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  • How long does it take to fully implement GTD and become comfortable using it

    Hello all,

    I am going to get on the GTD bandwagon having fallen off it again.

    I was interested in knowing how long it takes for people to fully implement GTD and become comfortable / using it becoming routine.

    I appreciate everyone will be sligthly different depending on their personal workloads and commitments that they are using GTD to manage.

    In the time it takes to set up the system and get used to it how do you manage your world - do you use the old habits and try to phase them out or go completely GTD right away? Do you tweak things as you go along to improve things?

    Looking for some tips on how to best implement things.

    Many thanks and as every any comment are very much appreciated.

    macgrl

  • #2
    Originally posted by macgrl View Post
    Hello all,

    I am going to get on the GTD bandwagon having fallen off it again.

    I was interested in knowing how long it takes for people to fully implement GTD and become comfortable / using it becoming routine.

    I appreciate everyone will be sligthly different depending on their personal workloads and commitments that they are using GTD to manage.

    In the time it takes to set up the system and get used to it how do you manage your world - do you use the old habits and try to phase them out or go completely GTD right away? Do you tweak things as you go along to improve things?

    Looking for some tips on how to best implement things.

    Many thanks and as every any comment are very much appreciated.

    macgrl

    It's different for everyone, but David Allen has said:
    2 hours to get the basic concepts
    2 days to get your basic system in place
    2 weeks to get it fully installed
    2 months to make it a habit
    2 years to become black belt GTD

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi macgrl
      I used the big bang approach and spent 2 days clearing out and putting the system in place (that was back in 2009 and I've never looked back!) Once I had the set-up ready I found that I managed to get into the GTD style of working quite quickly. I found it so important to have the basic set-up so that I had a place to put all my actions and all my support material that I trusted as I processed things and learnt the GTD methodology. I just worked on the runway stuff for the first few weeks and didn't really get to grips with projects until a few months in. Lists like the Someday/Maybe list came later still as I got more and more comfortable with my everyday work and was able to expand my thinking and throw up more ideas. Getting the weekly review as a real habit was hugely important for me. My reviews were a bit too sporadic to start with and I think I may have been as much as 8-9 months in before I truly managed to get to grips with making the review absolutely weekly. When my reviews became regular all of the other pieces became easier and easier and the habits have become truly engrained and comfortable.
      I still tweak my system and try out new ideas from the forums to improve things - it's definitely an ongoing process.
      Good luck with implementing and do let us know how you are getting on.
      Best wishes
      Sarah

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by S-Tolland View Post
        When my reviews became regular all of the other pieces became easier and easier and the habits have become truly engrained and comfortable.
        I'd second that. Capturing and organising became natural very quickly, but I didn't start working off my lists until I REALLY started doing a proper regular review.

        Comment


        • #5
          seems to be true about the weekly review

          This is a very interesting thread for me and I thank you for having started it.

          It has been more than a year now that I (really) started with GTD. Collecting was a piece of cake, came really naturally and easily and already helped me a lot in organizing things.

          Processing is still a big stone on my way but I am working on it (reading The Power of Habit from C.Duhigg is helping me to better understand my brain!). Improving...

          And reading this thread I got a "click" (even if I have read this thousands of times all over GTD forums, etc) about the weekly review. I do it but very sporadic and it seems this is impeding me to process and do better. Somehow I am blocked with processing because my brain understood that after processing nothing will happen with the "stuff".

          I find it amazing how small and really "stupid" details can make you understand something that has been explained so many times before. That is mainly why I read the forum.

          Maybe this helps you too: doing my weekly review was very difficult till some time ago, but finally I understood that I cannot set a fix day/time for it every week, as I travel a lot and often on very short note.

          What I do now is to set the date and time for the next review when I finish the one this week. So I know what I will be doing next week and when I will be as "calm" as needed to do it. I put it down on my calendar and do it.

          What David Allen said about 2 hours, 2 days, 2 weeks and so can be the case for some, but these must be rather very, very determined. Might be a good goal but I doubt it applies to the majority of us.

