Getting things done …


My mental view of the “GTD” algorithm.

Just read a couple of pages of David Allens “Getting things done” today.

It captured my attention immediately. I’m a big fan of The Pomodoro Technique, and have practised it for some years now, but even so the ideas presented just in the introductory chapter of Getting things done resonated so well with my mind I decided to do what I do when I feel inspired – draw an image.

Here is the result, and an explanation…

At the heart is the “project” – which is something you want to do, that keeps lurking in the back of your mind. It was labelled “inner commitment” in the book. So David asks the reader to think about the goal of that project – why is it important to me? – and write it down, the goal of the project. The Project and Goal areas are for that – the Heart representing some emotion, some urge from inside. By the Goal I’ve put an Eye, to represent the vision of a completed project – what it means to be completed, what is the concrete result of it. A vision if you like. Next up is the “Next step” area – symbolized by a footprint – figuring out what the next step to reach the goal is, and again jot it down, express it, on the appropriate Contextual to do list. The context is some place you spend time in: on train, by work computer, by home computer, in front of TV, in bed, …

Inspired by the simplicity of the approach, I tried applying it to a “project” I had in my head – removing the stabilizers from my daughters bike. It was consuming a lot of my mental energy during the day, since I had promised her to get the appropriate tool for the job before getting home from work. I had looked around the office and not could not find a wrench, so I was a bit worried about not being able to reach the promise.

So I tried the G.T.D model on the project.

1. Project: remove stabilizers from daughters bike

2. Goal: see her happily biking in the park, without the stabilizers

3. Next step: I had already tried the “find wrench at work” approach, and I didn’t really have the time to shop a wrench during the day, so I figured “I could just check if the bike shop is open long enough to fix this after work”.

4. Context: By work computer.

Not many minutes after coming to this obvious solution, I had found out that the shop was actually open long enough, and now the bike is free from stabilizers. However, my daughter is still not bicycling without them in the park, so I guess the “Next step” is practice with her 🙂



4 thoughts on “Getting things done …

  1. Pingback: Choosing GTD software | Voice Steam

  2. Pingback: More on GTD | Voice Steam

  3. Pingback: G.T.D. weekly review of system | Voice Steam

  4. Pingback: Trusting my GTD system | Voice Steam

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