This is my first post on this board, even though I've been trying to follow it and read through older posts for the past couple of weeks. I've read DA's book over the last summer, and I've been trying since to implement it so as to handle the workload of my University studies (2nd u/grad degree). I'm using Outlook and synching to a Treo 600, which I always have with me for reference.
I actually thought I'd write this post in order to try and sort out / collect my ideas on my implementation of GTD, and ask some questions on areas that I'm having trouble with. I admit I haven't been the most consistent follower of GTD principles over the past few months, but I'm trying to turn things around and become disciplined in my approach!
Alright, here it goes:
First, I've customized my @ categories based on my own needs: @Uni, @Home, @Pc, @Town.
Things I need to do at Uni, such as borrow a book from the library, go to the relevant category. The rest are self explanatory, with @Town used mostly for shopping lists when I actually walk into town ...
Being a master-procrastinator , I also try to give my tasks due dates to help me Get Them Done: Say I have to return a book to the library by a specific date, I'll put it in my ToDo section under the specific date, and also link to @Uni category. That way, I make sure not to forget dated items. In a sense, I am using the ToDo list as a sort of tickler file, only electronic.
Of course, doing the Weekly Review is an essential part of the whole GTD approach. I have done this consistently for the past couple of weeks and find I am in a lot more control of my week. The most important aspect, for me, was to identify in advance what I needed to focus on for the upcoming week (had a presentation and 2 assignments coming up) and structure my N/As so as to get everything done on time!
Below are some of my concerns, which I'm still strugling with.
Should items such as "Return book by 18/2" go into the ToDo list with a hard deadline, or in my Calendar, even though they are not associated with specific times of the day? Or maybe should I try to put them during a time slot in my calendar and try to enforce that? (say during a break between two classes)
What I find is that, by putting hard deadlines in my ToDo lists, I tend to only finish those items that are due today, and overlook all the other undated items. I deal with this during the Weekly Review, by putting deadlines to the items I want to move forward, but I guess this is not the "orthodox" way of doing things, according to GTD..
Another issue I am having trouble with, is how to structure my studying habits within an (essentially) unstructured day? I tend to have large blocks of free time between classes and in the afternoon. I've been trying to block "STUDY" appointments with myself, but find myself often distracted and do not follow through. This might be an issue of discipline, in that I know I can always get the studying done later... I do my best studying at night, when there's no distractions like friends calling (maybe I'm answering my own questions --> block time at night for studying.....)
Finally, another issue (Question 3?) I'd like you to comment is how to structure the actual topics of studying. I have 5 courses, and usually need to read about 2-3hrs per week each in order to keep up to date, plus various assignments / papers etc.
Should I assign specific time in my calendar for each course, say for example Mondays & Wed'days for Economics and Quants, Tues and Thursdays for Accounting and Management etc?
OR, the other approach I am considering is listing all 5 courses as separate projects, each with a N/A, and simply block specific times each day as STUDY times and work off any Study N/A....
I'm just looking for some suggestions, based on your experience, to help me with my implementation of GTD..
Thank you in advance,