I’ve been working on GTD for years now, and it has been amazing the depth of this material. I’m starting to really understand the concept of the distance from the ground, and that the project list is a trigger for next action questions, where an action is some kind of simple activity for the internal troops.
The parts of us that operate the machinery of life aren’t necessarily that smart, not in a global sense. When I’m right up against some task, it’s hard to see the big picture. So it’s great to have the actions that are needed to advance the higher level goals available to me IN CONTEXT.
This has take time to learn, since I had a different idea of a project. But it’s starting to make more sense. I’m basically tackling my project list a little at a time, but it’s starting to be useful to help me remember what I’m up to.
But a project list needs regular review, probably once a week. And a project shouldn’t be too high level. I’m still working out the details around that, but I think I need to revisit the ideas from David Allen’s “Road Map” seminar, and especially need to review his book, “Getting Things Done”.
I’ve done parts of the GTD weekly review process, but finally for the first time I completed the entire thing, from “getting clear”, to “getting current”, and even “getting creative”. I’ve been studying GTD for at least two years now, every step I improve has made a huge difference in my life. I’m pretty close to having a good coherent projects list. To get there, I just need to get it clean, and start the process of the next higher perspective, what David Allen calls the 20,000’ level, which is to create a list of my current areas of focus and responsibility which will give an even great coherence to my projects list.
David Allen teaches the importance of the weekly review. I finally got my treo synchronized properly on my macbookpro, and had processed nearly everything unprocessed in my inboxes, and I started stepping through my tasks and compiling them into a proper project list, and moving the improper projects into their proper place.
(A proper project is an OUTCOME, not a task, and it should be one that takes a few days to a few months, not 12 years!)
It was like light bulbs going off. Flashes of insight, and the inner chambers of the combination lock lining up with a satisfying click. Inside the treasure chest—the angels sang. Yeeha… It was awesome.
I wasn’t able to complete this goal, but I’m getting close. I just feel so much more productive now that my todos are contextual—and that I don’t have so many of them on my list that I can’t focus. One todo at a time for a project is good to make sure it keeps moving. I can put a few more, but not 30 todo actions cluttering up my immediate todo lists.
A todo list should help answer “what’s the next action”. It shouldn’t become more clutter to manage!
I believe more clarity will come, I’m just so glad to have experienced this for the first time.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done philosophy and methods hit home, how powerful and sensible is the work and his recommendations. So my next project to advance this is to get my list of projects coherent, where a project is a desired outcome taking multiple steps that can be done in less than a year (about). To do this, I’m going to start from the bottom up, by processing my inbaskets into projects and next actions for each. It’s just a little work for each little piece, but when I have a coherent project list, I can keep each project moving every week. I think that’ll be my next subgoal project after this, which is to institude my weekly review.