Saturday, January 24, 2009

GTD Lists

One of the pillars of David Allen's GTD (Getting Things Done) is making use of contextual specific lists such as "@ grocery store","calls", and "errands". By having lists ready for routine situations that you find yourself in, you can make better use of those situations and get more done.

By having your lists for the situations that you find yourself in often, you're able to plan ahead using your "smarter self" for those times when your thoughts are scattered and unfocused. So besides deciding on what you want to do, you'll want to have a look at common situations that you find yourself in where you could utilize a list. Here are some of the lists that you might find useful.

@grocery store- This is the remember the milk list. How many times have you forgotten something that you needed to buy at the store

@read- These can be books, articles, and other things that you've wanted to read.

@errands- These are the places that you need to go and what need to do there or to buy there. Do you need to pick up some paint at Home Depot?

@emails- Are there some email that you need to write? If you can collect group some together then you can get into an email zone and crank them out.

@agendas- Have you ran into someone and wanted to talk to them about something but couldn't remember what? This would be a list with people like your boss, family members, friends, and so on and as you think of things that you want to talk about with each person you can note it.

@calls- If you have a group of calls that you can make when you have a little time, then you can make use of that time that you feel like talking. This can be handy if you're off at a meeting and have a little spare time, or maybe at the airport (provided the noise level is manageable!)

@next action- This is a core principle of GTD, but knowing what your next action is for your various projects, you can continue to progress them.

@computer- These are tasks that you need to do at your computer. This is particularly relevant if you spend a lot of time away from your pc or laptop.

@waiting- These are the tasks that you've delegated and/or need something from someone.

@music- Is there a CD that you wanted to buy or maybe a band that you wanted to check out?

@movies/video- If you go to video store, you might have a particular video in mind, but maybe there are some movies that you've wanted to see for a while, if you have your list you can be sure to pick up something from your list, when the movie you were looking for is checked out. I finally got around to watching the Godfather Trilogy over Christmas.

@road- If you travel a lot, you might find that it is harder to work on the road, these are things that you might wish to do instead of channel surfing in your hotel room.

@line- We spend a lot of time in lines or waiting (i.e those doctor visits), why not make use of some of this time?

@social networks- Have you ever been at one of the social networks and wanted to do something but found yourself drawn away from what you intended to do? By having some definite items in mind you can accomplish something in the time that you spend there.

@cleaning/organizing- By knowing what you need to clean, you're not as likely to forget to do it. Maybe you've been wanting to organise your stuff in the garage (or maybe just get rid of some of it!)

These lists can get you started, but you'll want to think about the situations that you often find yourself in to maximise your list. And remember that you don't want your lists to become too many and unmanageable. Are there any other lists that you're keeping, I'd love to hear about them, why share them in the comment section?

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