ODR 002 – GTD Redux – Opportunities, Time, & Future Selves [Part 2/x]

A few years ago, I put out a podcast on Getting Things Done–people seemed to really like discussing this topic. I am giving a lecture on this subject this week. It has gotten me thinking about some of the higher level aspects of GTD and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Deciding on Opportunities

Present you vs. future you

Petrie Triangle

Matt Davella’s Yes? Checklist

Here’s mine if you want to use or edit it for yourself… Should I Say Yes?
☑️ Does it excite the hell out of me?
☑️ Would I do this regardless of money?
☑️ What will I have to give up to do this?
☑️ Will it contribute beyond myself?
☑️ Will I grow from this experience?
☑️ Will I regret not doing it?

Time Tracking/Forecasting

Opportunity Cost

Deciding on Goals

Deep Work

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Time Blocking

Pomodoro technique

creator’s website

Getting Tactical re: Email

  • Put the call to action up top
  • Preempt the back-and-forths
  • doodle.com
  • Close the loop beforehand
  • Ask one ?, make it easy, and make sure it is not web-searchable/already answered

Resus Fellowship

Click Here for More Info on the Stony Brook Resus Fellowship

Now on to the Podcast…

18 thoughts on “ODR 002 – GTD Redux – Opportunities, Time, & Future Selves [Part 2/x]”

  1. Hi Scott !
    Thanks for sharing those useful tips ! Can’t wait to read “Deep Work”.
    I learned from GTD on your blog 3 years ago, it has totally changed my life. The benefits goes far beyond “be more productive at work” , it makes you fully engage in all aspects of your life.

    The biggest game changer for me in GTD this year is this blog post : A Fresh Take on Contexts

    When David Allen created the GTD methodology, it was in an era where you couldn’t “work on your computer” while “being on a bus” . So he defined this idea of context, you should do computer related task in an environment where you have access to a computer. In 2017, with our smartphone, we have access to everything, all the time. Sven Fechner proposed the idea that Time and Energy are the new limiting factors in getting things done.

    He proposed a set of updated contexts reflecting our current level of time and energy. :

    I think it’s absolutely brilliant, you are at the end of the day exhausted ? Look at your “braindead task”, Waiting for a call in 15min and feeling good, go for “short dashes”, Full of caffeine with your tomato timer 🙂 ? Look at your “full focus task” or deep work stuff ..
    It helps me staying productive when i feel there’s no way i can engage in deep work stuff.

    Thanks you so much for making me discover GTD


  2. Scott. not to waste your time, but this is a super cool pod.
    1. reanimate was one of the best things i ever did
    2. looking forward to Laura’s appearance
    3. hope to see you in NYC in January.

    thank you.

  3. Bill Worthington

    Loved GTD #209 especially the bit about email and state your request up front. We use that in the military, we call it the BLUF Bottom Line Up Front. The request or important part is right up frony the rest is the details. Looking forward to the next GTD.

  4. Lol Scott.
    First you have a Merlion in your post (last week) and now you mention Singapore in audio….
    Are you still thinking about that invitation we gave you in San Diego???
    Still open and always welcome!

  5. Roberto Cosentini

    Hi Scott

    Great post!

    I think prioritization will be improved using also Pareto’s principle of 80/20.
    80% of our results depend on 20% of our actions. This is greatly explained by Richard Koch in his great book ‘The 80/20 principle’ (https://www.amazon.it/80-20-Principle-Success-Achieving/dp/0385491743).

    The perfect combination could then be:

    1. Know yourself_Ikigai & Meditation
    2. Prioritize_80/20 & Pietrie triangle –> Deep Work

    3. Organize_GTD

    Thanks for the opportunity to change my life. My patients, colleagues, family, and friends are grateful to you.


  6. Brent King

    Scott, Great post, as usual. I am familiar with and have used GTD and the Pomodoro method. I was not familiar with some of the other ideas and have already purchased a couple of the books you suggested.

    I’d like to add one more time management idea to your list. The late Dr. Stephen Covey, in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” suggests a time management technique that I have also found very useful. This method is elaborated in a book by Covey, Merrill, and Merrill called “First Things First.”
    The technique involves connecting with what is most important in several areas of one’s life and then scheduling time for those things so that less important issues don’t interfere.
    It is worth a look

  7. I remember Victoria Brazil advising me years ago that her checklist is (1) Is it fun? (2) Is it important? (3) Who’s asking ie is it for a friend? Some parallels to the Petrie Triangle… Many thanks for the ideas on taking a structured approach to productivity and commitment decisions.

  8. Mathieu Desgroseilliers

    Hi Scott!

    Great post ! (as always)

    I discover this useful resource in my research on GTD/productivity stuff after listening to your podcast. I want to share this very hopeful and useful resource on the same topic (and many more!) :


    Don’t let the name fool you – their website is for anyone who is interested in time management and productivity, not just Asians. Their mission is to make the world a better and more efficient place.

    Thanks for this great post !


  9. Randy Cain

    Deep Work is awesome. Another of Cal’s books, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” is really great too. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate you doing these GTD podcasts. Evernote has completely changed my life, and now I’m finding Todoist to be a game-changer as well! Thanks for all you do, Scott 🙂

  10. Catherine A Leadabrand

    Love this rich podcast, Scott. Want to point out that the pomodoro technique is not just great for professionals but also for our children. My kids loved this method, especially with the help of nifty phone apps, It evolved to us spending family time together cranking out pomodoros (them doing chores or homework and me reading journals, finishing notes, preparing talks.) We would chat on the 5 min breaks then play together on the long breaks. We still have group pomodoro sessions at the coffee shop when they’re home from college.

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