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  • Books / Materials req'd for learniing GTD?

    Stumbled onto this forum on looking for a good time management system, in my search much praise is given to David Allen's work. I thus purchased prior to coming here "Ready for Anything" in book form. Last night ordered a tape from Amazon.ca "Geting Things Done". I will also order the book. Using Microsoft office in my office, and Palm Pilot M-100 out in the field. Going to update my Palm to a newer Tungsten or Pocket PC as I want to take Quickbooks and Excell with me in the field. I own a small company, a one man show, thus I have to micro manage a lot of details per day. I decided to educate myself with a proven system and lower the stress and increase productivity. I did study an excellent program back in 95 by Dr. Charles Hobbs in Time management but fell off the band wagon. Increased workload and work demands compel me to seriously re-organize, re-educate and re-invent myself and my business. What gizmo's, books, tapes should I get to learn the system? Been in business for over 20 years and in a rut, and desire to get it moving in a positive direction. Any self employed here having success with the program? Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • #2
    Any program is only as good as the desire to be serious about it. So far, to me, David Allen's ideas have been the most sensible, and when I finally discovered them (the book, the CDs, the second book, this forum, the yahoo group), I have had an instant feeling of having arrived which hasn't left me since. I am not a perfect implementor of all of GTD, but I have established some successful habits that otherwise I would still be hunting for.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by drumsonly2002
      I decided to educate myself with a proven system and lower the stress and increase productivity. I did study an excellent program back in 95 by Dr. Charles Hobbs in Time management but fell off the band wagon. Increased workload and work demands compel me to seriously re-organize, re-educate and re-invent myself and my business.
      Gosh, I didn't know the Time Power book by Hobbs was still in print, but according to Amazon, it is. My understanding is that Hobbs worked with DayTimers giving seminars, and Hyrum Smith worked with him for a time before starting a new company. That company was Franklin Institute, now Franklin Covey. Hobbs had the Daily Record, the little symbols for task status, and the linking of information between planner pages via [date].

      In any case, anyone who has appreciated the power of the Hobbs/Franklin ideas but failed to completely implement them will like aspects of GTD, but may struggle with other parts of GTD. The strength of H/F is also its weakness: you have to conscientiously do almost all of the behaviors every day. If you don't do a behavior on your daily task list, you have to forward it. If you write something on the daily record, you have to take appropriate action pretty much on that day. And the linking of information between pages is only failsafe if you are.

      In contrast, GTD is a lot easier to resume after you "fall off the wagon." Basically, you may need to go through the workflow processing steps plus a weekly review to get going again. The project/next action breakdown is much easier to grasp than the goal orientation of H/F. You know, your goal is "World Peace" with a due date of May 15th, and the daily task is "End World Hunger." You put a dot next to it; you've worked on it a little, and hope to get back to it by the end of the day. One big difference between H/F and GTD is that GTD does not tell you much about processing information for retrieval except to tell you to make filing easy (which is good advice) and some good advice about email. You have to know yourself and your work well enough to deal with information in a way that works for you. Definitely not a one-size-fits-all program.

      Good Luck with GTD!

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      • #4
        Books/Materials

        I remember the Charles Hobbs book and the tape from Day Timer. I think I remember that he and Hyram Smith of Franklin were in business together and it was not an amicable parting.
        I would read Getting things Done first. It really goes over the entire system. the Tapes Getting Things Done Fast, while expensive are a condensed version of the two day seminar and very well done.

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        • #5
          Having read lots of books on time management and organization, to me David Allen's biggest contribution to the literature is follow-up and follow-through. The next action/successful outcome model lays out a way to keep things from falling through the cracks better than anything I have seen.

          By the same token, I think Dr. Hobbs has the answer when it comes to documenting the miscellaneous info that comes our way during the day, in oter words--how to use the "right-hand page." In fact, the thing that keep me from switching from my Day-Timer to a Palm was having a way to do with the Palm what I was doing with the right-hand page of my Day-Timer. Here is a copy & paste of one of my earlier posts on this point:

          When I made the conversion from my Day-Timer to the Palm synced with Outlook, where to put all of the stuff I had been using the right-hand page to capture was a big concern. What I do now is make these journal-type entries in the note section of the respective task. For example, if I have a task that is to call Joe, while I am on the phone, I will record the date and time of the call, Joe's name, and important points about the call in the note section. When the call is over, I will amend the name of the task to reflect the next action and change the category name as appropriate. As I perform that next action, the notes regarding what has preceeded it are in the note section.

          When there is no follow-up and I can simply "check-off" the task, I ask myself if this matter is of "lasting value." If not, I simply check it off. (I can still retrieve it through the search function in Outlook or Palm OS.) If it IS of lasting value, I add a date to the very first of the task line, and drag the task over to the "Notes" icon in Outlook. I never archive the Notes, so all of that type of journal unfo is available to me on either Outlook or my Palm.

          Hope this helps.

          Frank

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