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How David Allen works?

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  • How David Allen works?

    I'm new to GTD. I always like to use the system as the inventor of the system. I was trying to search the forum to find out David Allen answers to the following questions but didn't find anything:

    1. When David does his actions? Between meetings? All day and night or he limits his doing time?
    2. If he has a lot of meetings does he block out doing time?
    3. How long his processing lasts?
    4. When he processes his inputs?

  • #2
    I can't speak about David Allen's habits but I do know that his organizing tools have changed over time. A decade ago he was a Palm user. Today the core components of his system are on a Lotus Notes platform and synched to multiple devices.

    However, the tools and some of the more fine-grained habits that are appropriate for him are not appropriate for everybody. That's one of the great things about GTD; it's not about the tools, it's about the habits. It's not a system, it's a methodology.

    I can try to answer one of your questions re: how often to process. This will vary from person to person but generally you want to process your inboxes to zero every 24-48 hours. You generally need 30-90 minutes a day for processing inputs.

    Best of luck to you with your GTD journey.

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    • #3
      It would be great to have David's answers

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      • #4
        He does use a daily to do list. He says so in one of these podcasts (sorry can't remember which one. I think episode 8 ). But he also says he's willing to change it on a dime.

        http://precisionchange.com/category/podcast/

        Comment


        • #5
          You are not David, and don't have his job

          Originally posted by Soland View Post
          I'm new to GTD. I always like to use the system as the inventor of the system.
          I understand the appeal of this, but if your mind does not work like David's, and your job is not similar in some ways to his, this may not be ideal (to put it mildly).

          GTD is an approach and starting simple and then seeing what works and what does not work for you and what your needs are and are not is what I would suggest.

          One example Danny Bader (One of the GTD coaches) commented in a linked in thread on GTD that he finds it helpful to make a list of a few next actions each day that are "high priority" but not must do. I really need to do this. It does not sound like this is something David does (or needs to).

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          • #6
            If you join Connect there are a few webinars where DA talks about his system

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            • #7
              My answers

              Originally posted by Soland View Post

              1. When David does his actions? Between meetings? All day and night or he limits his doing time?
              2. If he has a lot of meetings does he block out doing time?
              3. How long his processing lasts?
              4. When he processes his inputs?
              1. I don't distinguish what actions I do when, other than what seems best for the moment. That means I could do a personal action on Wednesday between meetings or a "business" action at midnight or while on a plane on a Saturday. I am honing my habit of tackling the hardest one first, assuming I have the appropriate context, time, and energy. Much of my use of my action lists is to assure me that I have sufficient placeholders to give me the freedom to do unplanned things, as I'm so moved.

              2. I don't block out doing time. Any time that's not otherwise committed is potential doing time, just like it's potential do-nothing time.

              3. Processing takes as long as it takes. I'd guess 60-90 minutes a day. Because I have relative flexibility in my schedule, I may not adhere to the 2-minute rule...meaning that if I have a clear morning I might spend the 15 minutes it takes to respond to an email, as I'm processing.

              4. I clean of my in-baskets whenever I'm not doing anything else. That could happen first thing in the morning, or just between the lines of doing other work and meetings, as a way to change pace and focus, and keep the air as clear as I can.

              (Hope that fills in some blanks for you! And thanks for asking...)

              David

              Comment


              • #8
                Advanced Common Sense?

                Originally posted by DavidAllen View Post
                1. I don't distinguish what actions I do when, other than what seems best for the moment. That means I could do a personal action on Wednesday between meetings or a "business" action at midnight or while on a plane on a Saturday. I am honing my habit of tackling the hardest one first, assuming I have the appropriate context, time, and energy. Much of my use of my action lists is to assure me that I have sufficient placeholders to give me the freedom to do unplanned things, as I'm so moved.

                2. I don't block out doing time. Any time that's not otherwise committed is potential doing time, just like it's potential do-nothing time.

                3. Processing takes as long as it takes. I'd guess 60-90 minutes a day. Because I have relative flexibility in my schedule, I may not adhere to the 2-minute rule...meaning that if I have a clear morning I might spend the 15 minutes it takes to respond to an email, as I'm processing.

                4. I clean of my in-baskets whenever I'm not doing anything else. That could happen first thing in the morning, or just between the lines of doing other work and meetings, as a way to change pace and focus, and keep the air as clear as I can.

                (Hope that fills in some blanks for you! And thanks for asking...)

                David
                Hmmm... Isn't it just an Advanced Common Sense - i.e. Common Sense of the mind freed from remembering the stuff?

                Isn't it great to trust your intuition? To know that it will always help you choose the right Next Action? And to know that it will give you permission to break some rules (2-minute vs. 15-minute rule) if it is the right thing to do?

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                • #9
                  Might look like common sense on the surface but to make this work you have to be very proactive about externalizing and organizing everything.
                  Getting literally everything out of your head is not common sense for 99% of people

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                  • #10
                    Caution about trying to adopt someone's entire system immediately, even David's

                    David and his coaches have mentioned that GTD as presented in his first book is a record of practices accumulated and mastered over years, even decades. They also mention that getting to a proficient level of GTD takes time, about two years.

                    This and the fact that we all have different cognitive styles and other idiosyncrasies make it tricky to exactly emulate someone's GTD, even David's.

                    I'd suggest paying attention to principles and experiment with what works for you, not feeling guilty if you don't do it exactly David's way.

                    Just some thoughts.

                    -Louis



                    Originally posted by Soland View Post
                    I'm new to GTD. I always like to use the system as the inventor of the system. I was trying to search the forum to find out David Allen answers to the following questions but didn't find anything:

                    1. When David does his actions? Between meetings? All day and night or he limits his doing time?
                    2. If he has a lot of meetings does he block out doing time?
                    3. How long his processing lasts?
                    4. When he processes his inputs?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great thread! Would love to hear DavidCo's coaches

                      Comment

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