How to Develop a Bias for Action

Having used the GTD methodology for a number of years now, one of the things that I’ve come to realise is that, for me at least, I need something else in addition to the the well curated lists to keep my projects moving forward.

Starting very simply I asked the question what three things need to happen this week for it to be a good week?

It turns out that this time horizon is a good one for me. Asking a variant of this question daily leads me to struggling to fill the three slots – there’s usually one thing that I really need to do on any given day, other things are nice to get finished. Longer time horizons are easier since many of the projects that I’m involved with I have goals, gannt charts, and discrete milestones. Well crafted project plans make life very easy indeed.

What I’ve found to be crucial to make this system work is that I review my lists on a weekly basis, usually a Friday. This weekly review is an essential component of the GTD methodology and also provides an opportunity to see what of my three things I actually got done. For those things that I didn’t get done this is a good time to answer why not and take those lessons on board for future weeks.

How about you? What three things do you need to complete in the coming week to be able to consider it successful?

2 Replies to “How to Develop a Bias for Action”

  1. I have never heard of the GTD system. It sounds amazingly simple. My three things for the week are:
    1) To send out the homework assignment to my freelance client that I promised – before our Tuesday meeting.
    2) Write for at least 5 hours on MY projects, not freelance
    3) Get a solid outline for my book written by the end of the week

    1. Good going! Don’t forget to think about next actions for some of these goals that might need them. For instance ‘write for at least 5 hours’ could mean blocking off time on the calendar to make sure that other things don’t suck up available time.

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