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  • Gtd is too complex?

    Here is a comment I noticed on Evernote forum about gtd

    "no gtd for me either. i think it is interesting, and certainly worth a look, but a waste of effort in my opinion. obviously, i have an odd organizational system, but it works for me, and i have to wonder how many people using gtd now will be using it at this time next year. it's like that big piece of workout equipment in the basement you bought and used for a few days, but never made into a habit, because it is too troublesome to use. "

    Here is an interview with this person

    "Christopher is a minimalist. He doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on the front-end doing the organization. His mantra is that he stays organized without organizing.

    In each journal entry that he creates, he includes a list of “Todos” that must get done for that day.

    That’s it. Really."

    http://www.dangoldesq.com/2012/03/ho...l#.T21eOhBhiSN

    Your thoughts?

  • #2
    Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
    In each journal entry that he creates, he includes a list of “Todos” that must get done for that day.
    Oh how nice to have a life that simple. It's great that he found a system that works for him, but my world changes too fast for a daily to do list to ever work. GTD keeps pace, daily to do lists would be out of date the moment I'd written them.

    GTD is only as complicated as you make it. As with anything, it's possible to over complicate, and it sounds like that's what he tried to do. GTD is as simple as 'collect everything, decide what it is, decide what you're going to do next with it, review it often enough that you don't keep thinking about it'. You do most of that naturally anyway - GTD just makes it conscious.

    Comment


    • #3
      These kind of posts came up in the blogosphere as soon as GTD became "popular". What they have in common is that the people writing them have no idea what GTD is and even when they read the book the tend to overlook 90% of it. They use mini-sensationalism to drive traffic to their websites and thusly show that they do not think deeply about their topics.

      If you think that a daily mind-sweep is all there is needed to replace every aspect of GTD, than you haven't understood. Simple as that.

      I think some of that comes from the fact that there are unclear expectations on what it is that GTD actually tries to accomplish. People have an superficial idea of what it mean to get stuff done in general. They hang around in their office and the pressure builds up. They get only things done, anything, when external pressure is so high it can't be ignored. Other than that they are just cruising. Adolescents. Then they think GTD is about being mature enough to start working before the grown-ups send the boss-bomber. Logically, for that superficial interpretation of the book title (never mind to read it fully), they find out quickly that a little list of "priorities" for "today" is all they need to focus on getting going. But that shouldn't be of surprise for the GTD veteran.

      From skimming the linked-to article I get the sense nothing of that system is original thought. Why don't give credit where credit is due? This just as an aside.

      They talk about "minimalism" and "simplicity" but this system is not simple as all. What does that guy do when his today list overflows? I bet if you ask him that he will basically say that he somewhere maintains the equivalent to a Someday / Maybe list. In his "notes" he buries all kind of aspects where GTD offers a bucket for and then turns around to say GTD is complex but his system is simple. This is either stupid or intellectual dishonest.

      I could go on about how actual minimalism is nowhere found in this, but I spare you that. It's obvious this guy just wants jumps on the blogosphere-fads bandwagons.

      And I wouldn't be so negative about these people if they wouldn't constantly accuse GTD and others of shortcomings while stealing the ideas of others without having the decency to give credit. I really wouldn't.

      Comment


      • #4
        The blog author actually sells an ebook about how to implement GTD system in Evernote so he is not anti gtd, I guess he just wants to please everyone?

        Comment


        • #5
          For me, first real bull**** reaction came with Noguchi Yukio's filing system. There was time when I was heavily into photo organization and DAM/DIM systems. That was time when I learned that chronological organization only works when you remember everything in your system. Your head will be the keyword index about your archive.

          After quickly reading the article it seems that there really is nothing new in it. Aside being evernote advert.

          Anyway, I already know system like that would never work for me. Also, I don't think GTD is complex system, it's just two questions (what's the succesfull outcome, what's the next action), organizing your answer to those questions and regularly reviewing what have you done and what you need to do.

