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  • Implementing GTD: careful planning vs leap straight in and tweak later

    I am intending to implement GTD in the extremely near future, and have been giving a lot of thought to exactly how I'm going to do it. After reading the book and browsing through some of the posts on these forums, it strikes me that there are infinite variations on the basic system, and I need to figure out which variations are going to work for me.

    So my question is this: should I spend a lot of time now meticulously planning everything and using my best efforts to get everything right from the start, or would I be better off just planning things out roughly and then tweaking things as a go along once I get a bit more experience with the system?

    I'm leaning towards the latter approach, but any thoughts on how much advance planning is appropriate would be very welcome.

  • #2
    Originally posted by AdamJacobs View Post
    So my question is this: should I spend a lot of time now meticulously planning everything and using my best efforts to get everything right from the start, or would I be better off just planning things out roughly and then tweaking things as a go along once I get a bit more experience with the system?

    I'm leaning towards the latter approach, but any thoughts on how much advance planning is appropriate would be very welcome.
    My opinion is that start using it and tweak as you go. This is because of few reasons:

    - Even only partial GTD use will free your mental energy.
    - Without any experience you cannot know what will work and what won't.
    - As David said: it is easier to change direction than get moving.

    Anyway, everyone is unique person, so what works for me may not work for you. I think this is also one reason to just start. But also, this may mean you need meticulously planning before starting. We cannot know it, only you can find it out.

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    • #3
      Definitely start and tweak! This is one of those systems where you won't know for sure what works for you until you've tried it. Just don't get so hung up on finding the perfect electronic system that you keep changing it every week or two.

      R.

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      • #4
        Yes! Just jump in, the water's fine! Simply start -- and start simple. Don't get hung up on the tool, whether paper or electronic. (Although many folks find it easier to START with paper).

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        • #5
          You can only steer when you're moving.

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          • #6
            Right! I've made a start. I have created the "inbox" as per chapter 5 of the book (well, I say inbox, but it was actually 2 packing crates ), which I must say was a very satisfying experience. My office is so much tidier already.

            So my job for tomorrow is to make a start on processing and organising it all. Hopefully I'll make reasonable progress while it's still quiet in the office before everybody starts hassling me again next week. Wish me luck!

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            • #7
              Jump In Now

              Originally posted by AdamJacobs View Post
              should I spend a lot of time now meticulously planning everything and using my best efforts to get everything right from the start, or would I be better off just planning things out roughly and then tweaking things as a go along once I get a bit more experience with the system?
              Don't bother planning out things, whatever you plan now will not survive first contact with your real life. (Variation on Ready Fire Aim)

              Jump in, and get started and as you learn more and peel the GTD onion layers adapt and tweak your system. I've been through 3 major revisions. I had no clue when I started where I'd end up.

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              • #8
                GTD implementation guide

                This could also be helpful: https://secure.davidco.com/store/cat...ZE-p-16636.php

                Other than that, I'd just chime in on the getting started part and then just make sure that you revisit your setup frequently in the beginning to make sure you catch whatever isn't working well for you and change that.

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