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“Doing”, with GTD Lite

Good morning. Previously I presented a new streamlined version of the popular Getting Things Done(GTD) approach. In that post I outlined how to get your stuff into the system to enable one to have an uncluttered mind capable of focusing on the task at hand.

In this post I outline how to select that task at hand using the system I have outlined. If you read literature on this topic you will see there are copious methods how to derive which tasks to do at any given time. To name but a few,

  • Selection based on priority, whether it be ABDE, P1/P2/P3 etc.
  • Selection of the task that adds most to the results
  • Selection of the task that suits
    • The time you have available
    • The context
    • The energy you have available o your best time of the day
  • The most important tasks, the frog so to speak
  • When the work is scheduled to be done

In short there are many options on how to do this. The issue that I have many of them is that they often require forethought at the point of task entry, processing of them after task entry or review at the point of doing to determine the priority, contexts, dates etc. That takes time. With my system, the only consideration is when is the task needed. This makes both entering the task into the appropriate list quick and easy and also the ability to derive a daily hit list of tasks quick and easy. Previously I dealt with the entering of the tasks into the list. Let’s now consider a work flow for deriving which task to do on any given day.

Doing GTD Lite

Let’s go through each step.

Step 1: Drink a coffee. Nothing is gonna happen without this. So, lets get off on the right foot. I recommend nespresso.

Step 2: Most task management apps worth their salt will have such an in built function, use it.

Step 3: View together the shortlisted scheduled tasks and ASAP tasks so you can see what are the tasks of immediate importance. For me, I would also associate ASAP tasks with Urgent and Scheduled tasks with Important. This addresses the age old discussion on what the focus should be. With this system, you get the important tasks that are of immediate concern plus the urgent tasks together.

Step 4: Of that shortlist, flag the items you are going to target that day.

Step 5: Filter again, this time by flag. So, this will remove all tasks that are not the focus for today out of view so you will not be distracted from your newly created hit list.

I will show with the help of Abstractspoon todolist how this can be done in practice. Let’s say we start with the task list below with all tasks entered.

Initial task List

Applying Step 2 and viewing Step 3 we get something like this.

Step 2 Filter scheduled tasks

Then we select those tasks to target for today, Step 4.

Step 4 Flag tasks

Finally filter by flag, Step5, to get an uncluttered hot list to focus on for that day.

Filter by flag

So, there you have it. Let me know if this has been helpful.

Brendan Toner

Let me welcome you to this alcove of the internet. In this little productivity blog, I detail the trials and tribulations of trying to use my time more effectively utilising the latest productivity tools and techniques. I hope you enjoy the articles, cheers! Brendan Toner, author of Done Before Brekky

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