I recently read few discussions on the GTD Forums and came across a dabate around planning a day.
There is strong argument suggesting that planning days and weeks is best approach to make progress on large and important itmes that may otherwise may drown in the pool of small actions. “If it’s schedules it get done” goes the mantra. This approach does not apper to tie very well with GTDs more opportunistic model which looks at context, time, energy, priority to make decision about next task. In effect you “crank the widgets” and male small amounts of progress on many different projects.
The discussion was quite interesting and one more prolific GTD advocates – Testeq – made excelent comment pointing to projects as key reference points in daily and weekly planning.
What about making your day-planning decisions more Project/StandaloneNextAction oriented than context oriented? I mean: don’t look at your at-work context to choose next actions but rather look at your active Project list to choose projects you want to make progress and change contexts to reach your goals. GTD contexts may hurt your productivity and motivation.
When planning a day or a week moving up a level to projectes or a big next action really makes GTD much more intentional. It also helps to address some of the valid criticism raised by Cal Newport. Adding to calendar block of time to spend on a specific project and its next actions can increase focus and chances of making good progress.
This is excellent suggestion for those who may be overwhelmed by the volume of items on next action lists.