Saturday, 8 October 2011

David's article in the recent GTD newsletter, Productive Living, about "listless lists" really resonated with me.

I had suddenly found that my @office list was repelling me last week and used a strategy that I think was discussed in the newsletter (and has certainly been mentioned in various posts around the GTD forums) to create an attractive list again: I moved quite a few items to Someday/Maybe.

I realised that my problem was that I didn't have a Someday/Maybe list that I fully trusted for items that I wouldn't get to this week, but want to get to within 2-3 weeks. I have remedied this by creating a short term Someday/Maybe that I will always check at the weekly review. I don't want to review my longer term items every WR and this was subtly preventing me from using the list to relieve the pressure on my everyday context lists.

I use paper and prefer to work from just one A4 page, so when I reach the bottom of the page I re-write my actions that are still to be completed on a new sheet and toss the old one. My work is such that this works quite well, as I have a lot of short actions that are longer than 2 mins but can be completed in 10-20mins and I can therefore normally cross off quite a number of actions over the course of a couple of days and don't need to re-write a long list when reaching the bottom of the page. However, my workload has been heavier than usual for the last couple of weeks and this has forced me to rethink where I keep a few of the NAs that are not as important. Moving them to the short term Someday/Maybe has been really liberating!

Once again David is spot on - re-negotiating your commitments as your priorities shift is vital to stay in control and ensure that you are confident that you are doing what you should be, when you should be.

1 comment:

  1. This post is helpful for me. I am new at GTD and have 50 next actions on my list in one context. With so many there are duplicates (I don't realize they are on my list so I put in my inbox when I think of it!) I realize I need to pare down my list to next actions that I can reasonably accomplish this week and then maybe a short term defer or someday maybe as you mentioned. With so many next actions I get overwhelmed and worried I will miss something so I use my head instead. I will also read the article you mentioned. Thanks!