Handling 'weird' projects in GTD?

Fedja_b

Registered
Hello everyone!

I have a question for the more experienced GTDers out there. This is something that has cropped up for me only recently, when I started to really internalize the GTD methodology and its principles. When I did that, I also started using GTD in a more holistic way which enabled me to handle all aspects of my work and life. And this has brought me to the question at hand.

How do I handle 'weird' projects in GTD? By 'weird' projects I mean those that are something in-between a project, an area of focus, a goal or a vision. The best example of this would be "Show more initiative at work". This is something that occurred to me one day randomly and I duly captured it. Now it's time to clarify it and I am running into problems.

Basically, I have a bunch of questions about it: (1) What is this? (2) Is it a project, a goal, vision? (3) How do I achieve it? (4) Should I treat it as a goal and then formulate a bunch of specific projects to achieve it?

To me, "Show more initiative at work" sounds closest to a goal. And some of the ways I could achieve this goal is to work on my own behavioral patterns e.g. "don't be afraid to speak up and voice my opinion, trust my gut, be more assertive, come up with good proposals/ideas etc".

Which brings me to my final question: (5) How do I clarify projects/goals that require a modification of (or working on) my own behavior? And how do I formulate physical, visible next actions when the goal itself is more... invisible and internal? Should this be handled via habits? But then again, I haven't found a good answer how to handle habits in GTD so far.

I realize this post is more on the philosophical/life coach side and I apologize for that. But this forum is such a great resource, and I'm sure there are some wise people on here who could really help me with this sticking point.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I would classify this as an affirmation. I would put it where I would see it. One way to do that is to add it as a question to your weekly review. Another approach it to set it to appear as a tickler in your calendar or on your lists. It’s likely to be better if you see it at intervals, like every three days or five. You can even set two reminders at intervals that are relatively prime, like every five days and every nine, so the pattern seems more random. Avoid seven unless you want to see your affirmation every week on the same day of the week.
 

Fedja_b

Registered
I would classify this as an affirmation. I would put it where I would see it. One way to do that is to add it as a question to your weekly review. Another approach it to set it to appear as a tickler in your calendar or on your lists. It’s likely to be better if you see it at intervals, like every three days or five. You can even set two reminders at intervals that are relatively prime, like every five days and every nine, so the pattern seems more random. Avoid seven unless you want to see your affirmation every week on the same day of the week.
Wow this is actually a really good idea! The best course of action for this is to get constant reminders and my behavior will correct itself. Prime intervals are also a really good idea! Thanks a lot!
 

Dave John

Registered
If I am not mistaken, Meg Edwards recommends placing these kinds of phrases right up at the 40,000 foot level, as part of your life’s purpose. Being more diligent at work is part of who you want to be.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
If I am not mistaken, Meg Edwards recommends placing these kinds of phrases right up at the 40,000 foot level, as part of your life’s purpose. Being more diligent at work is part of who you want to be.
I thought about that too (I think you meant level 5 in gtd 2.0). There's nothing wrong with doing that, but most people don't review that high a level very often.
 

Gardener

Registered
I don't really count as an experienced GTD practitioner. But I would try to make this specific as early as possible. If I were doing this, it might look like--roughly--

Project: Initiate at least two projects intended to increase my initiative at work.
Next action: Brainstorm possible projects.
Next action: Choose four projects and create an informal plan.
Next action: Choose my favorite two.
And so on and so on. When those two projects are in progress, I might create another project for creating projects.

Random speculating on those projects:

Project: Create at least sixteen new knowledge articles by year end.
Next action: Create a list of knowledge article ideas.
Next action: Book a meeting with myself, after the weekly department meeting, for brainstorming knowledge article ideas.
Next action: Outline an article on how to install a widget.
Next action: Ask Jane to review my outline.
Etc., etc.

Project: Create a habit of speaking up in each department meeting.
Next action: Schedule an appointment with myself to review the agenda before the meeting.
Etc., etc.
 
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