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Is GTD really all that is needed...

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  • Is GTD really all that is needed...

    Is GTD really all that is needed to find work and life balance, deal with procrastination, become stress free and so on or is there anything else that is necessary? (I mean in terms of knowledge, of course healthy lifestyle and etc. would be also important)

    And I mean proper black belt and beyond GTD implementation...
    So far it looks like it is, but I would like to know what other people think

    I wonder if I should even bother reading additional books about productivity, procrastination and related topics since GTD covers it all and it provides a complete system to deal with anything in life instead of just tips and tricks like most other books...

    And I mean there are lots of books, blogs and articles about those topics and it feels they become pretty useless after you really get GTD.
    Sure all of it might be fun to read/explore but is any of it really necessary?
    Last edited by GTDClone; 06-19-2011, 02:56 AM.

  • #2
    One of the things I like about David Allen's approach to his GTD product is that he seems to focus on developing his own unique discoveries to the maximum level, rather than being tempted to expand into other areas and sell add-ons in areas where he might not be the master.

    I would say that GTD does not deal with all the areas you mentioned completely but one of the (perhaps) unique qualities of GTD is that it is capable of absorbing many other methods into it without breaking down. I think this demonstrates the real-world applicability of the approach as a hub for thinking and acting.

    So, after implementing the GTD mechanics, there is endless potential to keep developing it, specially with regard to the six horizons and the Making It All Work book but, if you need an extra boost to deal with a particular issue, such as procrastination, you can read a book such as Neil Fiore's The Now Habit and implement it through GTD.

    Comment


    • #3
      I actuall read this book (the now habit). I agree that it does expand the topic somewhat and it is interesting to read but I don't think it adds anything really usefull to the GTD workflow.
      This book is actually a great example to demonstrate what I mean.

      It suggests to schedule fun time so that you don't get overwhelmed from too much and become afraid that you will have an endless amount of work and procrastinate as a result.
      But when you do GTD and master the weekly review and master your Higher Levels you will find balance anyway because each week/month or as often as you like you can revisit your Areas of Focus and see how much work is done in each area. So you don't need to schedule any fun time or anything like that because GTD is much more flexible than that and as long as you master control and perspective you would have as much fun as you decide to have, you won't be afraid of too much work.
      Does this make sense?

      Another example from this book is about making sure that you have some safety net in case you would fail the project. Otherwise you would be afraid of failure and procrastinate.
      Well GTD covers this issue brilliantly too. It's impossible to always have a safety net. There are moments in life when you have to do or die (let's say you're into proffesional sports and such so you either win or lose).

      But GTD covers this issues really well when you really master the Projects level.

      Because projects should be named as successful outcomes, something that you can finish and something you have full control over and can win no matter what the rest of the world is doing.
      I mean you wouldn't have a project "won a gold medal" and such, you would have a project "maximize my chances to...".

      So this is why I wonder if GTD does actually cover everything because when you really master it on all levels then maybe all other stuff is not necessary any more?

      Comment


      • #4
        No.

        Originally posted by DavidAllenClone View Post
        Is GTD really all that is needed to find work and life balance, deal with procrastination, become stress free and so on or is there anything else that is necessary? (I mean in terms of knowledge, of course healthy lifestyle and etc. would be also important)
        No. Like a hammer which is not the one and only tool to build a tree house. But try to do it without a hammer...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
          No. Like a hammer which is not the one and only tool to build a tree house. But try to do it without a hammer...
          So what are other tools?
          I mean sure you can learn about lots of stuff besides GTD, but in terms of productivity and such what else is there that isn't covered by GTD?

          Here is another another example.
          Let's say you have found a very detailed book about a healthy diet. It covers everything about from how to grow your own food to how your body processes it and what is needed for optimal health.
          Let's say you've implemented all the info and achieved optimal health, not perfect but as close as you can get pretty much.

          Would you still be reading other books, blogs, articles, tips and tricks about diets?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DavidAllenClone View Post
            I actuall read this book (the now habit). I agree that it does expand the topic somewhat and it is interesting to read but I don't think it adds anything really usefull to the GTD workflow.
            This book is actually a great example to demonstrate what I mean.

