Thursday, April 15, 2010

April - GTD and Toodledo #6: Dammit's and other frustrations

The last week has included a lot of thinking about Toodledo and GTD, but not so much adherence to the plan.  I think this helped.  The awareness of the goal made me able to discern what was breaking:

- Things were added to my queue superfast; faster than I could open TD and add them properly
- I had so many things starred as next actions that the list was not something I could digest at a glance - when this happened, the tool lost its greatest asset, the ability to reduce mental overhead.  If I really had to read this list over and over - where's the advantage?

Then, as I worked away from the list, I was actually completing things without ticking them off, creating deadwood in the list.

Also, despite the idealistic idea that I could put tasks of any category together, I lost the 'project list' effect from GTD - the ability to quickly get a reminder at the project level.  I was literally forgetting entire projects for weeks because of mental overhead overload.  The Proximo plan for GTD had no differentiation between categories of work - by client/type of work/etc.

So, while I have many different projects, and in some cases I'm committed to work for Client A on Monday (regardless of other projects), I wasn't able to see the Client A subset.


Learning #1:
I need to be able to separate work by clients.  (YMMV, your 'client' might be something else)

> Given the TD framework, I decided to use tags to separate work by clients/sites/etc.

I need a way to also look across clients at type of work (meaning - if I'm a contractor, I need to see all the work at the smith house and all the painting work.)

> I'll create separate searches...

So to put this into effect, I started tagging actions and projects with "client-type of work" tags, where some are just "client" and some are just "type of work".  As I'm doing this, I'm thinking these should not be hyphenated, just separate tags and it would be cooler (by far) if I had multiple tag fields (or, for that matter, multiple folder fields - as these are essentially exclusive tags) so I could sort this way instead of just use searches.

This led me to:


Learning #2:
I was being too liberal with stars.  Using stars at 'next action' items (and as a subset of Actions, identified by a folder) I had too many to comprehend.

While I was still fixing up the tags, I also realized:


Learning #3:
The minute I break out of the system, it's broke and I'll have to do catch up administration to get back in.

This means that breaking the flow or the planned GTD/TD workflow, how ever you set it up, should only be done on purpose in the most extreme cases.  Like if the President of the United States calls and asks for you to help out with something.  If that happens, I'll shove everything off my desk but a clean piece of paper and a pen.  Short of that - I'd better stay in the system.

>So, I'm on maybe my 10th lifetime restart of GTD, but obviously I have faith in the potential or I wouldn't come back to it.  That, or I'm a fool.  I'm not a fool.

Stay tuned.

GTD and Toodledo 30 Day Project

No comments:

Post a Comment