Using the Calendar for important, but not time dependent items.

Longstreet

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@Folke: You make very good points as always. I too spend the majority of my time making gut-based decisions in the moment. Why? Because priorities change so rapidly from moment to moment. What you thought was the most important thing to work on in the morning may have changed dramatically when the morning arrives. WIth that said, I do still believe in the power of time blocking when you have a major deadline on a project. But the moment-to-moment decision-making process is at the heart of GTD and why it works so well!

Cheers and best wishes!
 

TesTeq

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Longstreet said:
I too spend the majority of my time making gut-based decisions in the moment. Why? Because priorities change so rapidly from moment to moment. What you thought was the most important thing to work on in the morning may have changed dramatically when the morning arrives.
But, dear Longstreet, don't tell me that you change your contexts easily to follow your gut-based decisions. Don't tell me that you suddenly leave your @work context to mow the grass @home because you "have a feeling". Time-based @contexts limit our gut-based decisions.
 

Longstreet

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TesTeq : No, I am more focused than that and as I have posted before, follow a lot of the Deep Work systems approach from Cal Newport. It is integrated into my overall GTD system. As you posted on the Deep Work thread, the idea of "task blocks" fits in well with contexts. I was simply referring in my response to Folke that there are times when new work that appears really does take precedence over what I had planned. If the President of the university has something important that he wants me to do NOW, I doubt I will say that is not on my plan for the day or week.
 

ArcCaster

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started reading Deep Work this morning -- am getting a sense of the importance of time blocking a calendar for work on important projects :)
 

ArcCaster

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Still reading, little by little. Looks like I have had the good fortune to work with some people who are good at Deep Work. I was in a group of about a dozen course developers spread out over half a dozen sites around the country. We only saw each other about once a year, so when instant messaging first appeared, I initiated it as a way to pull the group together. I got enormous resistance (people said I was interrupting their flow) and the effort died in a couple of weeks. Very much the opposite of what I was seeing in some other groups in the company, but, it looks like I was working with some wise people :)
 

Fredjclaus

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While I'm new to the system let me see if I can lend some support to the question. What are the other items that keep filling up your calendar? Could you do a Mind sweep more often instead of putting them on the calendar? I have my GTD system set up in Evernote. I have a folder for Errands and one for each specific place I go regularly (i.e. Church, My Office, In town). Then when I'm in those locations, I pull out the Evernote and look in that notebook.

While GTD system states you should only put on your calendar Date/time specific events, Date Specific Events, or Date Specific information is doesn't really say you can't block out time. It just says you shouldn't block out time unless you are positive you will get to it on that date and time. The idea was so that you don't keep pushing it off because then you will subconsciously create a mindset of "I don't need to listen to the calendar" and it doesn't become effective.

Hope that helps a bit.
 

Cpu_Modern

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TesTeq

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We do switch context, if the priority of that task in the other context is so high, that the cost of context switch is lesser than the cost of postponing that task. (postponing to the next foreseable occasion we are in that context)
In my case it is more complex since I like to batch Next Actions. So to justify the switch from Context A to Context B the combined priority of Next Actions in Context B must be higher than combined priority of Next Actions in Context A.
 

Cpu_Modern

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Yes, I see. To make it complete, also add a factor for (probability for what kind of work and it's relative importance that would appear in each respective context.
 

Kevin James

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I think key to this discussion is to remember that time-blocking is all about making a commitment to yourself which is in every respect as important, if not more important, than keeping a scheduled commitments with others. I would suggest that keeping these time-blocks in check would come about by ensuring they are used for the most important things that move you closer to your goals that are hopefully life changing in nature.
 

Longstreet

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I think key to this discussion is to remember that time-blocking is all about making a commitment to yourself which is in every respect as important, if not more important, than keeping a scheduled commitments with others. I would suggest that keeping these time-blocks in check would come about by ensuring they are used for the most important things that move you closer to your goals that are hopefully life changing in nature.
Agreed!
 

Kevin James

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started reading Deep Work this morning -- am getting a sense of the importance of time blocking a calendar for work on important projects :)
Just finished a book by Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. It was essentially a survey of 7 billionaires, 13 olympic athletes, 29 straight-A students and 239 entrepreneurs. It was striking how many times the theme of time blocking and working from a calendar, not a to do list came up.

Still...at some point I need a task list to help me break down my work and figure out what the next actions are. GTD does this well for me. The time-blocking via a calendar is still challenging, but at the moment I'm running with themed time-blocks. So one time block may be themed for a specific project, then I turn to GTD to work through my next actions for THAT project. Another themed block may be Administrative work where I turn to GTD and the contexts like phone, emails, etc to batch the mundane work together. I might have another themed time-block for researching ideas or planning where I might dig into my notes or journal and further expand on those ideas. Still relying on GTD to get these tasks out in front of me, but time-blocking to gain focus.

Recently switched from Todoist to NirvanaHQ and finding it a joy to use. Needs a few tweaks, but working very well.
 

Longstreet

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Just finished a book by Kevin Kruse, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. It was essentially a survey of 7 billionaires, 13 olympic athletes, 29 straight-A students and 239 entrepreneurs. It was striking how many times the theme of time blocking and working from a calendar, not a to do list came up.

Still...at some point I need a task list to help me break down my work and figure out what the next actions are. GTD does this well for me. The time-blocking via a calendar is still challenging, but at the moment I'm running with themed time-blocks. So one time block may be themed for a specific project, then I turn to GTD to work through my next actions for THAT project. Another themed block may be Administrative work where I turn to GTD and the contexts like phone, emails, etc to batch the mundane work together. I might have another themed time-block for researching ideas or planning where I might dig into my notes or journal and further expand on those ideas. Still relying on GTD to get these tasks out in front of me, but time-blocking to gain focus.

Recently switched from Todoist to NirvanaHQ and finding it a joy to use. Needs a few tweaks, but working very well.
One can have both -- our projects and next actions lists -- and time blocks on our calendar where we allocate our effort based on our reviews. :D
 
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