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Tips for getting started?

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  • Tips for getting started?

    Ok, I've listened to the book on CD over and over again. I needs some tips for getting started in the process of GTD. Can I get some tips on what to do next? I think I have a good idea of what to do just having a hard time getting started.

  • #2
    One idea

    The David Allen Co. has an Implementation Guide that is super helpful, I think. It will take you step-by-step through exactly what you need to do. No other resource does it quite like this and it's very inexpensive.

    If your budget allows, consider purchasing the "GTD Live" cds. It's a recorded version of a live seminar.

    Like you, I implemented GTD from just the book soon after it first came out. I bought a CD set similar to GTD Live and THAT is when it really clicked for me.

    Best of luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's how I got started, pretty much: I got a (paper) notebook for GTD and started carrying it around with me everywhere. It can have, for example, one page for "next actions -- at home", other pages for actions in other contexts, maybe some pages for particular projects, etc. Also a calendar to carry around with you.

      Whenever you happen to think of something you need to do, you can either write
      it immediately on the appropriate "next actions" page, or else write it on a
      general-purpose "capturing" page, to be processed later. You can keep "capturing"
      pages in a few places, such as beside your bed.

      You can schedule a "weekly planning" on your calendar, and when that time comes,
      then collect all your "capturing" pages and process them; make a simple list of
      projects (what do you want to get done in the next week or so?), and maybe some
      lists of actions towards some of the projects.

      I got into GTD gradually. Over a number of weeks, my GTD notebook gradually
      contained larger proportions of all my planning stuff. I continued whatever systems
      I was using before unless or until I didn't need them any more. Some of my
      previous systems, such as a calendar I carry in my pocket, became part of my
      GTD system.

      I used little bits of time here and there, such as while riding a bus, to write things
      in my GTD notebook.

      If you try to make it too big, all-encompassing and perfect, you might never start.
      You can start small, as I did. David Allen suggests taking a whole weekend and
      re-organizing all your stuff. That may work better for people hiring him as a
      consultant but may not be necessary for people working from his book.

      Comment


      • #4
        To start, I suggest getting things out of your head. Even if you don't have the perfect system (no one does!), just get things onto a list so your mind can relax. Here's a 2-minute podcast that may inspire you.
        http://www.davidco.com/audio/DavidAl...ingStarted.mp3

        Comment


        • #5
          [QUOTE=leebo;105058Can I get some tips on what to do next? [/QUOTE]

          My suggestion:

          Grab a stack of smallish scrap paper, say 1/4 of a letter sheet or the backs of cartoon a day calendars. Make some time, about an hour where you will focus on this task.

          Sit down and write on the scratch paper, one thought to a page, absolutely everything you think you need to do, every thing you can think of that you wanted to do,and everything related to fixing something you keep forgetting. Basically do a huge mind sweep. Use the guided mind sweep from GTD connect for ideas. I think you can sign up for a 2 week trial and see it.

          Then another day, but ideally within a day or 2 of the mind sweep gather your pile of papers with ideas and sort them into logical categories.

          This is then the start of both your projects list and your next actions. SOme of the notes will become projects. Decide if you need to do them no or not. If not put those notes into a folder marked Someday/Maybe. If yes then write the project name on your projects list and decide what the next action is. If you have clear contexts for some of your items (only in town, only on the computer with Internet, only phone during business hours) great, those become your first contexts and you can start putting your actions into those lists.

          If you want to stay with paper, then look up how to set up a paper GTD system, again on Connect. If you plan to go electronic then create a project "Find an acceptable GTD list manager". Notice I did not say a perfect list manager, There isn't a perfect one. Your choices will be limited by what electronic tools you have at your disposal. Spend a reasonable amount of time looking at the options, pick one and start. I can almost guarantee that you will change it at some point but the big factor is get started. For example, if you know you will have hundreds of projects, lead a very complex life with lots of different contexts and use a mac then I'd suggest Omnifocus, even though it has a large learning curve. Someone with more modest needs may be happier with something else. In any case start somewhere and make Refining your GTD practice" an area of focus or at least a project.

