by Emma Smith
Everyone who has read my blog knows I am a huge fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I have previously discussed this topic many times before.
However now I am due to start studying again I thought it would be a great opportunity to see how GTD will work with my studies to maximise efficiency and productivity.
There are many aspects that are completely irrelevant from the original GTD premise however there are still many helpful tips that can be taken on your educational journey.
I have included a checklist that can be printed. It is available in A4 and A5. It is the first time I have ever attempted to attach a file so if there are any errors please let me know and I will attempt to fix them:)
So before I link the checklists I will explain the way I will be implementing and adapting the techniques I have learnt.
These are the Categories: Inboxes, Calendar, Reviewing, Projects, File, Next Actions, Vision board/Future Log. I will also breakdown the assignment projects method to.
By this I don’t just mean your email inbox, what this refers to is anywhere you have incoming information. This could be your email or during a lesson from a teacher. You will find that these are the places that items will get stored until properly processed. When you are processing your inbox make sure you first of all ascertain whether the item requires any action, if so what? Note down at least the first 3 actions required and add them to your calendar. If not, discard or file the information.
This is where you will note any time sensitive assignments, essays, exams, events etc.
This should be done on a daily, weekly and term basis.
Daily reviewing should be a time to review items in the inboxes, review date sensitive tasks and run through and edit next actions.
Weekly reviewing should be when you process all outstanding items, review and edit the week ahead next actions, review project lists, add any new weekly tasks from your project list and file items no longer required.
Term Reviewing should be where you reflect, upon the previous term and the upcoming term. Assess what is needed for the immediate future and plan ahead for the next term. It should also be a time to assess educational goals and file away previous modules work.
This covers Assignments, Research and Exam prep.
This is the place for key notes, module information, support material and research and old assignments
This is where you write down a list of all the tasks which need to be completed as a priority. Usually start with the one which requires the most urgent response. It is best daily to remove the completed ones and add new ones.
This is where your ultimate goal is. What do you want to achieve, how do you get to where you want to be, what steps are needed to be taken. It is helpful to have this to look back to so you don’t lose you way or get overwhelmed.This helps to maintain focus and motivation. It also serves as a reminder of how far you have already come.
I find it best to breakdown my assignments into steps. I think this helps motivate and prevent overwhelm. It allows you to easily check progress and have a solid plan which means less procrastination later. First I brainstorm ideas surrounding the assignment, then I look at what keywords I need to focus on and what my research aims are, for this I usually break down the question into smaller parts. I then organise what I have and assign deadlines to each part so I know what to move onto when. I then gather all the information I need and start my first draft. Once I have finished this step I go through my work and edit for a final draft.
So there we have it. I really hope that this works, the true test will be once I actually start but if i find anything else that does or does not work I will edit the post accordingly.
Thanks for reading!
Emma blogs about planning, GTD, books, productivity, and so much more at The Stationery Geekette.