One of the weekdays , there was a surprise visit from my undergrad friend, Sendil . Was very anxious to meet him as it was more than 6 years since I had any talk with him. He later called me up and said he would be late by half hour. The next best thing to do was for me to do was browse through Gangarams book store , where I chanced upon " Getting Things Done" , a book which remained in the national best seller’s list for a long time. I for one totally believe that disciplined and systematic life would go a long way in becoming a happy man.Though I became JIT(Just in time ) person for the last 2 years or so, I am slowly going back to MRP+JIT system which makes life easier and simpler.
The book starts off saying that each one of us has innumerable commitments and most of them stay in our heads rather than as a system in the external world, which can help us meet those commitments.Hence to begin with managing commitments means
1. Anything outside the mind must be captured in a trusted outside system
2. Clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide the next few steps
3. Put a reminder service in place so that you are constantly aware of the same.
The basic premise of the book is "Key to managing all your stuff is managing actions". The author goes on to explain a 5 step methodology to manage actions.
1. Collect things that command our attention
2. Process what they mean and what to do about them
3. Organize the results
4. Review as options for what we choose to
5. Do the tasks
The take away from the book is to maintain the following the lists:
1. "Projects" list
2. Project Support material
3."Calendar action" list
4."Next action" lists
5."Waiting For" lists
6.Someday/May be list
Before reading the book, I was a believer of daily to-do list. However, post GTD read, I have set aside few hours today to revamp my personal scheduling system .I am now using Basecamp,Backpackit, Mozilla Calendar, Sage to manage my tasks, schedule, feeds .I did spend quite sometime in getting a online GTD system at one place, but I realized that there is no one comprehensive GTD system in place as of now..Many people have tried a wiki approach, task management sites, but none come close to GTD. Hey, its a nice opportunity for anyone to come up with a GTD service and push it as a free service. With the amount of buzz on GTD, lot of people will lap the service .
To summarize here are 2 flow charts which describes the actions: