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Vox Pop: Implementing GTD for Creative Work?

creativepro.com - Getting Design Done

Interesting article here by our old pal, Keith Robinson, introducing GTD to creative types. This is a fascinating topic for me, particularly since I sometimes find it difficult to "crank widgets" when it comes to anything creative.

Keith's an old hand with this stuff, so it's not surprising that he's developed his own tweaks for Getting Creativity Done. Here's a novel idea:

Create a creative time and space for yourself. Make sure it's free of distraction and get into the habit of going there as often as you can. When there, pull out your @creative lists and get to work. I find this is a great way to tackle smaller creative problems. It's how I come up with -- and get started on -- most of my writing. This article is a result of my @creative time.

That's an interesting way to think about contexts. Ordinarily, you'd think of contexts as representing access to a certain kind of tool or as a physical or temporal limitation, whereas Keith is using it almost like a project.

This is challenging stuff that my buddy, Ethan, and I end up talking about all the time. We both agree that you can use GTD to "clear the decks" for creative work -- to move aside all the mundane workaday tasks that might keep you from focusing on blocks of time for creative stuff. But we, like a lot of people, both struggle with how (or even whether) to put truly creative work into our GTD systems. What do you think?

How are you using GTD for creative work? What do projects and next actions look like for a painter, a screenwriter, or a dancer? What's your best trick for getting creative stuff done?

Doug Kyle's picture

I like the idea and...

I like the idea and will definitely play with it for awhile (at least in my mind if not in practice). For myself, I still use the @Home or @Work contexts for creative work, but I additionally use the first character of a task to represent the nature of the task (yes, I use an online system for GTD, but even if scribbling something down for later processing I'll use the symbols).

So, for example there's the "context" of @Low Energy (I'm using MonkeyGTD's tiddlywiki). I disagree with this as it doesn't really indicate if this is low energy and home, work, on calls (i.e. calling internet support where I'll be on hold for 30 minutes). So I remove that as a context and prefix and tasks of that nature with ";". For brain-storming (probably the closest I've got for a Creative setting) I use a "~" and for things I simply need to pound through I use "#". I've some others as well, but what it does is let me look at a large list of tasks and specifically focus in on the ones that match both my current context and my current motivation - nicely grouped together.




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