hobbies

yoha

Registered
So I was wondering how do hobbies fit in gtd.
for example, I like to play video games in my free time, should this thing go into gtd? and if so then how? on next actions? or maybe on a time block that will be called "me time"?
 

mcogilvie

Registered
So I was wondering how do hobbies fit in gtd.
for example, I like to play video games in my free time, should this thing go into gtd? and if so then how? on next actions? or maybe on a time block that will be called "me time"?
This seems like a difficult question to tackle, but here goes. What role do video games play in your life? What area or areas of focus do they fall under? Do they have a social role, something you discuss with friends, or perhaps play interactively with friends? Why do you play? When do you play? Are there scheduling issues? Are there future events you want to track, like the release of a new game? Are there projects, next actions, and calendar events? Do you feel like you are not paying enough attention to aspects of video gaming? Do you feel like you have problems finding time for video games, or do worry that you are playing too much?

Just to be fair, let’s consider a hobby of mine: I play fingerstyle acoustic guitar, and have done so for many years. I’m not a great guitarist, but I am pretty good. I play several times a week, but lately not every day: sometimes for recreation, sometimes for relaxation, sometimes lately because music is helpful in tough times. I don’t schedule this. I get information about guitar “stuff” most days, which I process. I have a reading/watching backlog, which I am ok with. I am scheduled to give a talk in October to the local Woodworking Guild about guitar materials and construction, so that’s a project. When I see something relevant for the talk, I file it for possible later use. Occasionally, I will have a next action/project/event for changing strings. And that’s about it- no muss, no fuss.
 

hcparker

Registered
mcogilvie has nailed it, and much of this response is a reiteration of what he says. It really does depend on what role the hobby plays in your life. In my case the hobby is the banjo. I play almost everyday, but most of the time it's just picking the instrument up when I want a break from something else and playing for a bit. This is something I do automatically, and I don't see a need to keep track of it via GTD. There have been times, however, when the situation has been different. I've really wanted to improve my playing or a learn a bunch of new tunes or look into getting a new banjo. Then I've often had something on my project list involving the banjo and a next action for it. But if I'm just at a point where I'm playing for my own enjoyment whenever I can find a little time and I'm happy with that, then it's not on my lists. If playing video games is something you do routinely, like brushing your teeth, and you're happy with that, then I wouldn't worry about making it part of GTD. But if you can't do whatever it is you want to do with video games without some extra effort, then creating a project and a next action would be appropriate.
 

Oogiem

Registered
I was wondering how do hobbies fit in gtd.
for example, I like to play video games in my free time, should this thing go into gtd? and if so then how? on next actions? or maybe on a time block that will be called "me time"?
Well I have lots of hobby projects in my GTD system. partly because I like to do so many things I find that the dicipline of forcing me to plan the projects out means I get more enjoyment from them when I do them and also get more of them finished.

And many of my hobby projects are multistep things.

For example: Project is Make a WW 1 Women’s Volunteer Uniform. Actions are things like buy proper khaki fabric and notions (see pattern info), make a muslin, fit the muslin, cut out real fabric etc. In fact that one has some issues that are new to me with the type of sleeves and the belt so I have even more actions that detail how to accomplish the goal of a wearable accurate outfit.

Another is to do a scrapbook with the stories about some family heirlooms. For that one (actually currently in my Someday/Maybe list) I've got actions that related to the specific items I want to tell the stories of, like the very old collapsable tin cup that has the initials of all the people who have owned it and used it over the years carved into it.

I have some weaving projects both an active one and a bunch in Someday/Maybe that are pretty well planned.

When I was learning how to knit I had projects specifically designed to teach me specific knitting techniques.

It all depends on how you work and what your hobbies are but for me GTD is perfect for tracking hobby projects and tasks.
 

pgarth

Registered
So I was wondering how do hobbies fit in gtd.
for example, I like to play video games in my free time, should this thing go into gtd? and if so then how? on next actions? or maybe on a time block that will be called "me time"?
I'm assuming that video games are played with a connection to a TV, and therefore within context of @Home.
As it relates to current roles, and areas of focus and responsibility, is playing video games at all getting in the way?
If not, then it would be resolved by reviewing the @Home list, and deciding in that moment if there is anything that needs to be addressed.
Outside that context/list, you then review calendar, and find if there are any hard-edged commitments.
Then, you've found a time-slot to play video games with abandon, and thoroughly become absorbed in fighting Galaxians, knowing you have nothing else to do or any other commitments. If you had a hard-edged item on calendar, that cancelled - BONUS! That's what David calls "weird time".
 

cfoley

Registered
I don't find that I need a reminder to play a computer game. If I have nothing assigned in my calendar, and decide not to choose items in a context list, then maybe relaxing with a computer game would be what I choose.

However, some games like RPGs have tasks to do, and areas to visit. I find a mini GTD system for that is perfect. I keep it separate from my main GTD system because it doesn't represent anything I want to accomplish in life. If I stop playing the game then its mini GTD system can be filed away. It will be there if I ever want to pick the game up again.
 

