Too many to-do's in different places
Hello, nice to be reaching out for some support and knowing there are other folks as interested in GTD as I am. I'm in a bit of a pickle...the past few weeks I've been setting up the GTD system, listening to webinars on GTD connect and adding to-do's to lots of lists. Lists such as someday/maybe, errands, calls, online, and various inboxes (iphone, evernote). Now I have lots of lists. I named a few projects and put a few next actions on them.
Apparently, I have skipped a step....now that I have a better sense of the overall picture, it looks like I've been doing a mind sweep in many different places. Instead of having one list of unprocessed to-do's....I have added next actions to many different lists.
If this is making sense, would anyone have an idea about how to combine all this and move forward in the GTD way, or in another simple fashion? It seems like I have doubled my work and need to start over. I'm guessing that I now need to gather up all of these next steps and put them in one big list then go through them in the GTD way, asking myself what requires a next action, etc. Do I have that right?
I look forward to your feedback. I put a lot of work into this and would like to stay encouraged about the benefit.
Take a closer look at contexts
For me what was helpful was to really streamline my lists according to context and separate my "next actions" from the projects that generated them during my weekly review. I might have a whole list of next actions for a particular project but if the next action is in my "home office" context, then that is the only "next action" list I look at when in my home office.
I have only 1 next action, from a number of different projects, on 1 home office list. I don't go down the list doing one action for each project, but look at the list and determine what project I have the time and energy to work on (or the one that has most of my attention.) When I'm finished working on that project for the day (provided it's not completed) I put the next action down as a "bookmark" that let's me know where I can pick up the project again. The project folder itself can have a whole list of next actions you've thought of. But just pluck the next one off and put it in the appropriate context. if you choose to do that one, then you can open up the project folder it belongs to during the "do" step of your work.
My contexts are mostly physically based as I work in two different colleges and cannot do many actions unless I am physically in a specific location. But I also have an "anywhere" context for those times I am in a waiting room or coffee shop with my iPad or just a pen and paper. In my weekly review I've added many "anywhere" next actions, again from a few projects, that do not rely on specific equipment or physical space.
In summary, I think the key is to really think about YOUR contexts and how they make sense to your workflow- they do not have to be the ones suggested in the book. This should hopefully remove the feeling of randomness. You can have a context called "On the bus" if that makes sense.
Adding items to GTD lists.
I'm sorry. I was misled by your statement that you had been adding to-do's to lots of lists. Lists such as someday/maybe, errands, calls, online, and various inboxes (iphone, evernote).
Originally Posted by bettlejuice
I am adding "unprocessed stuff" to my inboxes, Next Actions to my @context lists and Projects to my Projects and Someday/Maybe lists.