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anyone out there done Mission Control? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
ok - I've been participating in this forum and there are clearly a lots of folks who've done GTD.

My primary reason for evaluating OF to is combine the strengths of GTD and Mission Control. I hope this brings some context to why I am using OF in an what may occur as an unconventional way.

for the record, I've been doing my best to round up thoughts on this thread in the GTD Forum to bridge the two works for quite some time now. I'm really happy OmniFocus appears to be the tool to bring a fused implementation in the right direction!

Anybody else out there in Omni-land calling Mission Control? :)
 
I looked at their website and it seems to be very vague about what the system involves; to find out more, you have to buy a course. If it hadn't been for Merlin Mann's free blog, I would probably never have plunked down my $12 for a copy of David Allen's Getting Things Done: Merlin's posts told me enough about GTD to make me decide it was worthwhile.

After a bit more googling around I found a couple useful articles here and here.

On skimming them, it seems that the advantage of Mission Control over GTD is that it encourages you to think more about overall time commitments: what is possible to do in the time you have available and what your relative priorities are. I can see the virtues of both of those. I don't think I need the granularity that Mission Control emphasizes (or appears to emphasize, based on those summaries), but I can see how it might be very useful to some people. Personally, I try to allocate a certain proportion of my time to each of my areas of responsibility, and to focus on those on certain days and times (sometimes with OmniFocus's Focus command, sometimes less rigidly), while recognizing that emergencies and seasonal rhythms might change my allocation. (Example: I'm a college professor, and my balance between teaching, administration, and research shifts dramatically during the summer.)

Since you have investigated Mission Control more deeply than I have, could you let me (and the rest of the forum's readers) know whether there are additional emphases of the Mission Control approach, and whether you think the courses are worth the US $150-300 that the online courses cost?
 
Hopefully I'm not taking this off on a tangent, but I've found that I can manage time commitments reasonably well within the GTD paradigm. If I'm feeling pressed by too many commitments, I'll invest some time in a monthly review estimating how much time my various active projects will probably take. These estimates give me the information that I need to renegotiate some commitments and put some projects on hold.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
thanks for the CNN article! that was a good read!

I can vouch for the language of "accomplishment" - it really works well and something I am actively integrating back into GTD. something else I hear in the article that I think is key is the "scheduling" bit.

I go back and forth about it cuz I will admit, I don't want to be "dominated" by my calendar and thus that's why David Allen's method of contexts is so appealing. It feels refreshing to get "organized" and have your lists in place. But just like a operating system (come on, we're all geeks at the end of the day :) we are faced with a reality that these next actions must occur in time and this is what Mission Control emphasizes and more importantly not so much the mechanics but the mindset you have to be in to be effective at it. I will admit, I still feel halfway between MC and GTD and just committed to making in work regardless of the methodology.

The controversial bit that I'd like to debate is whether there is a limit to one's ability to process your context lists on the fly and only schedule day-specific next actions. I think there is and might be wrong.

ok - so I can't vouch for the online courses - I've only completed the face-to-face one in Bangkok. I updated the thread I pointed to in my last post here about 2 weeks ago.

Is the course worth it - yes. was it a pretty penny - it certainly was!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
If I'm feeling pressed by too many commitments, I'll invest some time in a monthly review estimating how much time my various active projects will probably take. These estimates give me the information that I need to renegotiate some commitments and put some projects on hold.
hey - this is great advice - I'll keep this in mind - I've invested quite a bit of time over the last week getting my OF implementation in place and put as many projects "on hold" as I could on the fly in the process.

I was considering rather than on a project by project basis. Estimating how long each of my action contexts would take to complete with an intent to block out time for many (if not all) of them and trying this approach.

yes, this might be a bit of a tangent - is there another thread out there on scheduling once you've completed phase 3 - organizing?
 
Reading the article by Matthew Cornell that brianogilvie linked to, it reminded me of a scheduling-esque thing that I do with OF, which is to schedule specific time to clear out those sets of actions that I discover I've avoided during weekly review. For example, I'll figure out that clearing out my least-favorite context will take four hours; I'll schedule the time for the next day or the day after to do that and that only. Some other typical areas that I have scheduled specific time are things that have been in OF for over a month, in whatever context; my favorite context to work on (which I ordinarily feel guilty about working on); my oldest projects; et.c. et.c.

