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Completely stuck with creative tasks Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I've been trying to implement a gtd and omnifocus workflow for a while now. While I've found it works wonderfully for general types of tasks with easily definable completion criteria I have issues when it comes to creative projects.

Doing graphic design this has always been a struggle but with gtd it becomes much more apparent. The problem is trying to decide when a certain action is complete. With the action "ideate template" it's hard to decide when the design or action is at a certain point to move on. This roadblock has to do with the thought that something can always be improved. Having a deadline doesn't help much because it requires looking forward at the completion of the entire project rather than a single action.

I suppose the best thing to do would be to implement personal deadlines for certain aspects of the design phase, but there's still the difficulty of deciding how long something should take.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone has any advice for how to deal with tasks or projects without easily defined completion criteria. This is the single biggest block in my gtd system right now.

I think you may be feeling the same thing I'm feeling, that when you focus on one thing that you're doing, it can give you the opportunity to put all of your perfectionism into that one task, and it takes you too long.

One idea that I sometimes use to get around that problem is to define at the start how good I want the task to be at the start. In other words, if I want all my ideas on the page, I'll write my task like that. Then, I'll stick with the action until I've gotten all of my ideas on the page. Or, I might say that I am writing such and such to be draft quality; then I will only write it to draft quality. I think that's better than setting deadlines or time limits though, because I think looking at the clock or the calendar is distracting. Also, when the work that I'm doing sparks ideas, I jot them into the quick entry window and either collect them in the inbox or arrange my project so that tasks added to the bottom are blocked (so that my half-baked ideas aren't blocking up my plans). That is kind of the outlet for my off-task creativity.

I've found that a lot of times, GTD/OF doesn't really make my work go faster. But, if it's not going faster, the higher focus makes that time produce much higher quality work.
I'm am a programmer and a musician and both have that same issue. I struggled with it for a long time and I thought it was frustrating and inspiration sapping to try to pre-define my creative work. Then one day I read a post somewhere that stated something like this....

"The next action is meant to capture where you left off so you don't lose your place. Next actions move so fast that it is next to impossible to list them all as you go."

So given that, now I make a project for the creative thing (for example: Learn Paso Doble) so I know I have something that needs to be completed. I practice the music and then I stop to do other things. I know the next thing I have to do is read through the last page of the piece so I make a next action "Read through the last page of Paso Doble" (Context of "Home" because I practice at home) in my "Learn Paso Doble" project and I'm all good.

When I come back to read the last page, I may go much further and work on technique and all kinds of other things not on my list. Again, when I'm done, I think about what I need to do next and put it on my list.

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