            It suggests to schedule fun time so that you don't get overwhelmed from too much and become afraid that you will have an endless amount of work and procrastinate as a result.
            But when you do GTD and master the weekly review and master your Higher Levels you will find balance anyway because each week/month or as often as you like you can revisit your Areas of Focus and see how much work is done in each area. So you don't need to schedule any fun time or anything like that because GTD is much more flexible than that and as long as you master control and perspective you would have as much fun as you decide to have, you won't be afraid of too much work.
            Does this make sense?

            Another example from this book is about making sure that you have some safety net in case you would fail the project. Otherwise you would be afraid of failure and procrastinate.
            Well GTD covers this issue brilliantly too. It's impossible to always have a safety net. There are moments in life when you have to do or die (let's say you're into proffesional sports and such so you either win or lose).

            But GTD covers this issues really well when you really master the Projects level.

            Because projects should be named as successful outcomes, something that you can finish and something you have full control over and can win no matter what the rest of the world is doing.
            I mean you wouldn't have a project "won a gold medal" and such, you would have a project "maximize my chances to...".

            So this is why I wonder if GTD does actually cover everything because when you really master it on all levels then maybe all other stuff is not necessary any more?
            In the case you describe with The Now Habit, I would say that Neil Fiore has a deeper understanding of procrastination which means that when you look at GTD you recognise additional value of some of the parts of GTD. The mechanics don't change, but the value and qualities of what you do with them do.

            In my case there have been two separate levels of GTD implementation. The first was to get the mechanics running - all the lists etc in the right place at the right time. This took me about six months. The second level was to add a deeper quality and value to each component to make the system as a whole more meaningful. This is where reading more deeply, from Making It All Work as well as other sources and bringing those lessons back to the system comes into play.

            Comment


            • #7
              Books I have found interesting to read to enhance my GTD include:

              * The Now Habit by Neil Fiore - on procrastination
              * The Pomodoro Technique - to sit down and get my desk work done
              * Books by Richard Branson and Donald Trump - to be more ambitious during NPM visualisation
              * Books by Thich Nhat Hanh - on appreciating the state of mindfulness that GTD can release

              On the reading list:

              * Something from Tony Schwartz on re-orienting around energy as the main resource
              * Your Best Year Yet - maybe interesting for a Year Review and re-setting Visions and Goals - though I don't know if this book is light/heavy-weight

              There is a general theme here about adding more drive to my GTD time, either though managing the types of energy used through the day or by thinking more ambitiously when creating higher level visions and goals.
              Last edited by pxt; 06-19-2011, 08:27 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Other tools, more info.

                Originally posted by DavidAllenClone View Post
                So what are other tools?
                For example David Allen says that you should be able to use your computer keyboard for fast data entry.

                Originally posted by DavidAllenClone View Post
                Here is another another example.
                Let's say you have found a very detailed book about a healthy diet. It covers everything about from how to grow your own food to how your body processes it and what is needed for optimal health.
                Let's say you've implemented all the info and achieved optimal health, not perfect but as close as you can get pretty much.

                Would you still be reading other books, blogs, articles, tips and tricks about diets?
                I would if reading books about diets is my hobby...

                My short description of GTD is "place for everything, everything in its place" and it works for me. I do not need to read anything more but I read because I like to know what people think about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Traditional project management techniques are a good supplement to GTD if you are managing large complex projects. These techniques would fit into the 'organising' step of the natural planning model, and whilst the natural planning model will meet enough of the needs of most people, others looking after large projects will need more detail for this step.
                  There are other books you can look at, since doing GTD I've gotten more interested in mind mapping, and have bought a few books by Tony Buzan, which I've found really interesting, and totally complement GTD. They go into the process in a lot more detail than DA's book.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah I agree that learning certain skills like typing fast on a computer, learning complex project management skills and etc all could be essintially useful.
                    However they don't help to find work and life balance, deal with procrastination, become stress free and so on.

                    Those are just specific skills which you learn and apply only if necessary and you would know when it's neccesary.