          Comment


          • #6
            GTD is complex enough for me

            "it's like that big piece of workout equipment in the basement you bought and used for a few days, but never made into a habit, because it is too troublesome to use. "


            I agree the set up of GTD for me was time consuming. I am a paper person, and I want to have the habits and the discipline this system rather than learn a new software program. The first few weekly reviews were spent creating waiting for/someday maybe/phone calls/ticker file folders. The first few weeks it seemed like I was setting up the infrastructure or finding a two minute timer more so than reviewing and reflecting.

            "Christopher is a minimalist. He doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on the front-end doing the organization.


            I saw that time as an investment. Now that the system is in place, how could I NOT use it? What else would I resort to? Where would I move all of these folders and change to what....???

            In each journal entry that he creates, he includes a list of “Todos” that must get done for that day.That’s it. Really."

            Now here is where I envy Christopher. This is really the living in the moment approach to life. One day at a time...literally. How serene it must be not to have to worry about long term goals. If I want six short newsletters submitted for publication in the next few months, that requires some planning in advance. I need to know monthly income for this month to decide if I can afford to attend the conference in 6 months. So that Todo list for one day might work for him, but I would be out of business if I thought like that. Good for him.

            PS IF someone could send me a private message and tell me how to cut out just the quote I want to respond to, that would be great. I cannot figure it out. Again, another reason a paper system is best for me

            Comment


            • #7
              Do you think gtd is for everyone or maybe daily todo lists are actually really better for some people?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                Do you think gtd is for everyone or maybe daily todo lists are actually really better for some people?
                Bottom line: if you're getting your stuff done... really done, to your satisfaction and to the best of your abilities... use whatever works for you, GTD or not GTD.

                Do I think everyone should collect their to dos, scattered paperwork, misplaced piles of psychic and physical stuff into one centralized place?
                Sounds good.

                Do I think everyone should go through that stuff and decide what it is and what the heck it means.
                That would be fabulous!

                Do I think everyone would find it helpful to put that stuff somewhere where they can get to it when they need it?
                Absolutely!

                Do I think everyone can use these three tools to get more done in their lives?
                Sure, sure, sure!

                Does everyone need a weekly review?
                Eh, who knows. Even plain to-do-list makers review their lists sometimes, I think.

                So, to your question: GTD is usable by everyone, and the individual must decide for themselves what's best. It's not up to me to tell you what's better for you.

                Keep in mind, if I'm hiring, and someone comes in with an actionable plan for how they consistently handle projects, that's going to influence my hiring decision.

                Dena

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is GTD too complex? Of course it is! That's because just like martial arts, it's a way of life, not a simple solution. But if there was a simple solution out there that could solve our problems we'd be doing it already and our lives would already be productive and happy and stress free. Clearly a new way of life is what is required.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
                    Is GTD too complex? Of course it is! That's because just like martial arts, it's a way of life, not a simple solution. But if there was a simple solution out there that could solve our problems we'd be doing it already and our lives would already be productive and happy and stress free. Clearly a new way of life is what is required.
                    I disagree. Most martial arts are basically very simple. You just have to practice long time, so you can perform the moves without thinking in stressfull situations. (Learning the basics is always relatively easy when compared to application of skill.)

                    IMO: same applies to GTD. It is basically very simple system: It has 5 steps.

                    And people don't always use simplest solutions to do things. There are many reasons to this. One of the biggest is that often changing habits requires we step away from our comfortability zone. And at the beginning we learn to do things as our parents (and later teachers) do them. At the age when we are most efficient learners there is no direct correlation with what we learn and how healthy or effective that habit is.

                    I argue that we do things as we have learned to do them, until we feel it is more comfortable to change our habits than it is to continue on old road.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kkuja View Post
                      I disagree. Most martial arts are basically very simple.
                      It may appear simple in principle, but it is complex in practice. What style did you do? I didn't find it simple at all, particularly if you include meditation and the spiritual aspects like managing chi, I found it to be quite complex indeed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kkuja View Post
                        I disagree. Most martial arts are basically very simple. You just have to practice long time, so you can perform the moves without thinking in stressfull situations. (Learning the basics is always relatively easy when compared to application of skill.)
                        The parallels between my study of martial arts and GTD become more striking the better I get at GTD. But let me diverge...

