Recurring tasks

Ronald

Registered
How should you handle recurrent reminders like ‘take medication’ for example in GTD? Im kinda struggling in setting this up.

I have it now in a single action project called ‘Recurring Tasks’ but I wonder if it can be done in a better way.

Regards,
Ronald
 

ivanjay205

Registered
How should you handle recurrent reminders like ‘take medication’ for example in GTD? Im kinda struggling in setting this up.

I have it now in a single action project called ‘Recurring Tasks’ but I wonder if it can be done in a better way.

Regards,
Ronald
What GTD system are you using? I use FacileThings and they have something called "Routines" which allows a Next Action to be automatically created each day, a few days week, each month, etc. Whatever frequency I like.

That works really well for me! So many little things I would never enter repeatedly on my own just show up :)
 

Ronald

Registered
Using Omnifocus at the moment. Its possible to enter repeating tasks in there too but I wonder how I should organize it according tot the GTD filosophy
 

mcogilvie

Registered
You have four choices:
  • Your calendar
  • Your todo list app, if you use one
  • A more specialized habit app, or even a paper tracking sheet
  • Cultivate habits so no reminder is needed
It‘s personal preference: I use the first, second and fourth. I take a vitamin after brushing my teeth, no reminder needed.
 

Jared Caron

Healthcare Quality & Safety pro; GTD enthusiast
Hey Ronald, I think this is a common question.

The textbook GTD answer to this is typically some sort of checklist or a calendar item like an all-day event (since it is day/time-specific). I have used both with some success. With the rapid expansion of technology, the tool options are practically endless now.

Some GTD principles to keep in mind in selecting and utilizing a tool for this:
  1. Intentional reminders - make sure the tool you're using is reminding you of what you need to do, when you need to do it
  2. Do you need a reminder? - the point of GTD is not necessarily to systemize everything, just the things you have "open loops" on. If it is self-evident when to do something, you may not need a systematic reminder. (e.g. running out socks naturally reminds you to do laundry). This is highly personal, some will choose to have reminders while others may be content without them.
  3. Avoid overprocessing - this is not explicitly stated in the GTD book but is a major rationale behind the 2-minute rule. If your solution for these requires lots of repetitive data entry, you may need to consider another option, as maintaining the system may be taking more energy and time than it is saving you.
Most list manager apps in my experience don't handle recurring tasks well. A few tools I've seen that seem to work nicely are Nirvana and Omnifocus.
I find Google calendar useful as a sort of "electronic tickler." I create checklists as all day events and have it email me the day of. This works mostly for more infrequent routines, like monthly/quarterly stuff.

My answer for the daily stuff has been a daily checklist - I have my list manager app set to open automatically to this list, which I dont actually check anything off on. it just serves as something to review. Screenshot below:
1603911181520.png
 

Ronald

Registered
Hi Jared,

Right now I have solved it in a similar way like you did with a project called Daily Routine that has several recurrent tasks in it. I know many of the tasks in there can also be handled by habit tracking apps or apps like Due or Reminders but I prefer to have as little apps as possible. Omnifocus and my Calendar basically form my extended brain. So I want these recurrent tasks in my taskmanager. Some of the tasks in the Daily Routine are loosely in a way that skipping them a day is not an issue. But some (like medication) aren't. Although taking medication is already a habit, I stil want a reminder each time to be sure I took it. Perhaps not completely and 100% strict GTD solution but that's how I use Omnifocus.
 

Kamazing

Registered
I throw mundane recurring tasks into one of two checklists: Morning Routine and Evening Routine. I have an hour-long event blocked on my calendar at the beginning and end of the day for each. When it's time, I open the checklist and bang it out. I haven't forgotten to put on deodorant before leaving the house since.

I agree with Jared that some tasks don't really need formal documentation and monitoring. A post-it on your bathroom mirror might be enough to ensure you remember your medication every day. All depends what you need to stay consistent.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I throw mundane recurring tasks into one of two checklists: Morning Routine and Evening Routine. I have an hour-long event blocked on my calendar at the beginning and end of the day for each. When it's time, I open the checklist and bang it out. I haven't forgotten to put on deodorant before leaving the house since.

I agree with Jared that some tasks don't really need formal documentation and monitoring. A post-it on your bathroom mirror might be enough to ensure you remember your medication every day. All depends what you need to stay consistent.
It takes you an hour to put on deodorant? I can usually get it done in 15 minutes, tops.
 
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