43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

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

2007 -- Setting goals

So are you the "resolution/goal-setting" type? Do you sit down this time of year and work on a list for the coming one?

How do you work these into your GTD system? When you set a goal: "Finish rough draft of short story by January 20," for example, do you put it on your hard calendar, or just break it down to NAs and move forward?

moises's picture

It is an accident of...

It is an accident of history that my planning year goes from June 1 to May 31.

I was doing GTD for a year or two before I read a book that does for higher-level goal-setting what GTD did for runway-level items. Jinny Ditzler's Your Best Year Yet is so simple it borders on simplistic. As I read it I thought that I was way too smart to need help that is so very simple. But I did.

I had written down long-term goals before but I never had a systematic plan for tracking them and following them through, until I followed Ditzler's system. The similarities with GTD are marked. I had kept to-do lists for years. But I never tracked them and followed through with them systematically, until I followed David Allen's GTD system.

David stresses that you must get your runway cleared before you can do a good job at higher levels. I am in total agreement with him on this. Conceptually, it would seem to make sense to start with your higher-altitude goals and then work your way down to NAs. But--at least for me and, I know, for many others--it just doesn't work that way.

I strongly recommend that people get at least a year of GTD under their belts first. If you are already happy with the way your higher-level planning is going, then there's no need to change. If you feel you still need something more, check out Your Best Year Yet. I found it to be the perfect complement to GTD.

Quick summary: Ditzler has you write down 10 goals for the following year. I review these goals every week at the beginning of my Weekly Review. (I keep the list of these goals, along with a mindmap of my 5-year goals in my Tickler File, to be removed the day I do my Weekly Review.)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »