Managing Large Projects with a firm Deadline
I have begun to implement the program, but I am having problems seeing how this system can manage a large project with definite deadlines. For example, my husband and I are going to be moving to London in a month. I have a number of projects that all need to get done by then for our move. In order not to be overwhelmed at the last minute I would like to space out the work for this.
Any ideas of how I can use the GTD system to accomplish this?
Big deadline-driven projects
In the past, and in just your situation (short notice relocation), I opted to manage the project outside the GTD context using MS Project. I'll spare the silly details, but I was literally updating the schedule several times a day to make sure I stayed on the critical path, and Project was worth its weight in gold.
If I had to do it again, I'd certainly do a general schedule in Project so I could see the dependencies among subprojects (e.g., sell house, get new living arrangements, farewells w/ family & friends). Then I might manage either from Project, or by inputting each of subproject into my GTD system as a GTD project. If I were to do it this (GTD) way, I would absolutely update my action list every single time I completed a next action for any of the move-related GTD projects. I would also likely do a mini-review at the end of each day.
Compulsive? Probably. But take it for what it's worth from a battle-scared short-notice mover...
HTH, and bon voyage!
Big deadline-driven projects, part 2
Sorry, that wasn't completely clear. To be explicit, if I were doing this in GTD, I'd
1. Do some form of Gannt chart that shows how the major pieces of the move (or whatever big project) fit together in terms of how they depend on each other. (Need to finish this part before I can even start this other part, etc.) I'd keep this as project support material in a *very* convenient location (action support folder on desk and going home each night).
2. Input each big piece of the move as a project on my project list.
3. Manage each project on my project list very aggressively with reviews after each action completion and at the end of each day. I'd date all my next actions with complete no-later-than dates so I'd know immediately if I were running into trouble no deadlines.
4. Follow the previous poster's advice of putting lots of my next actions on my calendar.
If you are Project-savvy, or familiar with any similar computer-based gannt-chart program, I really encourage you to use it to make sure you don't end up realizing that the one next action you let slip an extra day was the one that utterly and irrevocably screws your critical path. If you aren't Project-savvy, it's probably not worth learning now, but keep your project support material handy so you can make sure each major piece of the move is on track to be done when it needs to be done.
Best of luck!