You can Do Anything, but not Everything - GTD
Book by - David Allen => Get your Copy Now !!
- How many times, we need someone's reminder for Bill, Subscription ?
- How many times, we work for entire-day, but still missed the important stuffs ?And many more…
Our Brain is Designed to Generate Ideas, Not for Holding them
We Try to remember everything => leads to an inability to concentrate fully on work in hand, because brain will still try to handle unsolved problems.
Ex. Same as Open Windows in Computer & Open Loops in your Brain : It will Keep running, keep consuming your memory & Try to close…
These all things result: Stress, delay, frustration, mis-management & what not !
To solve => GTD : 5 Stage Workflow
Before we start, Setup the Right Workspace, Tools & Filing System
- Physical Way
> Workspace / Desk/ Office Cabin
> Writing Space : Notebook, Post-It, Paper-Pen etc.
> Filing System : Folders, Cabinet, Racks, Basket
- Digital Way
> Setup Anyone Calendar App : Google Calendar, iCalendar
> To–Do App : Gooel Keep, Microsoft To Do, Apple Notes, ToDoist
> Note Taking : OneNote, Apple Notes, Evernote, Obsidian, LogSeq
> Storage app : Google Drive, One Drive, iCloud, DropBox
Use any Digital Tool / Phsyical system to start with. which can help you to Manage, Sync & Track all the stuffs/ tasks easily. Now, Let's Start =>
All your Tasks, Ideas, Reminders, Meetings, Requests & even, Thoughts…
Things you want to achieve, Future desires, ideas, Project work
Lunch, Dinner, Breaks
Buy present for a Friend, Visit the Function
And even, fueling your Car…
Don’t worry about, how important or sensible or unnecessary the task items are when you write them down…
Things to Remember
1) Collection tools can be in the form of – Notebook, Lists, Email, Calendar etc.
2) Few Collection Tools as Possible : Think of Flexibility
3) Comprehensive Enough – which can hold everything
So, it’s a great way to start is to go through all your current to-dos, ideas, thoughts, plans and materials and plop them into your collection tools…
Weekly, Empty all Collection Tools, else they’ll end up as unorganized items
Now, Start by Looking at the Each Item:
Each Item should be Actionable , if it’s not then no longer needed & it’s a Trash.
No Action is needed Right Now – events, tentative meetings etc.
Information for Future Action – like budget, project plan etc.
How to deal with Actionable Items ? Let’s see -
If any task will take several actions to accomplish the outcome, then it is Project
Ex. Birthday Party, Corporate Tasks, IT Project, Travel Trip etc.
Then, Ask yourself what’s the Next Action , for this item or Project is
Ex. Call Harsh, Buy Grocery. It should not be “Research” etc.
Once you have identified the Next Action, there are 3 options:
Less than 2 min. to achieve => Do it Immediately
More than 2 min => are you the right person ? If not, then Delegate it
If You are the Right person to perform the Action => Then, Defer It
No Traditional To-Do list : Lack of organization & that will quickly become a hodgepodge of tasks.
As stated before, items with no future value are deleted or trashed, whereas actionable items that can be completed in two minutes or less should be done immediately.
But what about all the rest, where do they end up?
1) Projects List,
2) Waiting for List (all Delegated items)
3) Defered Items List => Add into Calendar or Next Action List :Ex. Email to Jeff, Look for this task, Discuss with Team, Update Project plan
4) Not Actionable List => #Someday => #Maybe List : You don’t want to engage in right now, but also don’t want to forget about it. Ex. Learn Spanish, Learn Car etc.
5) Reference Material / Links
All your references, Books, articles for future information. Ex. Files, web links etc.
“Writing one email is not a project, but organizing a big meeting or planning a vacation is”
During Weekly Review :
Ensure that Each Project has a clear, concrete next action.
Reason : if you see a vague next action like “have my car serviced” on your list, some part of your brain feels that clarity is missing and gives up.
Once you identify the action to be taken => Store it in your Calendar/ Next Action lists
Defining next actions is such a powerful habit that you can even use it outside of project management.
Ex. After each discussion point in Meeting => Ask a question to clarify what’s the next step & who will take it and when !
“The goal of the GTD method is to feel relaxed and in control of all your current projects”
Your mind can concentrate fully on the tasks, only if you trust your system => This means, reviewing it consistently and often.
Every day, check your Calendar to get the lay of the land. Because - If you will be in meetings all the day, for instance, it will greatly impact what you can do, and you need to know this before you can plan your day.
“You should budget a few hours for the weekly review / Self-Review”
This is the Final Stage, where things actually get done.
“Choose what to do in each moment based on current situation & your priorities”
Primarily, trust your gut, but to break it down more analytically:
What can you do in the current context ? Do you have a time for that or not ?
What do you have energy for ? Which task has the highest priority? etc...
FINALLY : BONUS Points from a BOOK
Proven Project Management Technique:
1) Natural Planning Method – Project Management
2) Purpose + Planning => Outcome Visioning
3) Brainstorming => Organizing
4) Identifying Next Actions
Instead of To-do list, maintain a Calendar
=> Time-specific actions : like important appointments
=> Day-specific actions : like calling a colleague / client, event
=> Day-specific information : like refer proposal, documentation etc.
- Capture thoughts in external collection tools that you routinely empty
- Clarify what each item is and what you can do with it
- Organize the outcomes into lists, like Calendar, Projects, Next Actions
- Reflect on what is important, review the items in your trusted system
- Engage with your tasks. Pick that by context, time and energy.
So, Let's TRY IT, From Today…
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