DTDTD (Digest Think Do Think Digest) Framework


[bctt tweet=”DTDTD feeds itself with each iteration and its a great way to control a closed loop. “]

Human beings have a model based infrastructure for our impulses, because we have to. Our senses are “attacked” upwards of a trillion times a second by stimuli, and instantly, we take what is in front of us and apply everything to a framework discarding the things that don’t fit. That’s how we see the world. If we neglected to do this, we enter a state of sensory overload, and everything becomes noise.

So, you don’t get the picture, and if you thought you did, sorry to jolt you out of it, but realize that we all see the world a little differently based on the models we have in our heads. Yes, models, with an ‘s’.

The great thing about understanding that we have multiple frameworks is knowing that we constantly add and manipulate them. We edit and upgrade it all the time with our memories and what we learn.  Like computers, we update and install software.

I’d like to introduce a new one I have thought about for the last few weeks to the list of frameworks you use, and it is one that I found that has great implications to your work.

Introducing the DTDTD(Digest Think Do Think Digest) Framework, a tool to take on a new project that lets you get information, contextualize, execute, and then round-up feedback in a calendar, requirement driven way.

Note: It is critical that you outline and understand what your requirements are before beginning. This factors in because each round of DTDTD REQUIRES putting an end date down. If there is no requirements, DTDTD can trap the work in one of the steps because resistance has a wide berth, especially because there are no hard time limits based on the reading. 


  • Digest – Once you have the outline, time to digest everything. Start with trusted sources (classes,trusted blogs, your network, great books) and start pounding away at those resources. The key takeaway here is that you want to gather a ton of voices in your head. Write down the most helpful. Don’t think too much here, just go.
  • Think – Now you sit down and consider the resources you pulled in the first step. If something didn’t help you much, remember feel free to toss it out.  Write down the questions you have, and try to get specific answers. Remember, for specific answers, you need specific questions, so consider this a great primer on your question asking skills.  It’s also a great time to call in accountability partners, mentors, and get a checklist going.
  • Do – Time to execute. Follow the plan, make your mistakes, find out you missed some important things, cry a little in the corner – all the fun stuff in life. The important part here is to get to the end. Finishing here is far more important than anything else. You digest later, the important part is getting to the end of that checklist.
  • Think – After finishing that checklist,dance. Mission complete. Now it is time to digest what you just did. Don’t go seeking feedback from others just yet, spend this time focusing on the questions you had by doing the work.  Get a point of view on why you did the work.
  • Digest  –  Self reflection done? Time to go see what the world thinks. Go to your network, people you trust, and close advisers first. With those people, get the most critical feedback you can. Understand that great feedback works two ways, both sides have to trust each other. Just as much as it stings to hear negative things, trust that they want to help. Once you get the feedback, from them, consider the feedback from others and see if it matches. Sit with it for a while and try to understand it. This feeds into the next ‘cycle’ – if you want to digest for the next go around, the feedback along with the great resources help build a better something better.Remember, only constructive critical feedback matters here – discard anything hurtful.

DTDTD feeds itself with each iteration and its a great way to control a closed loop.

How this scales and how this affects your work is up to you. Big projects can go through 15 cycles of this before the outside world , and smaller ones have one, there is a lot of flexibility here.

Another important note: This is one framework. There are a ton more that the world have written about, remember you have plenty (even if you never studied frameworks). Do not force yourself to deal with one – recall that “to a hammer, all problems look like a nail”