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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?

Andrea MacDonald's picture

I guess I've been mis-using...

I guess I've been mis-using GTD and never realized it. When I was first introducted to GTD, I immediately set up a context called @Studio to cover the times I did fiber arts. But @Studio for me could mean my actual physical studio where my looms live, or it could mean in front of the TV knitting, or spinning, or on the computer creating a pattern draft, or in front of my bookshelves, paging through magazines, and books for ideas on my next project, or even riding in the car knitting, or sketching out kideas.

By creating an @Studio context, I always know that my fiber art projects are tracked, and captured even if my vocational (i.e. paying work) life gets in the way of my avocation (fiber art), for months at a time.

So for me my organization looks something like this (all tracked on a Mindmap on my mac)

List of Current Projects New Shawl Design Sweater from Klondike Fiber Katmandu Purse

My next Actions for @ Studio could be the following Review yarn samples for the new shawl Card Klondike's fiber for spinning Finish front panel of the Katmandu Purse

And @Studio would be any time I can squeeze from my farm, and work, and in fact there I times where I have to get creative on finding time to be creative (for example, knitting while exercising, taking a spinning wheel to a barbeque, etc.).




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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