          Good luck anyhow to you and to me too

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you very much for your replies. Very insightful.

            Comment


            • #7
              And it goes without saying that this is a process that yields continuous improvement. You'll make great strides in one area, get stuck on another - then you'll find what was working in one area is no longer working... Your life will change, your needs will change - maybe even your preferences will change. That's what's great about the system - it will change with you!

              Comment


              • #8
                I am going to spend 2/3 days next week fully devoted to setting it up. I have a problem with perfectionism and in the past setting up generates so many questions for me...about how to deal with certain things..impliment them. I have the habit of wanting it to be perfect from the start, that otherwise I am doing it wrong and it will be pointless. But I am hoping things will get easier over time and I guess everyone has their own personal take on how they organize their system within the general gtd principles? When I used gtd in the past I used omnifocus and will be using that again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Emotional Cycle of Change.

                  GTD is not different than other changes that you implement in your life so it causes the same emotional roller coaster that was described in a widely cited 1979 article “The Emotional Cycle of Change” by Kelley & Conner. The elements of this cycle are following:
                  1. Uninformed Optimism (Certainty: The honeymoon) (Information level: Low; Optimism: High)
                  2. Informed Pessimism (Doubt: "Uh-oh, this is harder than it looks... a lot harder.") (Information level: Increasing; Optimism: Decreasing into pessimism)
                  3. Hopeful Realism (Hope: "I dunno, maybe this can work.") (Information level: High; Optimism: Begins to recover)
                  4. Informed Optimism (Confidence: “We can do this!”) (Information level: High; Optimism: High)
                  5. Rewarding Completion (Satisfaction: “Was there ever a doubt?”) (Information level: High; Optimism: High)
                  The "Informed Pessimism" stage is crucial for GTD to survive in your life. Benefits ("mind like water") don't seem as real as in stage one but costs of change (writing down, processign, organizing, doing and reviewing) are becoming very apparent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One One Hand ...

                    My first exposure to David Allen was in 1990 during a seminar at my company. What immediately clicked for me was the next action and outcome connection and putting those things on different lists.

                    I had success right away with my Time File paper binder written with pencil and marked off with a highlighter.

                    This morning I got my inboxes to zero, made processing decisions and organized the results into my OmniFocus-based system on my iPad. I've got a pretty reliable system but I feel like I'm still learning GTD.

                    GTD feels a lot like learning something like the game of golf or playing a musical instrument. You make progress but probably never master, or at least never stop improving.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                      GTD is not different than other changes that you implement in your life so it causes the same emotional roller coaster that was described in a widely cited 1979 article “The Emotional Cycle of Change” by Kelley & Conner. The elements of this cycle are following:
                      1. Uninformed Optimism (Certainty: The honeymoon) (Information level: Low; Optimism: High)
                      2. Informed Pessimism (Doubt: "Uh-oh, this is harder than it looks... a lot harder.") (Information level: Increasing; Optimism: Decreasing into pessimism)
                      3. Hopeful Realism (Hope: "I dunno, maybe this can work.") (Information level: High; Optimism: Begins to recover)
                      4. Informed Optimism (Confidence: “We can do this!”) (Information level: High; Optimism: High)
                      5. Rewarding Completion (Satisfaction: “Was there ever a doubt?”) (Information level: High; Optimism: High)
                      The "Informed Pessimism" stage is crucial for GTD to survive in your life. Benefits ("mind like water") don't seem as real as in stage one but costs of change (writing down, processign, organizing, doing and reviewing) are becoming very apparent.
                      This is the story of every home improvement project I've ever done. Somewhere around Informed Pessimism (Usually identified by much rubble and little sign of improvement yet) I need to have a cup of coffee and take the dogs for a walk. I've learned however that taking a deep breath and then moving forward get me "over the hump" and all will be OK in the end.
                      Interesting to apply this same concept to other less "physical/visual" pursuits.
                      Thank you for pointing it out.

                      Laura

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