          GTD is a process, it takes years to get comfortable with it. So first, get the ideas out of your head and onto paper or into an electronic system, then decide what ones you will focus on and create next actions.

          Comment


          • #6
            A slightly different medium for sweeping your mind

            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
            My suggestion:

            Grab a stack of smallish scrap paper, say 1/4 of a letter sheet or the backs of cartoon a day calendars. Make some time, about an hour where you will focus on this task.

            For me - when i do a mindsweep - I sit at a desk with a sheet of A3 paper rather than small individual pieces of paper. not entirely sure why I prefer this (I did try doing the individual paper route) - I suppose the main reason is that it seems like a huge waste of paper!

            Having said that - I do like to make sure I fill in the A3 sheet, so it does push me to think deeper and wider about what's on my mind - if I can hit a full side of A3 (in little boxes or bubbles) then i consider it to be a successful mindsweep.

            Of course - I then look at it and think "I'm never going to have time for all of this"...

            I did one before Christmas, and one of my colleagues chuckled at the amount I had put down - before admitting she probably could fill in 2 sheets with everything she had going on.

            Go with what works for you - but I can definitely plug the therapeutic effect of a mindsweep!

            Comment


            • #7
              I suggest individual sheets of scrap paper because it's easier to organize them later. YOu can just stack them into their categories. That ability to easily categorize and organize the thoughts is critical to not feeling overwhelmed. It's a lot easier to say I have a one inch stack of stuff I have to do already this 3 inch stack must go into someday/maybe.

              To avoid wasting paper you can use smaller sheets if you can write cleanly

              I've actually done a mind sweep and used up an entire pad of the David Co.'s notetaker wallet paper.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by leebo View Post
                I needs some tips for getting started in the process of GTD. Can I get some tips on what to do next?
                One tip I would offer is; if possible find a co-worker, friend, partner, who is also interested in, or into, GTD to connect with. I have found it beneficial to have someone to chat with occasionally as I tweak my system.

                Having this board and all the talented people sharing is also a great resource.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                  To avoid wasting paper you can use smaller sheets if you can write cleanly
                  You haven't seen my handwriting. Sorry, did I say handwriting, I meant illegible scrawl.

                  Just as well I can type this...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's just a matter of priorities...

                    Originally posted by nick_ross View Post
                    You haven't seen my handwriting. Sorry, did I say handwriting, I meant illegible scrawl.
                    10 000 hours of training and you'll achieve a handwriting mastery. It's just a matter of priorities...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nick_ross View Post
                      You haven't seen my handwriting.
                      I HAVE seen mine though, and 1/4 page or the DavidCo notetaker wallet is about as small as I can manage and still have it readable when I go to process it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Start with One Thing

                        Something you could try as an experiment - start with just one outcome you'd like to mark off as "done".

                        Start with a single sheet of paper and dump every idea, phrase, thought, etc. about this one single thing out of your mind and onto this page. Go for wild success of "complete". Do you have all the data required to move forward? Do you have all the questions or concerns noted? Make the big list on this single thing.

                        This page is now your Action Support.

                        Next, take a second page write the successful outcome of this one thing and label the page "Projects". When can you really mark this thing off as "done"?

                        Then, take a third page and write one (ONE) next physical, visible action to move the thing forward on a third page called "Next Actions" or use the name of a context - e.g. "Computer". Make sure it's the very next thing even if it's, "Open Google re: Project XYZ, search the web for ideas ..."

                        In my mind those three pieces of paper now constitute a GTD system.

                        The rest is adding item #2, #3, etc. Add a Someday/Maybe, Calendar, Reference files and a labeler as you go.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mark Jantzen View Post
                          In my mind those three pieces of paper now constitute a GTD system.
                          I love it! Excellent way to start small.

                          So, you mean, when I started by carrying around a notebook with me
                          everywhere for GTD purposes, you might not have considered
                          the blank notebook to be a GTD system
                          until I had written a few things into it?

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