Power Use of Your Calendar

Longstreet

Professor of microbiology and infectious diseases
Thanks, John. But I always interpreted that as a meeting with your team members to discuss the project - not an appointment with yourself.
 

sil01

Registered
Show me the plethora of teachings from GTD on making appointments for yourself.
Hello. In Making It All Work, when explaining the factors that comes into play when deciding on the next action to do, David Allen suggest the idea of time blocking :
[...] based upon all the other prioritizing factors, you may need to create specific structures and block out sufficient time slots for the important actions that require them.
Realizing, as you look through your calendar while considering what’s changed in the last few days, that you had now better block out two hours for yourself in the coming week so that you can finish drafting a document on time, is the kind of “aha!” moment that can help prevent the loss of control.
Another good example is the weekly review for which David Allen recommends to block out time for it.
I would recommend scheduling a two-hour block of time. You’ll make good use of it, I’m certain, even if you don’t need the entire amount for the Weekly Review.
 
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Oogiem

Registered
Getting Things Done Kindle edition
here's a couple more

pg 87 Setting Aside Time "I recommend that you create a block of time to initialize thei process and prepare a workstation with the appropriate space, furniture and tools."

on managing deep work type projects, EXACTLY the type of thing you use your time segements for
pg 238 "give yourself a block of time, ideally between one and three hours, to handle as much of the vertical thinking about each project as you can."

Making it All Work Kindle edition
pg 2883
"Obviously , based upon al the other prioritizing factors, you may need to create specific structures and block out sufficient time slots for the important actions that require them."

pg 3405
"Realizing, as you look through your calendar while considering what's changes in the last few days, that you had now better block out two hours for yourself in the coming week so that you can finish drafting a document on time, is the kind of "aha!" moment that can help prevent a loss of control."
 

Jodie E. Francis

GTD Novice
...have found those bigger important but not urgent projects with larger next actions are just languishing on my lists. Personally I find if I don't plan ahead, it's very hard to get into a state of Deep Work.
This is the crux of it for me. Whenever I stop blocking time on my calendar/making appointments with myself to focus on the important-but-not-urgent, I fall into 'latest & loudest' processing, my projects stagnate, and my sense of overwhelm rises. A weekly review & accompanying pause for creative thinking & planning brings me back to focus on these projects, but to actually get the work done I need the calendar reminder in the moment. It's a reminder that my 'forward-planning self' has left for my 'in the moment self' about my big picture projects & goals.

And yes, I have credible work and personal commitments that pop up and cause regular renegotiating of my time blocks. If I can approach those renegotiations without judgement I keep moving ahead.

What a great discussion- thanks everyone!
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
Thanks, John. But I always interpreted that as a meeting with your team members to discuss the project - not an appointment with yourself.
I can only encourage you to interpret to your advantage, rather than in any way that leads you to think you are not practicing GTD effectively. And effectively is going to be different for all of us. Speaking from experience, effectively also changes over time, as my areas of focus change.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
This is the crux of it for me. Whenever I stop blocking time on my calendar/making appointments with myself to focus on the important-but-not-urgent, I fall into 'latest & loudest' processing, my projects stagnate, and my sense of overwhelm rises. A weekly review & accompanying pause for creative thinking & planning brings me back to focus on these projects, but to actually get the work done I need the calendar reminder in the moment. It's a reminder that my 'forward-planning self' has left for my 'in the moment self' about my big picture projects & goals.
I can say amen to that. There is a part of me, sort of a hamster on a wheel, that still believes that if work fast on latest and loudest I can catch up. But as David Allen says, "There is no catching up, there is only catching on." So I need to have the part of me that catches on do some planning.

Here's a real-life example. How many times do I need to get an email with the same question about a web page before I change the content on the page to answer the question and not get more emails about it? The hamster me doesn't even think of that. Luckily the part of me that catches on looks back at my Sent folder to see if there are any patterns.
 

Longstreet

Professor of microbiology and infectious diseases
This has indeed been a great discussion! Thanks to everyone for contributing. I dearly love all of you and this community. We all are walking on the same journey even though we have many differences in the roads we take. One thing we do have in common is that we have realized that David Allen's teachings and GTD are the bedrock in our work and lives. I would not have been able to reach where I am professionally without embracing the many principles of GTD. And...as I have said before....GTD rocks! :)
 

Jared Caron

Nursing leader; GTD enthusiast
This example isn't a plethora, but perhaps a start. It's from the Getting Things Done book, on how to use the calendar for time-specific actions.

"Time-Specific Actions: This is a fancy name for appointments. Often the next action to be taken on a project is attending a meeting that has been set up to discuss it. Simply tracking that on the calendar is sufficient."

That includes mention of a timed calendar appointment as the next action to move a project forward.
I seem to recall some additional homage to this in the book, though I'll admit I didn't pick up on it until a 2nd or 3rd read-through.

It seems to me that time-blocking or scheduled tasks are a more advanced GTD move. For beginners, I think there may be more pitfalls of trying to use the calendar as a to-do list and "refrigerator magnet syndrome," particularly for people who are already overloaded.

Once you've got the fundamentals down and have a better understanding of what belongs on your calendar, I think this approach can be an elegant and sophisticated application of the GTD principles.

But I'm a time blocker... so what do I know ;)
 

Longstreet

Professor of microbiology and infectious diseases
I seem to recall some additional homage to this in the book, though I'll admit I didn't pick up on it until a 2nd or 3rd read-through.

It seems to me that time-blocking or scheduled tasks are a more advanced GTD move. For beginners, I think there may be more pitfalls of trying to use the calendar as a to-do list and "refrigerator magnet syndrome," particularly for people who are already overloaded.

Once you've got the fundamentals down and have a better understanding of what belongs on your calendar, I think this approach can be an elegant and sophisticated application of the GTD principles.

But I'm a time blocker... so what do I know ;)
Bravo, Jared! I agree - thanks for sharing!
 
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