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  • Turnaraound ... what is your hardest thing about GTD?

    After the discussion about the "most useful" things in GTD turned up a lot of info, I'll turn this around for a round of the toughest, hardest thing about GTD.
    Helpers with these are, of course welcome and wanted.

    So, without further ado, I'll start.

    1. The weekly review
    - No surprise, but I am working myself out of it with a few weeks under my belt now and lots of small, distributed reviews.

    2. NA follow up
    Once I have completed an NA, I find it difficult to get to the next action on the list. This is actually a "technical" issue, as I have my projects set up as contacts and I find the switch hard to do, especially on my PDA with pocket Informant.

    ::: emp :::

  • #2
    For me, two things pop into mind:

    1) First of all, definitely the weekly review. It's clear what this should encompass, but it's very tempting to work off a few action steps while doing the review. That's not a best practice even if they are less-than-2-minute items, as the weekly review should not be a "runway" event.

    2) Secondly, getting in the habit of deciding on proper context at the time a N/A is INITALLY DEFINED. At this stage (6 weeks) I find myself having to move a lot of N/A's from one context list to the next because I didn't make a good choice of assignment on the front side. This isn't worrisome, though, because I know it's a habit which must be taught by experience and reinforced by repetition - a few mistakes in this area are simply good training tools. Here's the good thing - I can clearly see why it's so important to put the N/A's in the right context at the time they are defined, so this is a habit worth cultivating.

    Comment


    • #3
      Two things for me:

      1. Weekly review. I just can't make myself sit down and do it.

      I think it's pathological!

      Comment


      • #4
        hardest part for me

        I have just realized that my weakest link is PROCESSING.

        My mind goes blank when I look at a piece of paper.....Anybody have any suggestions on fixing this problem? I am stuck in Amorphous Blob mud in My "I'm GTD" project until I solve this problem....

        I could use all the help I could get! The paper is really piling up!

        Thanks,
        Bridgette

        Comment


        • #5
          Hardest Thing

          I have a hard time with each part of GTD. I think it is an extremely difficult system to use as intended. In fact I think its too hard for most people to do. That said, I think its the best system out there.

          To be be honest, I'm looking for something easier - all the time. I'm thinking there are things I'm willing to give up in order to have a system I am more likely to use consistently. For example, collecting EVERYTHING. I'm beginning to think I should be able to get along with some open loops in my life.

          I dont mean to bash GTD, I've just begun to realize that after a year spent trying to implement it, I'm probably not going go the whole route. There has to be a middle ground.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: hardest part for me

            Originally posted by spirithaven
            My mind goes blank when I look at a piece of paper.....Anybody have any suggestions on fixing this problem? I am stuck in Amorphous Blob mud in My "I'm GTD" project until I solve this problem....
            David's list of questions really help me:

            What is this?
            What do I have to do about it?
            (David says "Is it actionable?" but to me the jargon sounds tortured.)

            Comment


            • #7
              spirithaven: Let me take a stab at this. Consider your thought process and your job.

              First of all, you never look at a "piece of paper" unless you are opening a package and taking out blank sheets one at a time. (Kind of a dumb thing to do, don't you agree?)

              What you are calling a "piece of paper" is information. It needs a home.

              It is something on which you need to begin a process of next actions, something you need to defer to some other time (or file as reference material), something you need to delegate to someone else, or something which deserves a proper burial. Every bit of written information you handle falls into one of those categories. Your job is to help it get home so both it at and you will be relieved of your stress.

              Comment


              • #8
                Without any doubt the weekly review is the hardest thing in the GTD.

                For me is been hard, I made the mistake to find a better system before I really understand the system, after I decided to use the KISS principle my GTD is getting better, my inner geek wants to use more software, but I have 6 more weeks (an 8 weeks trial) without new software for GTD, I am using Palm Desktop, the basic and most simple setup. The result is been great.

                For me that is the second thing more hard in GTD, break with the old habits, and understand the system is different...

                For the people with problems with weekly review (I was one) for me works great change mine to Wenesday, instead of monday or friday... at friday i was thinking in go home, at monday i was extingish fire at work, wenesday instead is been a great thing.

                The other secret to my improve is the physical basket in my home...

                Tomorow I will add another element to my GTD, a Journal, I will go to B&N or Borders and find one of those nice Journals to let my mind free...

                I will report...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Filing

                  Hi spirithaven.

                  I think the anonymous poster has a point, what you are looking at most likely isn't a blank piece of paper.

                  So you need to look at it and

                  a) decide what to do about it
                  b) file it
                  or
                  c) destroy it

                  When I look at the piles that people make, I see two categories of items or papers

                  1 - Trash

                  These things are either trash that needs to be thrown out or

                  2- Important papers in need of filing
                  These often have no predefined home or are in a shape that doesn't lend itself to filing.
                  Bank statements and shopping receipts fall into that category, as do manuals for appliances.

                  So..

                  You need to set up a filing system, then sit down with your piles and work through them, one at a time.
                  Decide what to do about each item and then file or destroy the paper.

                  my $.02
                  :::emp:::

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Speaking honestly and from the heart?

                    The lack of excitement.

                    I think this is because I might have been a bit of a last-minute-adrenaline-junkie: now I find I am looking for a new kind of motivation. I have to go to work, I have to get the stuff done … and the whiz-bang of dead-lines barely met was often the only pulse raising thing that happened all year.

                    Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole GTD system is beautifully integrated and works on so many levels, and I have no problems with any of its components. But let’s face it, and organised well ruin accountancy practice is not where you go to experience the true meaning of life.

                    The best route that I can see is to go for so stretch targets: X number of new clients per quarter maybe, just to get the pulse moving again.

                    (I can sense Scott Lewis putting a positive spin on this post, and he’s right: GTD has helped me “tidy out the garage” at work: I know now where everything is, and what is expected, and when – I should capitalise on the opportunity presented and focus more on business development. Stretch targets it is!)

                    Dave

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Busydave
                      But let’s face it, and organised well ruin accountancy practice is not where you go to experience the true meaning of life.
                      (emphasis mine)

                      Freudian slip, Dave?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One Positive Spin Coming Up!

                        Originally posted by Busydave
                        Speaking honestly and from the heart?

                        The lack of excitement.

                        I think this is because I might have been a bit of a last-minute-adrenaline-junkie: now I find I am looking for a new kind of motivation. I have to go to work, I have to get the stuff done … and the whiz-bang of dead-lines barely met was often the only pulse raising thing that happened all year.
                        Dave,

                        Go to your project list and make entry for "Project Adrenaline." Use the natural planning method to brainstorm least fifty (and I mean fifty) ways you could get a good shot of adrenaline without screwing anything up. Then use your system to start exploring them.

                        From what I know about you from reading your posts, it may be that your search for serenity, tranquility, and calm is having the effect of boring you to death. You might want to start embracing the whole range of human experience. Think about the possibility of being able to meditate profoundly all morning and riding the Rollercoaster of Death at the local amusement park all afternoon.

                        I had an insight this morning as I was driving to work that you might find useful. It occurred to me that in order to make ourselves feel better, we often start out by doing more of the things that are making us miserable in the first place.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          busydave: A couple of accountant-related posts here.
                          1) You could decide that BEATING deadlines is more important than MAKING them, and make it a priority to see how quickly you can effect turnarounds of work rather than finishing "just ahead of" or "just on" deadlines.
                          2) This would possibly free you up to spend time cultivating more consulting projects with your existing clients. You already know their business so it's a natural transition to consult with them and bring added value in the ancillary services you provide.

                          Stated another way, it's not how many cows you have in your herd, but rather how you milk them that counts. (I don't mean "Milk" in a negative sense)

                          (In the interest of clarity, I was "guest" on the 4:09 pm post - had signed on from another computer & didn't automatically get logged in)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Activation levels

                            There is a theory in psychology in regard to the level of excitement people seek out.
                            According to this theory, people tend to gravitate towards the activation level that keeps them awake. Starting out with different tresholds leads to all kinds of behaviour.

                            Following this, people needing a lot of activation would tend towards ectreme sports, adrenaline pumping beats, etc..

                            Of course, you can reach this by slipping enough deadlines, but I think there would be financially healthier ways to achieve this.

                            My $.02

                            Get skiers, rollerblades, a skateboard, or a sled (depending on weather and mood) and let some kids show you the local "hill of death".
                            Proceed.

                            :::emp:::

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I still struggle with getting my paper inbox to empty. My e-mail inbox is lean and mean, but the paper likes to pile up. I'm very strong on processing, so I think it's just not setting up enough time to process, trash and file. The weekly review goes much more smoothly if the inbox is empty.

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