                        In many ways it's much more like when I studied Greek dancing.
                        You start off by learning the basic steps, let's say a 12-step pattern.
                        Then, once you have that down, you may learn 5 or 6 variations based on that step.
                        Then you may start leading the dance because you have more confidence.

                        Then you realize that, when you dance in public at events, lots of other people know the steps... but they know other variations, and you watch them lead (usually dancing in line with them) and learn by doing. Now you can do more with the basic step.

                        But when you're leading you constantly have to aware of the rest of the line... not everyone knows all the variations you know, so you are now literally leading by example, moving through basic steps, using more repetition with the same few variations, and you learn more about your technique by showing others.

                        And you thought we were all just drinking Ouzo and smashing plates!

                        So GTD, for me, was first about repeating the basics, straight from the book.
                        Reading the forums that first year was like learning the variations.
                        Participating in the forums is both like learning from those with experience and leading by example.

                        And, as with Greek dancing, I know what I like and what I do well, and where I can improve.

                        If GTD seems too complex, maybe you learned too many variations before really internalizing the basic steps.

                        Dena

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Long, incoherent flow of mind (sorry in advance)

                          Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
                          It may appear simple in principle, but it is complex in practice. What style did you do? I didn't find it simple at all, particularly if you include meditation and the spiritual aspects like managing chi, I found it to be quite complex indeed.
                          I agree with you. But I look this from a bit different point of view. BTW, "simple in principle, but complex in practice" was one point which I tried to say in my previous post.

                          IMO: basics of GTD are simple. Making it work in practise is the challenge. Just like in martial arts. It is fairly simple to learn basic attacks and defences sufficiently, but when you have use them in real situation it is totally different situation. (It takes 10000 repetitions to be able to use certain attack or defence as reaction to something that happens unexpectedly.) Just like martial art, GTD (in basic level) is set of fairly simple actions. Mastering the martial art or GTD does require very much more than just basics.

                          One reason I want to think GTD as simple (5 step process, and/or asking self 2 questions about every stuff and organizing the answers) is because I know that deep down, there are many levels of complexity in it. There is too much complexity for me to manage in one time. So I have made a decision to learn GTDs more complex aspects when I'm ready to receive them.

                          Offtopic warning

                          "Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: Piece by piece." Same applies to martial arts. No sane person tries to learn martial art in a week, or month. One should not try to consume any martial art as one piece. Beginners train different aspects of art than black belts train. There is different time to train meditation than there is to train basic kicks. No matter how good you are with meditation, you cannot be black belt if you don't know any basic movements of your art. I have to add a disclaimer here. I'm thinking martial arts from very mundane perspective (More as sport than art).

                          I have trained han moo do, taido, taiji and capoeira. I currently train capoeira. In han moo do I competed in national level.

                          It is said it takes 2 years to really get GTD. I have now trained capoeira 3 years and I'm finally starting to understand what it is really about. So, I'm telling myself that when I keep using it some day I will understand GTD.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Learn Aikido in 80 minutes!

                            Originally posted by kkuja View Post
                            No sane person tries to learn martial art in a week, or month.
                            I've just found the following DVD offer:

                            Learn Aikido in 80 minutes!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              he does organize !

                              Originally posted by NoelWhitley
                              Quite strange to read that "he stays organized without organizing"..How's that possible??
                              [/url]
                              He does organize of course... or do these bits and pieces jump into Evernote from themselves and create their own naming? I just had a quick look at the article, but seems to me he is very organized indeed. He just puts a date on everything, something gtd doesn't support. But if this works for him, fine.

                              In fact, if he is organized in a way that works for him, he IS Getting Things Done, so he is doing GTD, even if he doesn't think so himself.

                              Myriam

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