View Full Version : TimeMaps and GTD
03-05-2006, 04:12 AM
How do you think if TimeMap concept could exist along with GTD concept of Context, Time and Energy Available, Priority? I mean do you have any experience of why it's needed (if someone uses it) and how to make them work together (based on your experience).
03-05-2006, 10:25 AM
If you mean the Time Map concept from Organizing from the Inside Out, I've found it works very well with GTD.
The Time Map makes sure I block out time to be in appropriate contexts and saves me from overcommiting. GTD tells me what to do when I'm there.
03-06-2006, 02:31 AM
Katherine, doesn't TimeMap concept cross off Context,Time,Energy,Priority concept of "in the moment" choice and why you think it has the right to co-exist along with GTD concept?
And does GTD concept assumes putting everything into the list like email check daily thus TimeMap concept allows to simplify that by eliminating of putting daily routines into the system daily?
03-06-2006, 10:35 AM
It works for me, so I'm not terribly worried about whether GTD and TimeMaps have the "right to coexist" or whether blocking out time for routine activities is strict GTD or not.
As I see it, TimeMaps make sure I plan around my hard landscape. I will *always* have to feed the cats twice a day, my martial arts classes are at the same times every week, and it is a waste of time to call California before about noon Eastern US time. But once things like that are taken care of, I'm left with large blocks of time in which the GTD Context/Time/Energy/Priority approach allows me to decide exactly which task to do next.
For me at least, GTD does not mean putting routine tasks on my NA list. They might go on a check list or on my calendar, but putting them on the NA list just adds clutter.
03-08-2006, 06:31 AM
Could someone please point the rest of us to online/physical resources for what Time Maps are? I've tried to do some research on my own but can't find anything about them.
03-08-2006, 06:43 AM
TimeMap = Schedule
Julie Morgenstern "Time management from inside out"
03-13-2006, 10:05 AM
I have been disciplined in creating a time map in the past, but I'm finding it harder and harder to do anymore. I switched jobs and now most of my tasks are difficult to assess and 'schedule' into my time map. My new career is more focused on creativity and I can't guess at how long it will take me to do most of the tasks on my next action list. Some items (creative design-type tasks) may take an hour and others take much longer.
I know a time map is not written in stone, but I'm starting to think 'why bother?' I do see benefits from it, but I see that it has downsides, too. For instance, I planned to take today (my birthday) and go through the book "Your Best Year Yet" and make my top 10 list. But, last night we ended up spending a few hours in the bathroom with flashlights and pillows waiting for the tornado sirens to stop so we could go back to bed. Add to that my kids being sick (and tired) this morning and having to stay home with me all day. I went ahead with my plan - a few hours late since we slept in - and did my top 10 which took me an hour and a half instead of the 3 that I scheduled for it. Also, my husband's job makes it impossible to plan dinner because he can be home anywhere between 5:30 and 10pm so we usually end up eating whenever we feel like it, which can mess up the evening routines if we wait too long.
So I said all that to see what others have to say - anyone want to share some examples? I have read Julie Morgenstern's book and reviewed her examples. I know how to make a rigid plan, but I need something more flexible. Is that possible? Or should I just stick with pure GTD where my hard landscape is all I put on my calendar.
The main reason I am pondering this is that now that I have my Top 10, I am concerned that I won't do enough on a weekly basis to keep up with the goals I established. With a time map, I can schedule incremental tasks to move me toward achieving those goals. On the other hand, with GTD, if I am reviewing my lists daily and doing the weekly review, then those tasks *should* get done without having to schedule them, right? Any more food for thought on this subject?
03-14-2006, 12:20 AM
As I think TimeMap allows to balance different areas of life of predictable people. If you wanna have a balanced life then you should use it. It's up to you how to "split" the life into chuncks :) Julie suggests to take 8 main areas of life (Self, Family, Work, Home, Friends, etc), set goals for each of the areas, and then acheve balance by dividing the time into right proportions when you'd be achieving these goals.
Classical Timemap allows for Trade-offs. For very unpredictable people (like your husband :) she suggests alternative TimeMap: Balance Tracker (check-off on hoyr basis every hour spent in this or that area of life; when all the hours exceded you can't spent any more time on this activity), Sudden Opportunity List (close by nature to GTD, you have a list of activities that you use when you have unexpected breaks), and Day per Area of Life (each day devoted to one of the life areas). See page 192 of the Time Management from the Inside Out.
As for me I don't use TimeMap now. I want to understand how to integrate TimeMap with GTD and if there's any sence in doing so...
03-14-2006, 07:29 AM
Thanks for your comments. I'm leaning more and more towards NOT using one. Some things are routine and predictable, but I don't need them on my calendar to remember to do them. When I do my weekly review, I have a checklist that has all of my roles and areas of focus listed. I use that to help me decide if I am spending adequate time in those areas. I also have yearly goals for each of those areas and those goals are broken down into projects - which go on my projects list. So by reviewing my project lists and putting down the next action, I am moving towards my goals. So next time I sit down at my computer, I can crank through the @computer list and make progress in more than one focus area.
I'm not trying to start an argument for or against time maps. I am just wondering if a time map is really necessary if you are reviewing your lists effectively.
03-14-2006, 07:54 AM
I wouldn't say a time map is ever *necessary,* but I find them very helpful.
From your note, though, I think you may slightly misunderstand their purpose. For example, you talk about not needing to put routine things on your calendar in order to remember to do them. Me neither. However, doing routine tasks still takes time. If it takes me an hour to shower, eat breakfast, and feed the cats, then I'd better not count on using that same hour to read email and pay bills.
I've found having a time map saves me from overcommitting because it forces me to realize how many commitments I already have. Conversely, when there are things that I want to do, but somehow never have time, a time map helps me figure out why not, and helps me decide what I need to get rid of if I want to make room for another priority.
03-14-2006, 12:24 PM
I will appreciate if anyone who uses Time Maps could share the idea why and how to integrate this with GTD concept and if there's a real need in that?