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Messages - brownstudy [ switch to compact view ]

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26
Here is one thing that troubles me about GED.
In GED, Forster recommends to do small time slots for different tasks, and rotate them. E.g., 5 min task X, 5 min task Y, 5 min task Z..

I typically use this strategy when I get back from vacation and have piles of postal mail, email, and assorted cleanup tasks to do, but the thought of spending hours tackling any one of them makes my insides dreary. So that's when I set one of my Palm timers to the 5x5x5, 10x10x10, 15x15x15, etc. pattern. Switching from one activity to the next adds a little more novelty to the game and I don't get bored as quickly. I also use the GTD precept of 2 minutes or less for these tasks. I segregate longer tasks as separate projects to be done later. But that's part of the processing.

27
I'll write a Word macro or Macro Express macro if I find myself doing the same thing repeatedly, but I tend not to put all that machinery in motion for a one-off document.

Thomas Limoncelli in his book "Time Management for System Administrators" has a great breakdown of when to automate:

You should do manually simple things done once.
You should automate hard things done once or simple things done often.
You shuld buy or write software or outsource for hard things done often.

Other ideas from his book on this topic:
  • Repeatability means I can do something consistently many times (like configuring new machiens with the same software).
  • Automation can replace the need to memorize something complicated that is done rarely. (like command-line options)
  • Scalability. The process can work as the network grows.
  • Automation can replace error-prone procedures (again, like command-line options).

He has a whole chapter on "How to automate" in his book. Good stuff.

28
I agree that Mark's ideas have developed over the years. If I happen to have a ton of small tasks to do, I might pull out some of his tricks from the first book. Lately, I've very much liked using DIT as a way to structure my workday and to handle tasks that come at me throughout the day but that are not urgent. I find that his notion of urgency works very well for me.

I would disagree about DIT negating HTMYDCT. I view DIT as the "runway "doing" level whereas HTMYDCT would be the 50,000 foot "thinking, goal-setting" level, if I may mix GTD/DIT metaphors. I still use the techniques in DREAMS to coach myself at my job, generate ideas, and do "longer thinking", whereas DIT helps me navigate the short and medium term.  It's the difference between using a microscope (DIT) and using a telescope (DREAMS), it seems to me.

I find great value in his latter two books, but don't refer to the first book as much.

I too would be interested in how he tracks his self-experiments, how he uses the DREAMS technique nowadays, and his thoughts on how thinking and doing require two different frames of mind to be effective.

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