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?

Chris Brogan has a lot to answer for!

I’ve been following Chris Brogan’s writing for a while now and at the start of the year he announced his annual 3 words for the year. Most years I will have New Year’s resolutions or set goals or have intentions. Something about Chris’s three words made sense to me and so I thought that I give it a go.

The words I chose to guide my actions for the year were – healthy, minimalist, creative. More about the choice here.

While I’ve been working on all of these things simultaneously, I’ve put a lot of my energy into getting healthy. My reasoning for this being that the healthier you are the more energy you have for other things in your life. For me being healthy was a simple as choosing to eat appropriate amounts of the right foods and to work daily on mobility, strength and conditioning.

I made small changes incrementally over a period of a couple of months, once each new thing became easy I added the next thing, until I was eating right and moving every day. Not only did the changes that I made stick but I’ve lost a noticeable amount of weight and have more energy than I’ve had in a very long time.

While I hesitate to say that I’m on autopilot with my health program, I think that it is fair to say that I have a good workable plan that I’ve integrated into my day. I’m now ready to move on and bring the approach that I’ve used to sort my health out to the other two words for the year. More about that in coming posts.

So thank you Chris for providing a framework that helped jump start my action!