Getting Things Done – the book – part 10

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

A compilation of practical tips and techniques for project planning

Although these suggestions are all based on common sense, they’re not followed by most people nearly as frequently as they could be.David Allen

David Allen has a very broad definition for projects – any desired result that can be accomplished within a year that requires more than one action step. Thus, the most basic task (e.g., having dinner outside) may become a project because there is more than one step involved (e.g., choosing a restaurant and calling for a reservation). Fortunately, these projects do not need any kind of front-end planning, other than the sort you do in your head, quickly and naturally, to come up with a next action on them. However, according to the author, two types of projects deserve some sort of planning activity:

  • those that still have your attention even after you’ve determined their next actions, and
  • those about which potentially useful ideas and supportive detail just show up ad hoc.

For the former, you’ll need a more specific application of one or more of the other four phases of the natural planning model: purpose and principles, vision/outcome, brainstorming, and/or organizing (see part 3). And, you should give yourself a block of time, ideally between one and three hours, to handle as much of the vertical thinking about each project as you can. For the latter, you just need to have an appropriate place into which these associated ideas can be captured, namely your capture system.

Much as a good pen and paper in front of you support brainstorming, having good tools and places for organizing project details facilitates the more linear planning that many projects need.David Allen

That’s it. This chapter is rather empty, indeed.

To be continued…

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