                    Pomodoro technique might help, but might not help and definetely it's not as complete as GTD. For me having a good enough next action and doing weekly review so that I know why I have this next action in terms of what is the outcome, Area of focus and even goal is enough, I don't need to use timer to motivate myself when I'm in alingment with what I do.


                    So my question was not if the GTD is all that is needed in life in terms of knowledge overall but is it all that is needed in terms of overall productivity, finding work and life balance, dealing with procrastination, staying stress free and so on. It's not clear if there are any real benifits in researching more about this topic(productivity) after you actually really get GTD.
                    Last edited by GTDClone; 06-21-2011, 06:27 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There's no need to search anything else.

                      Originally posted by DavidAllenClone View Post
                      It's not clear if there are any real benifits in researching more about this topic(productivity) after you actually really get GTD.
                      For me it is clear. If you are productive enough using GTD there's no need to search anything else.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                        For me it is clear. If you are productive enough using GTD there's no need to search anything else.

                        I second that... good point, TesTeq


                        However they don't help to find work and life balance, deal with procrastination, become stress free and so on.

                        Those are just specific skills which you learn and apply only if necessary and you would know when it's neccesary.
                        Getting life and work balance is an "personal" question... Itīs only you who knows when you have reached your balance betwen work and life...

                        This is nothing a book, a blog or tweaking tips & tricks on some site could be 100 % helpful with.

                        I mean... GTD is a path that many of us is walking, īcause with GTD itīs - for some of us - easy to reach the balance betwen life and work... Itīs when you know ALL stuff you have to do, itīs easy to say no to more stuff coming from different directions.. if a work mate comes to me asking me to do something for him/her, I can point out all my stuff saying.. sorry.. I have to do this and that.... same with my boss...

                        So for me GTD is a tool to reach an inner peace.. And I read another stuff on the net to about planning etc. īcause Iīm curios.

                        My few cents..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                          For me it is clear. If you are productive enough using GTD there's no need to search anything else.
                          Yeah, I feel I'm obviously productive enough, but I still read about productivity anyway. It doesn't make sense
                          But I don't read just anything about productivity though, so I generally don't read blogs, articles and tips & tricks and that kind of stuff (except if it's about gtd) .
                          I go for books that explore certain topics in more detail.
                          I'm currently reading "Your brain at work" by David Rock but again I find a lot of it is actually covered in GTD books/materials but just from different angle.
                          David Allen is a genius it seems
                          Last edited by GTDClone; 06-22-2011, 06:42 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            GTD is only 1 tool, you need a toolbox

                            Originally posted by DavidAllenClone View Post
                            Is GTD really all that is needed to find work and life balance, deal with procrastination, become stress free and so on or is there anything else that is necessary? ....
                            Sure all of it might be fun to read/explore but is any of it really necessary?
                            IMO probably not. GTD is one tool in the toolbelt but you need a lot more than one tool to get the job done.

                            It's important to at least skim other approaches on a somewhat regular basis to make sure you have the best tool for you for this particular time in your life. Think of it as continuous improvement. 10 years ago I was not using GTD, now I am, in 10 years what will be the best tool for me? I have no clue but if I don't at least consider that there is room for improvement I won't continue to improve.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                              IMO probably not. GTD is one tool in the toolbelt but you need a lot more than one tool to get the job done.

                              It's important to at least skim other approaches on a somewhat regular basis to make sure you have the best tool for you for this particular time in your life. Think of it as continuous improvement. 10 years ago I was not using GTD, now I am, in 10 years what will be the best tool for me? I have no clue but if I don't at least consider that there is room for improvement I won't continue to improve.
                              Your reply made me wonder if there are any people who really got GTD and have done it for 2+ years and then found a better approach. Do they even exist?

                              Also to really try another approach you would have to drop GTD and completely start with a fresh perspective so this would decrease productivity a lot and then this new approach might turn out not to work for you. So I don't really see how you can really check other approaches (unbiased) especially on a somewhat regular basis.

                              I agree that there is always room for improvement however there are also different types of people, ie satisficers and maximizers. Some are fine with actually good enough stuff and actually getting things done while others would be in an endless search for a perfect system.

                              I am more of a maximizer myself though
                              Last edited by GTDClone; 06-22-2011, 08:40 AM.

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