4 criteria model for choosing what to do didn't work!
I was disappointed with GTD last Friday. I have my system set up and lined up. It was early morning when I needed to start doing something. I used 4 criteria model for choosing what to do. I was in my car so I limited my contexts to @Calls-chat and @Calls-meetings. I had time and energy available to shoot out all the calls! Great!
My Friday, Monday and Tuesday now filled with meetings I had to do. Today I had a weekly review. I discovered that in my @Computer list there's a Next Action to write an essay for the magazine. And my days are filled with meetings already! What a disappointment!
Now I know that I have to scan so called ASAP action lists daily in the morning not to miss what have to be done. The 4 criteria model doesn't work as it works inside of a given context and doesn't look across all contexts you have in your system. Why not to exclude a context limitation and state LOOK THROUGH ALL OF YOUR CONTEXTS carefully not to miss an important action?
it did work, but you didn't have all the stuff you needed
the 4 criteria model did work, after all: it wouldn't have been useful to look at your @computer context and discover you had an essay to write... could you have written it then and there? Probably not...
What you're telling now is that you had kind of "double booking", you set up a meeting, discovering afterwards that you didn't have time for that meeting at the moment you planned it.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't have made those calls. That decision was right... but you should have planned those meetings some other time.
What went wrong is that you filled up your week with meetings, and there was not a little alarm bell going of telling you "don't fill it up, you have got an essay to write". So with big chunks of work like that or deadlines coming up, or at the moment you're filling up your calendar with meetings, there should be some warning. Usually the weekly review should be enough, or just your little inner voice saying "mm, why is there so many free space in my calendar next week?".
My advice: try to learn from it (it's the kind of thing I used to do all the time )
Last edited by Myriam; 02-13-2011 at 10:52 PM.
The joke is on you! During Weekly Review the week prior, or when you took on the project to write the essay, you should have written the deadline for the essay into your computer. Remember: in GTD day specifics and time specifics go into the calendar! Instead you only created a Next Action for something with a due date.
Originally Posted by Chesnokov
Writing an essay sounds like a project to me, rather than a next action - or wouldn't you need to do some kind of research or preparation ahead of that action (making it a multi-step project) ?
Originally Posted by Chesnokov
Aside from that, I agree with Cpu_Modern and Myriam that proper use of calendar and the weekly review would have prevented your predicament
Book out time
In other threads, people have said they tend to book an appointment for themselves for tasks that take an hour or longer. I have found this works well.
I would say that writing an essay needs over an hour, so next time you have that sort of an action, book time in your calendar.
The next action lists work better if they are shorter tasks that can be squeezed in and around meetings.
If you book appointments with yourself it prevents the 'meeting overload' or at least when conflicts occur you are more aware of them and tend to plan ways to deal with it better.