Doing that kind of scheduling may make this Mission Control or whatever more useful because you don't have to schedule in like 20 10 minute gaps in a day, you can schedule in one or two or three areas or perspectives in OF, for which each action may take a little more or less time than you expected, and probably you'll end up having more done.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
you can schedule in one or two or three areas or perspectives in OF, for which each action may take a little more or less time than you expected, and probably you'll end up having more done.
yes - this is exactly what I want to experiment with! though can tell at 2:30pm on a monday, i'm resisting and can give this up ;-P
 
Hi Folks,

I wrote the article brianogilvie linked to comparing Mission Control and GTD (thanks!), and I wanted to chime in on the discussion.

> whether you think the courses are worth the US $150-300 that the online courses cost?

I'd ask what's currently holding you back in your practice that makes you want to take some training. Have you been practicing GTD? What parts aren't working well for you? What have you tried to fix them? (If you have specific questions, please email me at info@matthewcornell.org so I don't miss them here.)

> whether there is a limit to one's ability to process your context lists on the fly and only schedule day-specific next actions

I definitely think there's a limit. In fact, I identified that as one of the 10 GTD "holes".

After some further study and self-experimentation I'm now teaching all clients a daily planning variation that's compatible with GTD and the like. This gets around the problem (and overwhelm) of looking through long action lists multiple times throughout the day. I find it's a nice tool for making solid progress, and helps gain a bit of the perspective David Allen is shooting for with his idea of a weekly review.

More here if you're interested: A Daily Planning Experiment: Two Weeks Of Accountable Rigorous Action.

> schedule specific time to clear out those sets of actions that I discover I've avoided during weekly review

I think this is a terrific idea. Julie Morgenstern calls these "Time Maps," and they're a good practice. My clients use them for making time for types of activities like planning, reading, and MBWA (e.g., here).

> I can vouch for the language of "accomplishment"

For me this *really* got in the way of adopting the work. It had a strong cultish flavor to it (again, this is my reaction to it) which I'm told comes from its Landmark Forum connections. Bugged the hell out of me, though the facilitators thought that was fine - good, in fact. Language *is* important, though...

> schedule every single action

Since my writing, I've not gone all the way and tried this extreme step. Up until this step, MC and GTD have a very high degree of overlap. As mentioned above, they diverge here - MC says schedule it all, and GTD says keep the list. My daily list approach is a compromise that works for me.

Hope that helps!

(Sidebar: I *tried* to adopt OF - really hard, in fact. But I simply couldn't wrap my head around it. Yes, I gave it time, but it wasn't a good mental fit. This is ironic since I teach this stuff. Very cool tool, though. I have clients who are really productivity with it.)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornell View Post
I wrote the article brianogilvie linked to comparing Mission Control and GTD (thanks!), and I wanted to chime in on the discussion.

> whether you think the courses are worth the US $150-300 that the online courses cost?

I'd ask what's currently holding you back in your practice that makes you want to take some training. Have you been practicing GTD? What parts aren't working well for you? What have you tried to fix them? (If you have specific questions, please email me at info@matthewcornell.org so I don't miss them here.)
Thanks for the article! Personally I find a loose implementation of GTD, using OmniFocus, just fine for my purposes. The part I have found most transformative is the regular review process, because it gives me the information about my commitments that I need to effectively choose what to do at any given moment.

I like to procrastinate by reading about productivity, though. I think of it as cutting bait or sharpening the tools. :-)

And I agree with the philosopher Richard Watson, who observed in his book The Philosopher's Diet that most diet books, once you get beyond their gimmick, give the same advice: eat less and exercise more. But, Watson continued, it's OK to keep buying and reading them, because they are not so much advice as they are inspirational literature.
 
Hey matt - thanks for joining the conversation! I enjoyed your links and commented as relevant - i really applaud you for getting on the accountability partner bandwagon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornell View Post
> I can vouch for the language of "accomplishment"

For me this *really* got in the way of adopting the work.
hmm...you'll have to expand on this more a bit. I just finished David Allen's "Ready for Anything" and just checked out his Advanced Workflow template. I was really glad to see he makes specific mention of "Describe in past tense" and I can't find the specific chapter now but was really happy he has since adopted the language of accomplishments since I took his workshop in 2003! (either that or I wasn't paying attention :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornell View Post
(Sidebar: I *tried* to adopt OF - really hard, in fact. But I simply couldn't wrap my head around it. Yes, I gave it time, but it wasn't a good mental fit. This is ironic since I teach this stuff. Very cool tool, though. I have clients who are really productivity with it.)
Let me know how we can help - I think I've got a good mix of GTD, MC, and some of the communication curriculum principles in my OF implementation. Futher down the line, I look forward in incorporating the Franklin-Covey compass idea (ie. roles) other community members seem to have success with!
 
 


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