G.T.D Project Planning (The Natural Planning Model)

I frequently use this next model when I plan any projects I have to do. David Allen describes this as the natural steps the mind goes through when we want to accomplish any task.

I really feel it helps me focus and throughly understand why I am wanting to get this particular project done.

1) Defining Purpose and Principles – This is your intention, your boundaries and your reason WHY. It helps define, motivate and clarify.

2) Outcome Visioning – This is the clear picture in your mind of the outcome,  WHAT you want to achieve.

3) Brainstorming – This is the stage where you can throw out ideas. It helps to create options, generate ideas and offers reflection. This is not the time for organisation.

4) Organisation – This is the stage of structure. Where you identify and prioritise the ideas.

5) Next Actions – This is the list of actions which you need to be able to complete in order to move ahead and hit that final goal.

I’d love to know if this is how you plan, I find that I do everything he talks about without even realising that’s what I am doing.

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x 

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G.T.D Reviewing Your Work (Six-Level Model)

I’m not sure about you but I always like to review over any work I do regularly to ensure that I’ve not made any errors or forgotten anything important.

In his book Getting Thing’s Done David Allen disucsses a model to use when you are reviewing any work. This model should help define what your work is and what your priorities are.

1) Purpose and Principles – This is the big picture view, what is it you want to achieve 10-20 years from now? Why do you exist, What matters to you? This is primary purpose that provides the cire definition of what your work really is,  everything you do derives from this.

2) Vision – How do you envisage your life in 3-5 years,  what will your job be? This helps narrow your vision down and clarify what the next phase is to achieve your desired outcome.

3) Goals – What do you want to experience in your life 1-2 years from now? This will help shift your focus to a more immediate future goal.

4)  Areas of Focus and Accountability – This is where you break down those goals into areas such as health, home, financial, career etc.

5) Current Projects – This is the list of all the projects that you have these projects are what will combine to give you the desired outcome in step 1.

6) Current Actions – This is the list of actions you need to complete to make progress in your projects.

Using this model to review your work should encourage, motivate and serve as a reminder as to what you want and where you’re going and to ensure nothing has been missed or overlooked.

Thanks for reading.

The Stationery Geekette x

Project Planning The GTD Way

You may have heard me mention Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen in previous posts, this book is definitely worth a read. It has single handed improved the way I organise and manage my life.  Some maybe put off as I was initially thinking this was just for businesses but the methods can be applied to all areas of your life whether that is at home or at work.

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For those of you who are not familiar with the GTD methodology and do not have the book to hand here is a link to a 15 Minute Guide to GTD  which I use frequently when I do not have my book with me.

David Allen mentions in this book that our brain naturally goes through a planning model which he refers to as the Natural Planning Model. This the process our brain takes when accomplishing tasks and should be applied when we are planning our projects.

So let’s go into detail. There are 5 steps or phases to the Natural Planning Model.

Phase 1: Defining Purpose and Principles

This is where you ask ‘Why?’, what is the aim of what you are intending to do? This phase helps to set the boundaries and scope of your project and provide motivation.

Phase 2: Outcome Visioning

This is you visualise the end result, the outcome you wish to achieve. In order to plan a project you must first ascertain where you want that project to end.

Phase 3: Brainstorming

This is the phase in which you generate ideas for your project. David recommends that you put all your ideas on paper, get them out of your head so you can formulate them in some order. This will help focus on what tasks you need to do.

Phase 4: Organising

In this phase you take all of the ideas from your brainstorming session and formulate them into some form of plan. So you should hopefully have at the end a list of tasks that you will need to accomplish in order to successfully complete your project.

Phase 5: Identifying Next Actions

This is where you make a note of your first/ next physical action that needs completing before you can move on. What immediate action needs to take place so you can move the project on.

Another breakdown of these 5 phases can be found here at The Simple Dollar

I have found applying this method to my project planning extremely helpful when plotting and planning my projects.

To start with I wrote a Master Project list, this was the place I write down all of the projects that pop in my head I want to complete. This is a long-term goals list.DSC_2581

I then took the first project I wanted to complete and write it on a separate sheet of paper, following the Natural Planning Model. This details all the separate parts of the project that need doing for it to be complete. I also list my ‘Why’ and ‘Outcome’.

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The next thing that I do is write the first immediate action on my Next Actions list (the thing to remember with the Next Actions list is that it is essentially a To-Do Immediately list). Once I have completed the item I cross it off both lists.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope that it inspires you to go read the book or at least look at ways to help improve upon your organisational methods:)

The Stationery Geekette x