A thought provoking post on Jason’s rantings on the theme of Getting the Right Things Done, which does makes one reflect on one’s own implementation of GTD.
I however have some reservations about part of Jason’s interpretation, especially when he writes: “To me, there is no forward look as to where we are heading – it is focused on getting the items right in front of us processed, categorized, and completed. We never stop to think that we have the “ladder against the right wall”.
I would like to believe that it is what the “The Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work” (ie 50,000+ feet, 40,000 feet, 20,000 feet, 10,000 feet, and runway) is there for (see GTD, chapter 9, pp. 200-209). Whilst Covey works from the top-down, Allen is working from the bottom up.
In the chapter about “Reviewing keeping your system functional”, David Allen has a section on “The ‘Bigger Picture’ Reviews”, in which he writes: “Yes, at some point you must clarify the larger outcomes, the long-term goals, the visions and the principles that ultimately drive and test your decisions.” Later he also make plain that “The explicit focus of this book is not at those “30,000-” to “50,000+ -foot levels. Urging you to operate from a higher perspective is, however, its implicit purpose – to assist you in making your total life expression more fulfilling and better aligned with the bigger game we’re all about.
At a practical level, using mindmapping for my current implementation of GTD proves very effective. I started by using a Freemind for my implementation, but I am currently using MindManager, as I am beta-testing MindManager for the Mac.
He are a few screenshots of my implementation using Freemind: A larger version of each is available on www.flick.com. Please click on the picture to see it.