Do it Tomorrow and GTD: Comments on the two systems?
I have been an avid user of GTD for a long time, with success in performance for the most part. Like so many others, however, I have struggled with a variety of issues such as the "best" contexts for my action lists that work for me, and probably the most important one -- being overwhelmed with open, growing next action lists. I like many others out there are no doubt overcommitted, but that is the reality of my work (I am a professor at a major research university) and is not going to change. I have so much new work that continually comes in that gets added to my next action lists that it seems that they never change -- I get 10 things done, 10+ take their place. It is disheartening to see your next action lists that are always full. Yes, I know -- one will never get everything done, and I accept that...but there is a psychological issue with the feeling that your "to-do" lists never shrink. I have seen so many comments on this forum about how people deal with this. The most common is to move everything that you are not going to do this week or whatever time frame to your someday/maybe context. I have tried doing that and it does help for the immediate short-term in terms of focus. But then the someday/maybe list grows and grows -- and that is depressing when one reviews it.
Another part that has been frequently discussed on this site is how to choose what next action to do when you are finished with something. I still find it depressing and difficult to scan each and every time through my large, multi-context lists to try and decide what to do. This happens several times a day of course and like many others that have expressed this same sentiment -- it is tiring to do so!
I very recently read a new book by Mark Forster called "Do it Tomorrow". It is a very refreshing approach to things and the most important is the concept of the closed lists. I am now trying it integrate many of the principles of GTD with Mark's approach to things.
I guess what I would like to hear from all of my colleagues and friends out there is what you think of Mark Forster's approaches. It is more pressured as you strive adamantly to complete ALL of your actions on the closed list every day. It is a good check on what you really can accomplish during a normal day and really how overcommitted one may be.
I welcome advice on Mark's book and also other insights on how to manage next actions lists.
But these are things I am going to do...
Thanks for your response. Yes, I do prune the someday/maybe list of things that I no longer am planning to do. I am talking about using this context as a holding pattern for many new work actions that I simply do not want on my next action lists as they become too large to manage and sort through each and every time I need to decide what do do next. SO you have let's say 30 next actions on your lists and you constantly have new work coming in -- I see folks say just put those on your someday/maybe lists for now and deal with it on your next weekly review. That is what I am doing now, but it can grow to become a huge list. I know there is no simple answer except I have too much work to do....guess I am just whining....and should stop and get back to work!
Nope -- am very motivated...
No -- I am very motivated and passionate about my work. The real problem is staring at me and is so obvious -- I am grossly over-committed and have too many projects and commitments. Too much work coming in -- no system can "fix" that....and to be honest....GTD is by far the best system in managing multiple commitments and actions that I have ever seen.
Like I said earlier....I am just whining and very tired. I need to renogiate some of my commitments....but so many I cannot....like three major federal grants....