If you’ve read David Allen’s book Getting Things Done and you’re familiar with his methodology, you might be interested in using Time Doctor as your Getting Things Done app.
If you are not familiar with the book, read it! The techniques he describes for time management are very effective and the book has certainly helped me shape my thinking and improve my productivity.
Organizing your tasks into different lists
A key feature of any app for Getting Things Done, or GTD, is to organize your tasks into different lists.
You can easily do this in Time Doctor by creating folders.
This only works in the Time Doctor Tasks version, so you will want to download that version if you are looking for a GTD app.
You can download it on the download page here:
This shows you how Time Doctor Tasks organizes different lists (or folders):
Are your to-do’s ready for you to take action now?
A key component of the Getting Things Done methodology is that every to-do item on your list should be ready for you to take action. You shouldn’t mix items that are ready for action and other items where you’re waiting for a response from someone, for example. This is critically important for your “High Priority” list on Time Doctor. If you pollute your High Priority list with items that you cannot take action on right now, then there will be some mental resistance to dealing with the list.
As soon as you think of something you need to do, write it down!
This is another key feature of any Getting Things Done app. As soon as you think of something that you want to get done, you need to write it down in the app. Get it out of your head and organized. David Allen describes in his books why this is so important, but the gist of the idea is that if you don’t write it down it’s going to keep percolating in your mind. If you get it out of your head and can trust your system to keep it documented for later, your mind will be clear and free to focus fully on whatever you need to be doing.
The Time Doctor mobile app can help with this. If you think of something you need to do when on the go you can write it down quickly in your Time Doctor mobile app.
Have you created these lists on Time Doctor?
If you’re using Time Doctor as a Getting Things Done app you’ll want to consider creating these lists:
- Waiting for – This is a list of tasks that are waiting for action from someone else. The reason for creating this list is that sometimes people need to be followed up with. A list of these items will help you to remember to follow up on these tasks. If there is a specific date that you need to follow up, you can put this in your calendar instead of in your “Waiting For” list. But for items that don’t require a follow up on a specific date, a “Waiting for” list in Time Doctor works very well.
- On hold – This is a list of tasks that you are putting on hold for whatever reason and would like to come back and re-examine these tasks in a week or so. The reason this list is important is that sometimes you have some action items that you would still like to accomplish, but you can’t really get started on them yet. If you keep these items in your to-do list they will create mental clutter.
- Lists of discussion topics for meetings – This includes not only topics for pre-arranged group meetings, but any topics that you need to remember to discuss with anyone. If you have a few things you need to discuss with a certain person but you can’t do so immediately, then add those items to a Time Doctor folder just for that person.
- Lists for different contexts – Contexts are a concept that David Allen talks about which means mostly the location where you can do that work. For example a context is “in front of your computer”, or other contexts would be your local shopping center or your home. By arranging tasks by context, it’ll be easy to know and remember what you should be doing wherever you are.