September 2012 Archives

Discovering Zen To Done (ZTD)

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I jumped to this article from a Chronicle of Higher Education piece about how to defer tasks effectively in the Getting Things Done (GTD) framework. I have been trying to implement GTD thinking in my task management, having read David Allen's book some years ago while I was still working in higher-ed administration. I use Things on my laptop and on my mobile device (nice cloud syncing in the latest version!), so my tools are designed for use with this way of thinking.

One of the commenters on the deferring article mentioned ZTD as his go-to system now, so I had a quick look. It does seem to retain most of the central organizational thinking with a bit more practical advice on how to implement the "focus" element of GTD that can be difficult to remember to include. So much of what I do with Things, for instance, has to do with the capture, categorizing, and scheduling end of the tasks ("if not now, when? and can I determine a 'when' when I don't know when I can do it?") that keeping the big picture in mind (even with the Project focus) is tricky. (And don't get me started on the "Someday" basket . . .)

The Zen To Done modifications seem pretty useful. I think I'll put "reading more about ZTD" into Things, so I can figure out how and when I will get around to implementing them effectively...  Now, onward to reaching the Zero Inbox state of bliss.

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