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The GTD Academic

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Geoff Dickson View Post

    We were spending $18K per annum on printing for our meetings...12 person committee...agendas at 600pages...20 meetings per year....most documents were 'on the table for only a few minutes...spend $10K on Ipads and they paid for themselves within the first year....plus it permitted our whole review system to go electronic/ no hard copies...
    Interesting numbers. So it sounds like our Academic Board which generates a "phone book" for each meeting and most of it is only glanced at! In the meeting do you make your own notes on the iPad as well ?

    Michael

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    • #17
      Originally posted by human View Post
      I'm an academic with a particularly heavy teaching/advising/administrative load, and I'd love to hear how other academics have implemented GTD.
      BE cool to teach every body, don't give physical tension 4 students..

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
        I'd really like to hear how you do thorough reviews of other people's documents.
        It can help to separate the process of editing into different phases. Revision for content is much different, I find, than searching for typos, punctuation errors, and other grammatical details. When I'm editing longer works (like novels), I usually separate the processes. This way, in revision mode, I can focus only on content. In proofreading mode, I can sit with my style manual and go backwards through the manuscript with my eagle eyeballs.

        With this said, it's also important to be clear about who is responsible for editing and proofreading and how much time is given for that part of the project. If the manuscripts really are hundreds of pages, it's a question worth asking. Good proofreading takes time -- and usually a quiet room and a sharp pencil.

        /writing teacher rant

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Geoff Dickson View Post
          99% of academics who do not employ the principles of GTD are likely not working efficiently (or effectively). I am happy to offer you any specific advice.
          I love hearing about your system. After a few years of tinkering (knowing sigh), I think I do have a set-up that works, for the most part. My problem seems to be that, whenever things get a little crazy, I abandon every GTD practice that works (weekly review, processing, collecting, inbox emptying) in favor of just trying to get through the day. As a result, I periodically find myself underwater, out of touch with my own reality.

          I don't quite know how to keep myself tethered to the system. It's still there, and it's still useful, when I'm ready to return to it. I'm just not doing the routines that would allow it to help me work effectively and efficiently.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by mmurray View Post
            Interesting numbers. So it sounds like our Academic Board which generates a "phone book" for each meeting and most of it is only glanced at! In the meeting do you make your own notes on the iPad as well ?
            Michael
            NOt alot...I have the luxury of a PA to keep the minutes of the meeting as well as anything 'I have to remember' . "Brigitte, could you make a note for me to call/do...."

            I can utilise Goodreader if I wish to annotate a document...I am also starting to make use of the Notes app if I wish to make notes ..that way, I can easily email it to myself.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by human View Post
              I love hearing about your system. After a few years of tinkering (knowing sigh), I think I do have a set-up that works, for the most part. My problem seems to be that, whenever things get a little crazy, I abandon every GTD practice that works (weekly review, processing, collecting, inbox emptying) in favor of just trying to get through the day. As a result, I periodically find myself underwater, out of touch with my own reality.

              I don't quite know how to keep myself tethered to the system. It's still there, and it's still useful, when I'm ready to return to it. I'm just not doing the routines that would allow it to help me work effectively and efficiently.
              I use GTD but have nowhere near perfected it. Hang in there. If you fall off the wagon, then get back on it.

              I have printed out the GTD workflow diagram as well as the a list of next action and project verbs...there are only a few that I actually use, but it sits there on my desk all day everyday as a reminder.

              Project verbs
              Finalize Resolve Complete
              Look into Submit Update
              Organize Design Set-up
              Ensure Roll out
              Install Implement

              Next-action verbs
              Call Organize Review
              Buy Fill out Find
              Purge Look into
              Print Email
              Collate Draft


              I have also taped this message to the bottom of my computer screen: Informed + organised = productivity = Things.

              In other words I love the feeling of being informed and organised...but the end point is about being productive....and all three are far more likely to happen if I am using Things as my daily guide to tasks (as opposed to the email inbox).

              This note headed 'Start the day routine' is also prominent:

              Plan
              1. Check calendar
              2. Inbox Zero
              a. Delete
              b. Delegate
              c. Do (if less than 2min)
              d. Defer
              3. Switch off email

              Prepare
              1. Organise material for daily meetings
              2. Identify ‘best bus’ if going to city
              3. Identify priorities for the day
              a. What does a successful day look like? [Today list]

              Execute
              1. Switch email off
              2. Eat the Bear


              Note how I twice remind myself to switch email off...eat the bear is just a message to get on with the show. One of the above is original, I have lifted parts from various 'best practice' guides.

              Comment


              • #22
                Thanks for sharing!

                Originally posted by Geoff Dickson View Post
                I use GTD but have nowhere near perfected it. Hang in there. If you fall off the wagon, then get back on it.

                I have printed out the GTD workflow diagram as well as the a list of next action and project verbs...there are only a few that I actually use, but it sits there on my desk all day everyday as a reminder.

                Project verbs
                Finalize Resolve Complete
                Look into Submit Update
                Organize Design Set-up
                Ensure Roll out
                Install Implement

                Next-action verbs
                Call Organize Review
                Buy Fill out Find
                Purge Look into
                Print Email
                Collate Draft


                I have also taped this message to the bottom of my computer screen: Informed + organised = productivity = Things.

                In other words I love the feeling of being informed and organised...but the end point is about being productive....and all three are far more likely to happen if I am using Things as my daily guide to tasks (as opposed to the email inbox).

