View Single Post
Without reading the book you will probably keep asking the 'wrong' questions on this forum, which means we can't help you much :)

Your example above is the kind of list that used to have me feeling overwhelmed and do nothing. Lots of stuff there that can happen simultaneously, mixed with other things that probably need to be done in a certain order.

One thing I CAN say about your example is that the way it is laid out gives you too much to look at at doesn't help you focus on the NEXT ACTION you have to take. I know it's only a very rough example you have given, but it shows you haven't read the book :)

Put simply:

1. Stop calling things tasks and start calling them 'next actions' (you will see NA a lot on these boards). It will get you in the frame of mind that EVERTHING must lead to the next action you must do to accomplish something, and if there is no next action, it is done.

2. If there is no 'next action' for something you need to do, it is quite simply a single action and can go in a list of other single actions that don't seem to need a sequence.

3. If something you want to do can easily create more than one next action it is called a project. A project is a sequence of next actions. The project is finished when all the actions done it in are finished. Unlike traditional projects which people normally think off as pretty big like 'Fix House', projects in GTD can be very small. The point of this is to create very small actions in an attempt to break down everything into easy to digest actions to prevent you feeling overwhelmed.

Now also there is the idea of contexts which you also haven't mentioned. In GTD, a next action can be part of an overall project, but also a context. You may be phoning someone about a fridge (@phone) or going to look at a fridge (@shops) or even researching about fridges on the internet (@computer) - these are all part of the same project but each requires you to be in a different place or mode of working. The idea of OF and GTD is for you to mark which context each actions falls into, so that you can sort the data depending on where you are or what mode you're in.

I could go on. And on. But I thought I'd give you a very quick overview on GTD and OF and now tell you to go and read the book :)