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Mistakes made in understanding/implementing GTD

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  • Mistakes made in understanding/implementing GTD

    Please contribute your mistakes made

    My mistake was my refusal to clarify my horizons of focus in writing and carry them in my head. That did not help and I figured how to use horizons after 2 years after implementing the workflow.

  • #2
    Mine is particularly damaging.

    I refused to conduct a good thorough review, because I knew the most important aspects of each of my projects were well-defined. I was overwhelmed and finally stopped using GTD after that. This happened recently, and I'm trying to get back on the GTD wagon.

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    • #3
      Weekly review and paper filing

      I took too long to really do the weekly review. It is easy to think everything is under control, but each time I find some things that were not clear or not being handled.

      Also, I tried to stay paperless for too long. There are still a number of things that arrive in paper form and can be efficiently filed. Maybe one day I'll try scanning and electronic storage again, but it is hard to beat the 10 seconds to open drawer and file.

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      • #4
        Focusing on software and electronic gadgets before the habits

        Not a mistake I've made, but one I've seen many times before in others. I didn't start with a paper system but I knew my electronic system well enough to use it right away without bottlenecks.

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        • #5
          For several years, I thought I only had 2 inboxes(!).

          E-mail Inbox & Physical Inbox

          Results: Tracking impossible, projects out of hand.

          Now I am aware of several Inboxes:

          E-mail
          Facebook (wall)
          Facebook (messages)
          Cellphone voice messages, Instant Message
          Audiorecorder on Iphone
          Notes on iphone

          + + +

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          • #6
            My own mistake was to put too much of my life into GTD before I had learned enough of the lessons. This meant that I crashed my existing system before I had GTD up and running.

            In hindsight, I would go much more incrementally, putting in individual items and following them through the workflow and referring back to the books for guidance, before ramping up my dependence on it.
            Last edited by pxt; 04-04-2011, 08:07 AM. Reason: OCD

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            • #7
              My ongoing challenge is noticing and handling tasks when they swell up into full-blown projects. I can't really pin that on GTD, but I think GTD can improve the situation.



              Cheers,
              Roger

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pxt View Post
                Fun is being on top of things - Sir Richard Branson
                Love the quote!

                My mistake was not formally allocating time to do processing, especially e-mails. I always used to wonder why I never knew what was going on. Now I know what I'm not doing - I've jsut got to solve the problem of finding time to get everything done.

                R
                Last edited by RuthMcT; 04-06-2011, 09:02 AM.

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                • #9
                  My first mistake was not following GTD closely enough when I was learning.

                  My second mistake was following it too closely when I got familiar with it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bishblaize View Post

                    ---

                    My second mistake was following it too closely when I got familiar with it.
                    Really? I find that I make little circular trips away and back into GTD. Something is off and I thrash around trying to solve it, adding bits into my system and messing with software. But after all that I end up re-reading the book and come back to standard GTD with a deeper appreciation for how complete it really is.

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                    • #11
                      Feeling overwhelmed and failing to always do a little each day

                      Inertia can be good or bad.

                      Good when I get in the groove, keep up with my work inflow, always doing the small things right away and organizing the rest with ticklers, next actions, etc.

                      Bad when I just get overwhelmed and ignore it all for weeks on end (thankfully just mainly at home). Then it gets worse and a vicious cycle ensues.

                      Also, I only recently created a Next Actions and Projects text file. I had been trying to do everything with just two tools at work:
                      1) Outlook (clean inbox, a few important folders, and ticklers), and
                      2) my "log" text file, where I document work done and a short lookahead, along with a few tasks for each day. But since that file is so darn big and free form, stuff (mainly stuff that doesn't have a good uinique key word) can easily get buried there.

                      The Next actions and Project files are great for the weekly review since they are short and sweet.

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                      • #12
                        My first mistake was confusing action lists with next action lists. Once I understood the distinction (thanks to the forums) and I moved my possible actions to project support, I found the next action lists worked a whole heap better.

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                        • #13
                          Here we go....

                          1. Not reading the book twice to ensure thorough understanding
                          2. Trying out too many different programs for gtd and dropping them soon after
                          3. Not having strong collecting habits (brain is still system)
                          4. Doing a weak weekly review

                          I heard in one of the podcasts that it takes about two years to learn the system well

                          On a positive note I love gtd and even with all the mistakes it has still made a huge difference in my organization and life...

                          Gabe

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                          • #14
                            It takes two years for the pathways in the brain to be sufficiently strengthened in order to do something you have learned without thinking about it. Like learning a language, after two years doing it actively you really get it, before you absolutely got it, but not 110%.

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                            • #15
                              Twice?! Ha!

                              Originally posted by Gabriel and theilluminated View Post
                              1. Not reading the book twice to ensure thorough understanding

                              ...

                              It takes two years for the pathways in the brain to be sufficiently strengthened in order to do something you have learned without thinking about it. Like learning a language, after two years doing it actively you really get it, before you absolutely got it, but not 110%.
                              I had to mentally laugh that you had to actually read it twice. The horror! I have read it in whole or part or scanned through it many, many times over many years! With all this speak of zen, I do find it very interesting that something so inherently simple can seem so complex at times. But I agree, it has taken me more than 2 years ( I am always way behind the estimates for uptake times)

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