                This note headed 'Start the day routine' is also prominent:

                Plan
                1. Check calendar
                2. Inbox Zero
                a. Delete
                b. Delegate
                c. Do (if less than 2min)
                d. Defer
                3. Switch off email

                Prepare
                1. Organise material for daily meetings
                2. Identify ‘best bus’ if going to city
                3. Identify priorities for the day
                a. What does a successful day look like? [Today list]

                Execute
                1. Switch email off
                2. Eat the Bear


                Note how I twice remind myself to switch email off...eat the bear is just a message to get on with the show. One of the above is original, I have lifted parts from various 'best practice' guides.
                I am impressed! Thanks for sharing, Geoff Dickson!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Geoff Dickson View Post
                  I use GTD but have nowhere near perfected it. Hang in there. If you fall off the wagon, then get back on it.
                  Yes. I'm working on this. I love your "eat the bear" reminder -- and I noticed that your power-up routine happens before you get on the bus to head to campus (did I read right?). That makes sense. I notice that, the moment students and others find me, I can be derailed from the very bears I have planned to eat.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Just popping in

                    Originally posted by human View Post
                    I love hearing about your system. After a few years of tinkering (knowing sigh), I think I do have a set-up that works, for the most part. My problem seems to be that, whenever things get a little crazy, I abandon every GTD practice that works (weekly review, processing, collecting, inbox emptying) in favor of just trying to get through the day. As a result, I periodically find myself underwater, out of touch with my own reality.

                    I don't quite know how to keep myself tethered to the system. It's still there, and it's still useful, when I'm ready to return to it. I'm just not doing the routines that would allow it to help me work effectively and efficiently.
                    Sorry to interrupt. I'm not an Academic, but I like them and we can all learn from each other no matter what we do.

                    Human- (big hello!)- I was particularly struck by what you said here. If all this is true, you really don't have "a set-up that works" because it isn't holding up under stress. If our systems break down when we need them the most, what good are they really?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Barb View Post
                      Sorry to interrupt. I'm not an Academic, but I like them...
                      Whew!
                      If our systems break down when we need them the most, what good are they really?
                      But we have to be careful about breakdown versus the random craziness of life. If you don't even want to look at your lists, and haven't done any kind of review in a month or more, I'd probably say it's a breakdown. But if you have a couple of bad days and then get back on the horse, no big deal. To paraphrase DA, you have to have had the experience of mind like water, and know how to get back to it. I've found that I need to strip GTD to its most streamlined form to get there more often; a complicated system just needs too much maintenance.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by human View Post
                        Yes. I'm working on this. I love your "eat the bear" reminder -- and I noticed that your power-up routine happens before you get on the bus to head to campus (did I read right?). That makes sense. I notice that, the moment students and others find me, I can be derailed from the very bears I have planned to eat.
                        No. My power-up routine (I like THAT term so much I think I will adopt it) occurs when i am in my 'north shore' office. I often have to commute to the city campus for meetings. I am less likely to miss the bus if I have organised myself well prior. The trap for young players is to go for the bus 2 minutes before it leaves and then need to organise meeting materials. Best to do that first thing.

                        I have few students (10 postgraduates) they are all trained to make appointments. If I had a mass of undergraduates then I would definitely create set office hours and play very hard to get outside of those (notwithstanding their ability to make appointments outside of set office hours).

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Just a quick question (I suppose that this could apply to any aspect of life or business and GTD) I am a research student doing a PhD and so as a lot of you will know there are many threads of research running at the same time.

                          How is it best to deal with this with the GTD model (I use omnifocus as my tool).

                          For example. I have just read through my notes from a meeting that I had with my supervisor. From it came about 12 questions / areas that I need to investigation. I have listed these on my note pad for clarity. Off the top of my head it will possible take about 2 hours per question. Each will involve me sitting down at a computer and researching using legal databases (Lexis and Westlaw) and so each are single actions (I think)

                          Now do I add these single actions to a named folder and tick them off as I do them. Or do I just have 1 action of "questions in notebook for xxx" - this will act as a place holder that I still need to answer / do all those question in the notebook. This way would mean that I have less actions in the system and the system is more streamlined.

                          In this situation do I have one next action i.e complete questions or 12 single actions? Is it a project? - all of the actions are independent of each other.

                          I could have various plans, other questions etc in the notebook, kinda like action support with just one action on my list in my GTD system to remind me that I still have a loose end. A very big loose end

                          Any thoughts are very much appreciated. Applying GTD to the actual mechanic of my PhD is not something that I have done yet. I tend to have a load of project support plans and then a few single actions listed in omnifocus. These action cover big and small actions.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by human View Post
                            I'm an academic with a particularly heavy teaching/advising/administrative load, and I'd love to hear how other academics have implemented GTD.
                            Hi Human,

                            I frequently look back and wonder how my life would have been different had I known about GTD when I was in college. I think for me, personally, just having the projects piece would have been such a gift. I'm not a coach, but here's what I would have done had I known GTD during academia:

                            -Created all my term papers as Projects and made mind-maps to gather all of the particulars. Then look for the next action so that for every paper I had, all my next actions would be dictated.
                            -Created contexts specifically dedicated to the places I occupied most, such as @Library, @Lecture, @Study time, etc. I imagine this would have been a very interesting group of contexts to create.
                            -Used the Project Support, Waiting For, and Read and Review folders like crazy! As well as having an inbox to process all of my homework and class notes.

                            One of the best parts of GTD is creatively catering it to where your life is right now. It might be fun to take a look through the book and see how you can set up the different pieces to fit your life juuust right (like Goldilocks).

                            Best to you in your studies!

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