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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

GTD: Defining Tasks

So I’ve been using my hybrid GTD system which merges David Allen’s Getting Things Done, with Dan Sullivan’s The Strategic Coach Philosophy.

As I continue to find the right balance between the number of contexts that I have, and the projects I need to complete I am finding myself constantly re-examining the way I am defining a set task.

Old Way:

For example, in my old to-do list system I had one item entitled “Post Blog Entry.” Ideally I wanted to post something every other day, but I found it hard to sick to that system. This meant sporadic and unreliable posting schedule.

New Way

When you factor in context and the type of day I actually discovered that blogging was a four step task.

1) Research blog post ideas, which fall into my buffer days.

2) Draft a blog post, which I would normally do on my Focus days

3) Review the blog post, which I would do on a buffer day

4) Post the blog post, which I could do any day.

* If you’re confused about the types of days, see the second post of my GTD series.

Why This Works

This breaks down the vague concept of “Post a blog entry” into concrete steps that I can actually do on different days while optimizing my time.

So on my buffer days, when I’m in research mode, it’s natural for me to be surfing the internet for cool stories. Instead of forcing myself to switch gears into writing mode, I simply flag the appropriate subject matter and email it to myself, or write a post it note on my mac.

On my next Focus day, I have already done all the grunt work, so I merely need to write up my findings. I can do multiple post drafts in a sitting because once I get my writing groove on, it’s easy to switch from one entry to another without having to jar my flow by needing more research.

When it’s time to edit, I’ve had some space from the piece, and am doing buffer related tasks. My buffer days tend to be filled with many smaller tasks which gets me in a good rhythm which prevents me from dawdling over a particular post.

That means posting has been reduced to a click of the button which can be done every other day with the peace of mind that I am posting pieces on a regular schedule.

I love GTD!!

Comments: 1

  • Dan

    May 22, 2008

    For implementing GTD you might try out this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

    As with the last update, now Gtdagenda has full Someday/Maybe functionality, you can easily move your tasks and projects between “Active”, “Someday/Maybe” and “Archive”. This will clear your mind, and will boost your productivity.

    Hope you like it.

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