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Posted: Nov 18, 2012
Posted by ste.witton:
I have been wanting to strip my system down in recent weeks and the project to task link is something I would like to stop doing to speed things up. I have a couple of questions about your method (and I'm guessing David Allen does something similar);
1. Do you ever review your project list and wonder if you have done a certain task that you had planned to do but then forgotten?
2. When planning a project, how do you identify and then handle tasks that cannot be done yet?
3. Do you make reflective notes during the weekly review to keep track?
1. I usually don't forget if I have done a task. At the end of each day, I do a quick daily review (15 mins max) to see what tasks I checked of and if I need to add other next actions for the projects those tasks belong to.
2. If I really need to plan a project, first I do the natural planning up to a level I am comfortable with and store that as project support. If I have to follow a certain order of steps (for instance when applying for official paperwork) I will add the next actions as a note to the project.
3. I don't really take notes during the review although that might be a good way to get more creative.
I have had my period of using all bells and whistles in toodledo, but I found that that just made me resent working the system (and spent a huge amount of time to find the 'perfect' setup)
Right now I only use contexts. In essence GTD requires something to track lists. At least Someday/Maybe, Projects, Next action lists per context. And a quick ability to create new temporary lists if needed. In order to keep the system as simple as possible and organizing actions as quick as possible, I use a context for every list.
For the 20.000 feet and up stuff, I am currently not really as organized in those areas as I would like to be, but right now I am tracking that in Evernote.
This message was edited Nov 18, 2012.
Posted: Nov 09, 2012
Posted by Salgud:
In my opinion, one of the serious flaws in GTD, Allen's definition of a project. By his definition, brushing my teeth is a project because it "takes more than one physical activity to complete".
1. Go to bathroom
2. Open cabinet
3. Grasp toothbrush in right hand
4. Grasp toothpaste in left hand
By Allen's definition, virtually any human activity is a project. It is far to vague to be a definition.
I don't think that's how David Allen intends a next action, that wont be workable. The way I use next actions is anything I can do in a single context.
Normally brushing my teeth is a single action and I wouldn't even track it because it's not on my mind. However if I find I am out of toothpaste, there is a new physical errand to get toothpaste.
In my experience when I find I have actions I procrastrinate about, it means there is a project behind it or my action is not granular enough.
I think in the parts about the natural planning model DA describes it as "you need to plan as much as is needed to get it off your mind and not more".
This message was edited Nov 09, 2012.
Posted: Nov 09, 2012
All my tasks are atomic (otherwise I will procrastrinate on them) If I have tasks that take several days to complete they are projects for me.
The distinction task/project is not just semantics in GTD. A project is more than just work projects in the normal sense. Any outcome which takes more than one physical activity to complete is a project according to GTD. As a result my project list is as long as my task list.
To give an example if I have a task which takes several hours/days to complete (like prepare workshop for project X) I will add this as a seperate project on my project list and add very specific actions to my next actions list like:
- Brainstorm participants for workshop @computer
- Call mr. Y to confirm participants @call
- Fix timeslot for workshop X @computer
- Find room for workshop X @computer
With this granularity and description, I do not need an explicit link between the tasks/actions and projects. Maybe it just means I am not busy enough though :)
Posted: Nov 05, 2012
From Topic: GTD projects in Toodledo
In core GTD as David Allen describes it, the project list is really just a list of "stakes in the ground". Reminders of the current things you want to get finished which take more than one step.
I have found that making it more than that (a simple list) will over-complicate the system and I will resist adding multi-action outcomes on my project list (which is a bad thing).
What works for me is a simple "Project" context where I add all my projects as tasks, so I have an easy overview of all my active projects. When a project is done I check off the project task.
I don't really need a link between projects and actions, because I am fairly strict with my weekly review which I found is another essential ingredient to make GTD work.
Posted: Nov 05, 2012
Posted by Canyon Russell:
For example, I have a "Repair Window" task in my Projects context. I have a subtask for "call repair man" with a context of Phone. As I'm on my lunch break, I look at my Phone list and go OK I need to call my repair man. We schedule a time to have him come over and he says 'please move any furniture you have in front of the window.' Since I can't do it now, I hit the new task button and put "Move furniture from window" and give it a 'Home' context. Now that task is orphaned, unconnected to the "Repair Window" project. I would have had to navigate to the Projects list, open the "Repair Window" task and then hit "create subtask" inorder for it to be properly categorized. The experiance with the web app, while somewhat simpler, is similar.
I honestly don't understand the obsession people seem to have with linking actions to projects. Are you implying that in the situation above, if you see the task "move furniture" you don't remember why you were supposed to do this?
If you need a link between project and actions, that's a very good sign you are not rigorous enough in your weekly review. The weekly review will tie it all together.
I simply have a project list with no link to any specific actions and I never wonder if a project is without next action or what project an action links to because I review all that on a weekly basis.