Gardener

Registered
The video game example suggests, to me, a distinction between hobbies that may require project and task management, and other hobbies or pure recreational activities that don't.

Sitting on the patio staring contentedly at the garden probably doesn't require task management. Creating a huge model railroad layout for a competition next March probably does.

To me, playing video games sounds like the first category, but I know nothing about video games. I do remember that a friend had to do something weekly to ensure that his video-game possessions didn't vanish from his video-game vault, so in that case, yeah, that could be something that requires some GTD management.

The 'me time' is a related but slightly different topic, IMO. If a person is rarely getting that time, then I could see it being managed with a project specifically about blocking off that time, rather than a project about the things that one chooses to do during that time.
 

TamaraM

Registered
My hobbies fall under the "staring contently at the garden" variety, but I have a tendency to let busyness keep me from doing them. So while I don't have Projects for them, I do have Actions. They're on specialized Context lists in a separate daily routines app.

Morning: Practice yoga.
Afternoon: Walk around the lake and/or swim in it.
Before bed: Read and/or practice calligraphy.

There's no real problem if I miss a day of any of these (with the exception perhaps of yoga, in which case my sciatica will flare), but it adds to my well-being to make a daily point of them.

My spouse's hobby is much more project oriented. He needs to plan ahead for instruction, study, equipment purchases, etc. If he were GTDing his personal life, it would be multiple Projects.
 

qwakov

Registered
Considering GTD is a "trusted system", then I shouldn't need to think about what to do - it's all there on the lists. If I haven't put hobbies on there, then the minutiae of ticking off jobs takes over and no room for anything else. Personally I schedule this time in my calendar to protect it from the "doing"mentality of referring to GTD lists. When this time comes, I'm not looking at next action lists, I'm just getting on with whatever meaningful or meaningless activity I've blocked out. Another reason for this is that I keep track of non-productive time, making sure I've got a decent time allocation through the week and not spending excessive time on one thing or the other (as defined by me).

Friday night, 3 hours of FIFA 20. Non-negotiable in my calendar. No outcome, no next action.
 

PeterByrom

Registered
I think it comes down to, "what about video gaming has your attention?" just like anything else with GTD.

If there is nothing pulling at you at all about your video gaming, and you just like to do it when you have free time and are in the mood for it, then I don't think anything needs to be in your system at all! Rather, the question is, do you have a complete and current system which you can rely on to show you all your projects and next actions?

If you do, then you'll be able to consult your system one evening, for example, and see that there's nothing pressing you need to do, and you can comfortably decide "hey, I feel like gaming!" and then go game! As David Allen says, he likes to have a fully functioning and up to date GTD system so that he can check through all his options of things to do, and if there's nothing he needs to be doing right now, then he can say, "nah, I think I'll have a beer... and this is a high performance beer"!

Now, if on the other hand you do have things about gaming that have your attention (e.g. you want to do it more, you want to get better at it, you want a better console etc) then put it through your GTD system like anything else, and figure out what your commitments are. Is this an area of focus in your life? Do you have a project (if so what's the next action or appointments involved)? Ideas for someday maybe? Do you need to keep some lists or info in reference, etc?
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Considering GTD is a "trusted system", then I shouldn't need to think about what to do - it's all there on the lists. If I haven't put hobbies on there, then the minutiae of ticking off jobs takes over and no room for anything else. Personally I schedule this time in my calendar to protect it from the "doing"mentality of referring to GTD lists. When this time comes, I'm not looking at next action lists, I'm just getting on with whatever meaningful or meaningless activity I've blocked out. Another reason for this is that I keep track of non-productive time, making sure I've got a decent time allocation through the week and not spending excessive time on one thing or the other (as defined by me).

Friday night, 3 hours of FIFA 20. Non-negotiable in my calendar. No outcome, no next action.
While you should of course do what works for you, I think you are missing out on some important aspects of GTD. “Trusted system” means your mind Is able to let go of something, because it is comfortable that it will be appropriately handled. It does not mean that everything is on a list, or that days are taken up with minutiae. That‘s an image that harkens back to 1950’s-style “efficiency” and is really different from the expansive mindset promoted by GTD.
 

ERJ1

Jedi Master
Huge gamer here - I definitely track my gaming in my GTD system.

Usually a project is as simple as, "Beat Game X." For starters, I'll often Google, say, the number of levels/chapters/worlds in the game and make those action items in the project. So the first Next Action in "Beat Game X" might be "Complete World 1". I like this because I find myself bad at actually finishing games (and to be fair, this hasn't made a huge difference...). Either way, it's rewarding to check the stuff off and monitor progress.

Within that project, it can also be helpful if I come across other things I would like to do in the game but can't or don't want to immediately take care of them. They become a next action in that project! "Return to World 1 and collect David Allen's winged boots of productive justice" as a next action will be helpful for me to see next time I play.

