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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

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?

Sergey Samokhov's picture

My best trick for writing...

My best trick for writing is probabely a separate user account with no net access and no distracting programs. Just a word processor, a pim, and some extras like media player, a timer (if case I just have to timebox), and a backup script (so I don't have to relogin before I can go to sleep). I reckon I've read this trick at 43Folders, so thank you. I write after my salary job is done and on weekends. Being a junkie material, I must say that it's so much calmer without the lure of The Net. As for the home part of drumming practice, the bulk of which don't require much time to tune in and, basically, can be done in small bites, the best trick is stepping away from my computer every so often and chopping at my pads for some 10 minutes. Those intermission are good for both my drumming and my @net tasks. Moreover, I'm trying to make a habit of not sitting back down at my computer before I decided on the next task - or at least on the list to take it from. It's only too easy to get lost.




An Oblique Strategy:
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