Tasks - PFP Assignment
1. Check out the GTD Flowchart 1 posted on the course shell in Doc Sharing and also given to you as a printed handout by the instructor in class. This flowchart outlines the task management system from Getting Things Done, David Allen, 2002, our course textbook on personal organization. You can find more GTD tips and freebies at Allen’s website as well.
If you want to try GTD, you might want to put Flowchart 1 on your wall, or on or above your computer, and look at it every time you organize your inbox (at least once a day, for most people), until you know it by heart. You can use GTD in your life with our first three wiki pages:
- An Online Calendar (Google Calendar is excellent and easy to set up)
Note: We have renamed GTD's Next Actions page to "Tasks." These are all the single-step things that you can put on a list as Next Actions/Tasks you might want to do, soon. "Single-step" means you can easily list them or describe them with a short sentence, even though they may take a long time (a day or more) to do. We have also included GTD's Waiting For page on this page. Waiting is the place where you list things that are "Waiting For Others" to respond to or to do their part on, before you can do more on your end. Because most of us don't have many "Waiting For" items that we have to track, unless we are managing people who work for us, you can keep this (usually short) list at the top of your Tasks+Waiting page.
Projects+Skills is GTD's Projects page, the place where you list all your "multi-step" projects, the ones that are so complicated they need whole paragraphs or even their own separate subpages to manage. Ideas+Questions is GTD's Someday/Maybe page, the place where you put Tasks or Projects that you might do some day, including things that started out in Tasks or Projects but which you never seem to get around to doing (probably because they aren't as important as you originally thought). You can consider adding a Reference page, a place where you store reference information that you might use in the future, but most of us store our reference material in file folders, on our bookshelves, or in our email or hard disk folders. Still, if you want a page on the wiki for Reference material, go ahead and create one and put it below Ideas+Questions. That will give you four GTD pages.Does Flowchart 1 make sense to you? Does GTD look like a system you might use to organize your daily flow of "things to do"? If you used it, do you think it might help you “declutter your mind” and make you happier and more productive, as David Allen claims? Write one paragraph on your impression of this system so far, having looked over this flowchart and having read at least a little of the GTD book (eg. the preface and Chapter 1) for this class. (1 paragraph)Write here…
2. Take a look at the GTD Flowchart 2 ("Advanced Workflow Diagram," in blue and yellow) available on the course shell in Doc Sharing and given to you as a handout. This is a more advanced version of Workflow 1. It gives even more detail on how to Collect, Process, Organize, Review, and Do all your life’s activities. Notice that at the bottom, it also gives twelve very useful strategies for how to eliminate the stress you feel when you are disorganized or overworked. If you want to try GTD, put this flowchart on your wall as well.
Write a paragraph on your impression of Flowchart 2. Does it confuse you to look at, or does it seem pretty logical? Does it leave anything out that you can think of? Does it have too much or too little detail? Does it inspire you to want to try the GTD system, or turn you off? (1 paragraph)Write here…3. Advice: Simplest, Fastest GTD System of All. If you want to use GTD on a computer (laptop, home computer, smart phone) instead of in your PF wiki, here's how you can use it. “Reference” becomes whatever filing system you already use on your computer, such as the Notes section in your Address books on your email program, the folders on your hard drive, etc. Install Google Desktop (a very fast and free search program), and all your computer files become searchable Reference material. One good advantage of using GTD on a computer (I use it on my laptop) is that the pages save and open very fast, especially if you are using a fast word processing program (Word Pad, for example, is much faster opening and closing than Microsoft Word). Another advantage is that you can set the margins for your Next Actions page as wide as you want. I set mine to 15 inches. That way each Task/Next Action that you have to describe can fit on ONE LINE, in readable 12 point type. If you need to rearrange / reprioritize your Tasks during or at the end of your day, and cross out Tasks you’ve done, it’s very easy and fast to cut, move, and paste your Tasks because they are each on a single line. That makes your Tasks/Next Actions page so simple and fast that you can use it very easily and frequently throughout the day.
No writing required for this item, just read and consider it.Ready to start using this wiki page for your personal Tasks/Next Actions in your busy day? Go ahead and start writing them at the top of this page once you've finished these assignments. May you have a happy, peaceful and productive future! All material on this wiki is open source, creative commons licensed. Feel free to use any portion of this with appropriate attribution to "University of Advancing Technology, Foresight Development curriculum."