more sense on the projects level. If you think about it, often you do accomplish more work on a given project than just the NA with which you started out this time.
 
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