Managing your time in a community led project can be very difficult. Communities need to be managed. Someone needs to cultivate new members and ensure that the wider community is fully informed of developments. However, this does not really change the way you should manage your time, it just changes the tasks you need to focus on.

Get things done

Getting things done (GTD) is a process for keeping the number of tasks you are focusing on at any one time to a manageable level. This section provides some hints and tips we find useful when using the GTD methodology. This page is not a GTD tutorial, you need to look elsewhere for that, this is merely some tips we have gathered from our own use within. Please feel free to add your own.

What to mark as your next action

Get things done is really useful, but only if you are really rigid in its use.

Things should never be marked "Next Action" unless they have an imminent deadline, will take less than a few minutes to complete or unless your next action on them will result in them moving to a waiting state.

So, for example:

Task a - deadline 10 days - can be achieved in 1 hour with no external input

Task b - deadline 5 days - can be achieved in 1 hour with no external input

Task c - no deadline, will take 2 minutes to complete

Task d - deadline 20 days - requires input from a third party

So, these tasks should be marked:

Here we did task c immediately (2 minute job), we have requested input from a third party in task d (just sent and email) and moved it to the wait state, and moved b to next action.

We did not move both a and b to next action since they both have reasonable lead times and we need to allow other tasks to have space in our GTD task list. For example, lets assume another couple of tasks land on our desk whilst we are working on task b:

After reviewing our status we now have:

The important points here are:

Now, suppose we get a response to both task d and task f whilst task a is in progress. Our status' will look like this:

We moved f into next action since it has a short deadline and needs to supercede a. However, since we have started work on a we will leave it in next action in order to ensure we finish it ASAP.

Upon completion of f we then complete a and finally move on to d as the next action.

The important thing in this process is to never let too many things enter your next action list. GTD does not allow for further prioritisation of tasks in the "next action" list so it is important to keep the numbers in that list low.

OSSWatchWiki: TimeManagement (last edited 2013-04-15 13:56:17 by localhost)

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