Avoiding Time Tactics and Staying Situational
I disagree with quite a lot in this thread (but not everything). Instead of commenting on specific points that people have made here, I will set out a few principles of my own that I think represent what I would say would be the "true meaning" of "GTD 2.0" for me:
In general I do not believe in soft scheduling or time limits and other "artificial" time constraints. But I do believe in a much improved level of sophistication and simplicity in how lists can be filtered and displayed for the purpose of selecting tasks, and I do believe that structural arrangements, such as subprojects and causal dependencies within/between projects and tasks, can accomplish a lot for the purpose of simplifying the reviews.
But as for the type of aspects discussed in this thread so far, here is a summary of my thoughts:
- No soft scheduled actions (I stick with that proven principle, and it works for me)
- No time limits for what can be on the Next list
- Definition of Someday = Maybe (i.e. not defined in terms of time)
- Definition of Next = Definitely, anytime from now on (uncapped; can even be "someday" - but there is not a trace of "maybe" about it)
- Differentiated review cycles for each list - this is the key to keeping the lists manageable, and this is what this whole thread is ultimately all about.
For the implementation of three different review cycles there may be a Priority field in your app (which I prefer, especially if it is in color), or tags, or some other field. The use of it is the following, taking the Next list as an example:
Next list High = Review every single time I look at the Next list, perhaps hourly
Next list Normal = Review daily (if your app permits, set this up as the default)
Next list Low = Review weekly (make sure these tasks are properly tagged for situational filtering anytime, though)
What this means, in practice is:
- I cut down daily review time by at least half, without missing anything (the Low tasks are no hurry, and I will find them eventually when I filter for errands etc, or when I review them all again next week
- I never ever miss anything important (I see the High tasks clearly all the time)
Among all the other things I go through during my regular reviews I also check and adjust the Review cycle setting (the "Priority"). For example I will set it to High if a task has been left unattended and things are beginning to look dangerous, or down, if I realize that this task is not as urgent or important as I had initially thought - then I ensure it is tagged very carefully for esay retrieval and "hide" it in Low.
For Waiting For I use exactly the same review cycles as for Next.
For Someday I use Normal = weekly, Low = quarterly, High = as often as I want, preferably several times a week or daily. This allows me to reconsider some really exciting possibilities (high-potential, high-uncertainty stuff) very often, even daily if I have the time, while having to inspect my half-dead "garbage" only quarterly.
In my mind the terms Review Cycle and Priority, fuse into one and the same thing in practice (so I see no need to use both). If something is very important or urgent, then I really need to consider more often whether right now might be a good time. So "it" is High, regardless of what we call "it". But Priority is not a bad word. I like it. Review frequency is fine, too.
But I am aware that some people take the word Priority to mean "fixed sequence" - that one thing MUST be done before the other regardless of context, energy etc, just because it is a bit more important or urgent. I disagree with that interpretation. And I also disagree with the other common "mis"-interpretation of Priority that it is so fickle that you cannot determine it even roughly until the very last moment. The way I use it, Priority is quite stable.
For a GTD 2.0 app, I would like to see the following kinds of features supporting the above:
- quick adjustment of "priority depth" of the list, with user defined defaults, such as show High only when I step into the list, then click a button to expand to High + Normal etc
- always retrieve tasks from all three levels when filtering (regardless of whether the list was hiding the lower levels)
For a GTD 2.0 app, I would also like a whole lot more sophistication in the capabilities for characterizing tasks (tagging them etc) and both be able to filter for various combinations (include, exclude etc) straight in the list, and to see the characterization markers (colors etc) for "ocular direct spotting" (reducing the need to even filter). And I would like full hierarchical capabilites and interdependencies between projects.
All these measures combined could contribute very strongly to our being able to totally avoid all manner of soft scheduling of tasks, target dates, time limits and time scopes etc.
Last edited by Folke; 09-13-2013 at 03:39 PM.