GTD and the Monkey

I recently read 'One Minute Manager meets the Monkey by Ken Blanchard and Bill Oncken. If you have not read this book, it is a classic from the 90s. Reading it is both an enlightening and entertaining experience.

Let us first begin to define the monkey. A monkey is any task that ends up in your care, thanks to the tactfulness of a subordinate, family member(typically your offspring) that you should NOT be doing. This is a task that shoul have been handled by the person who gave you this task.

Monkeys typically travel upward from employee to boss or offspring to parent. As mentioned in my prevoius blog entry, I was very impressed with David Allen's Getting Things Done, a classic on completing tasks.

Allen suggests that we have 'buckets' to handle tasks. The proverbial bucket may be a paper or electronic to-do list or some variation of the two. We then record all the tasks that need to be done in them.

The Monkey book reveals a potential weakness of the GTD system. Left unabated, the GTD system could be a breeding ground for monkeys. Well, I found a problem that others may have discovered by themselves.

I can only prescribe vigilance as the only solution for now. Be watchful of monkeys in your to-do list.

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