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This may be the wrong evernote forum or the wrong forum altogether. May be more a GTD question. Apologies if so.

It's suggested you don't prioritise tasks and don't set due dates on tasks unless there is an outside force that absolutely imposes a fixed deadline.  Fixed times (eg meetings) go in a calendar.

Some suggest you review all these tasks each week and move a few into focus for this week then have a daily review where you decide which to focus on today.

Now I seem to accumulate a growing list of 100s of tasks all different and unconnected all of which have varying importance or consequence if not done.  Do I literally go through all of these every week in some random order.  This task is super overwhelming and super discouraging as you just see all of your lack of achievement?

 I "think" GTD says you don't set priorities on these, can you advise a way to go through the long list of your uncompleted tasks deciding which to focus on without it taking an age and without becoming completely demoralised at your failure.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Hi.  Planning your tasks,  or searching for the best way to manage them,  can all too easily become a time-sink that majorly gets in the way of actually working on those tasks.  I've been there,  got that t-shirt in several sizes. 

GTD principles say that writing a task down means it won't be buzzing around in your head as a distraction,  and it can't be forgotten;  I totally agree with that. 

GTD goes on to lay out a whole other framework of task management which you can observe if you wish.  I don't.  (Actually David Allen says you need to take from GTD principles exactly as much as you need and no more. It's not a compulsory all-in-one package.)

My list of tasks is divided into three:  four if you count the meetings and other deadlines,  which,  like you,  I keep in a calendar.  The others are Now! Soon and Sometime.  The titles are pretty self-explanatory.  I'll go through my list of tasks on a weekly basis and allocate the ones that clearly need to be done soon into that category.  If there are obvious candidates that need priority attention,  they'll go into Now! - maximum 5 tasks in any one day.

I'll work through the Now! jobs,  take a look at the Soon if I have any time left and maybe knock off one or two of those.  At the end of the day I'll move 5 more Soon jobs up to the next level ready for tomorrow.

It's important to trust in your system.  If you spend time worrying about whether you'll ever get to the end of your list of jobs,  you're wasting time that you could be spending actually working.  If you think of a new task - add it to the list.

If you have a lot of tasks you may be able to find a relationship between them - some are personal,  some work;  some about travel,  others about food.  If it helps,  find a few categories to group things under - it's at least easier to find and edit tasks if you need to do so,  and (I find) it's often necessary to check before you add a new task - did I already include this one?

Hope that helps a little..

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Yes that helps a lot.  Adding categories would help with finding things.  Thank you.  

I do like an idea I read about where you move tasks into a weekly focus then from their into "today" focus, which I guess is like your "now".

I'm a bit concerned that "soon" suggests some kind of dead line, which technically there is not.  There's a sense in which none of them HAVE to be done (as in by a time or become irrelevant) but there is a consequence not doing them.   Also if in the end I only have "soon" and "sometime" (maybe never) I'm concerned I'll put nearly everything into soon and end up with just one box again.  

Perhaps I could invent three boxes which kind of denote the level of consequence of not doing it. Maybe...

Critical/Important.

Useful.

Would be nice.

What do you think?

 

 

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I left out an important principle: "whatever works for you!" ;)

- My "Soon" category is pretty arbitrary - it's for (very loosely) time-sensitive jobs I want to get done before the good weather ends (I take photographs) or that I just prefer to do next because they're more interesting.  There's an obvious danger that all the boring jobs get left until absolute last,  but I'm careful not to put things off too long...

The Someday category is for the next book I'm going to write,  clearing out the loft - things that are totally not time-related.  Your box titles seem pretty on-message..

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6 hours ago, hardya said:

It's suggested you don't prioritise tasks and don't set due dates on tasks unless there is an outside force that absolutely imposes a fixed deadline.  Fixed times (eg meetings) go in a calendar.

Some suggest you review all these tasks each week and move a few into focus for this week then have a daily review where you decide which to focus on today.

Now I seem to accumulate a growing list of 100s of tasks all different and unconnected all of which have varying importance or consequence if not done.  Do I literally go through all of these every week in some random order.  This task is super overwhelming and super discouraging as you just see all of your lack of achievement?

 I "think" GTD says you don't set priorities on these, can you advise a way to go through the long list of your uncompleted tasks deciding which to focus on without it taking an age and without becoming completely demoralised at your failure.

My GTD take-away was to have focused task lists, instead of the 100s .....

Using Evernote, I enter each task as a separate note.
The search feature allows me to view my notes in different contexts

I set due dates (reminder date) where ever possible, not just "outside force ...."
If I'm working on a task now, I set today's date; if tomorrow, set tomorrow's date
This includes fixed times (eg meetings) 

I have a Current Task List that I review daily
This is a saved search (reminderTime:* -reminderTime:day+1 -reminderDoneTime:*)
Tasks get added automatically when due, and automatically drop off when completed
I order this by priority so I'm focusing on the most critical tasks

As to the weekly review, I do this by project (tasks have a project tag)
I assign or adjust dates as required

As to the calendar; its another way to view my tasks
I use Cronofy Calendar Connector so my tasks sync to my calendar

 

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