Some games lend themselves better to GTD than others. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has tons of stuff I want to keep track of and ensure I complete. I can imagine lots of MMOs, especially something like EVE Online benefiting from being tracked in a trusted system. On the other hand, I'm playing a story driven game called Pyre and I don't really want to know how long it is or what it might take to beat, so I just have it as a next action called, "Beat Pyre".

Hope this helps. I would absolutely track hobbies in your system if it brings you comfort/takes things off your mind.
 

Ariadne Marques

Registered
I used to be a huge gamer. Now I only have time to play sporadically on weekends (I've been playing The Witcher 3 for a year now, it's a very long game!).

I never tracked my gaming with GTD but I have a small physical notebook that I've used for years to take notes about my progress. I also have a list on OneNote with: "Games I'm playing", "Games I've finished", "Games I want to play".

But I see now that depending on the game, it can surely be a GTD project like @ERJ1 said! I'll give it a try with the Witcher 3 I'm currently playing, maybe that will improve my progress. I think having it out of my GTD system has made me overlook it and not having as much playtime as I would like for my mental health.
 

ERJ1

Jedi Master
I used to be a huge gamer. Now I only have time to play sporadically on weekends (I've been playing The Witcher 3 for a year now, it's a very long game!).

I never tracked my gaming with GTD but I have a small physical notebook that I've used for years to take notes about my progress. I also have a list on OneNote with: "Games I'm playing", "Games I've finished", "Games I want to play".

But I see now that depending on the game, it can surely be a GTD project like @ERJ1 said! I'll give it a try with the Witcher 3 I'm currently playing, maybe that will improve my progress. I think having it out of my GTD system has made me overlook it and not having as much playtime as I would like for my mental health.
I operate under the idea that our hobbies are just as important as our real work. Shoot, even David seems to put that idea out there in his emphasis on keeping work and personal stuff on the same lists. It all weighs on us the same!
 

TesTeq

Registered
I operate under the idea that our hobbies are just as important as our real work. Shoot, even David seems to put that idea out there in his emphasis on keeping work and personal stuff on the same lists. It all weighs on us the same!
I think it depends. When it is a serious hobby with some goals it should be treated like other important things in our lives. But when somebody calls a goalless TV watching or computer game playing, or beer drinking "A HOBBY" it is not worth tracking in the GTD system. He should just do it and have fun.
 

ERJ1

Jedi Master
I think it depends. When it is a serious hobby with some goals it should be treated like other important things in our lives. But when somebody calls a goalless TV watching or computer game playing, or beer drinking "A HOBBY" it is not worth tracking in the GTD system. He should just do it and have fun.
I suppose it really just depends on the person/system. I've always tracked TV shows I'm trying to complete as next actions as part of a project, "Watch X Show." I felt a little silly about it, but it actually has saved me and the wife a few times when we couldn't remember where we left off!
 

Gardener

Registered
I think it depends. When it is a serious hobby with some goals it should be treated like other important things in our lives. But when somebody calls a goalless TV watching or computer game playing, or beer drinking "A HOBBY" it is not worth tracking in the GTD system. He should just do it and have fun.
(emphasis mine)

But un-serious things can still have goals and need organizing.

I haven't seen the last season of Orphan Black. Now that I've waited so long, I'd like to binge-watch the whole thing from the beginning, leading into the last season. I've been meaning to do that for...six months? So clearly it's not going to happen unless I organize it. so it's not serious, but I'm going to put it into my system anyway.
 

TesTeq

Registered
(emphasis mine)

But un-serious things can still have goals and need organizing.

I haven't seen the last season of Orphan Black. Now that I've waited so long, I'd like to binge-watch the whole thing from the beginning, leading into the last season. I've been meaning to do that for...six months? So clearly it's not going to happen unless I organize it. so it's not serious, but I'm going to put it into my system anyway.
I'm sorry for using the "goalless TV watching" phrase. @ERJ1
 

ERJ1

Jedi Master
I'm sorry for using the "goalless TV watching" phrase. @ERJ1
:p

I suppose for me, I have a tendency to... not follow through with my hobbies? Whether it's reading or a show or a game or writing or painting miniatures for war games, or whatever else... I have a tendency to get 75% through and move on to something else. GTD helps me finish stuff.

I combine this with Tiago Forte's PARA system and it's driven me to do a lot of creating based off the things I enjoy as well. I take notes, create content, it's built a lot of good habits in me and has paid out in surprising ways!

For example, when I go to play and learn a new board game (not like... Monopoly, but the really heavy stuff) I track my learning process in a GTD project. For example: Play Star Wars Imperial Assault with Dave (my brother).

This would have a few actions on it:
Watch and take notes on a gameplay video (I've really doubled down on notetaking since Tiago Forte's BASB course)
Review and take notes on the Imperial Assault rulebook
Punch out cardboard game tokens
Play through a solo scenario for practice

Delineating this as a project with an emphasis on taking notes on the materials has helped me go from just reading a rulebook a few times, to really working to process it and generate some content based on it that I can share with my brother to help him learn. I know my brother has found my notes really valuable succinct supplements to the game rulebook and it helps him learn too!
 
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