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  • Interfacing with other people...

    Hi, I just picked up this book after reading at treocentral about GTD and how well it can work with palm applications etc...

    I'm admittedly only about 3/4 of the way through the book, just at the part where i'm supposed to do my big overhaul of collecting stuff for my inbox.

    Here's where i'm concerned...

    1. I'm not a businessman. The system seems to be geared towards operating a business. I'm a 911 calltaker and police/fire dispatcher, but my life is still complicated enough that i can't track everything in my head and simple date book and todo list will get swamped with everything i have on my plate. Is GTD a good system for someone like me?

    2. Much of what will go into my inbox when i'm done is stuff that is the responsibility of my wife, or is a shared responsibility. Does she have to be onboard with this to make it work? I'm curious to see how others handle this issue.

    Thanks for any help!
    -Antiacus

  • #2
    I can't speak to your first question, though people in this forum cover a wide range of occupations.

    On the second point, GTD makes no assumptions about what systems (if any) other people are using. It simply provides a mechanism (Waiting For) for following up on other people's commitments to you. If your wife doesn't meet those commitments, that's a relationship issue, not a GTD issue.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Antiacus
      1. I'm not a businessman. The system seems to be geared towards operating a business. I'm a 911 calltaker and police/fire dispatcher, but my life is still complicated enough that i can't track everything in my head and simple date book and todo list will get swamped with everything i have on my plate. Is GTD a good system for someone like me?
      I assume you are not thinking about putting 911 calls on an "@Phone" list as next actions when you have discretionary time! Seriously, there is no reason why most of GTD shouldn't work for most everybody. For people who are sometimes extremely busy with immediate, top-priority demands (you, soldiers, parents of small children,..), it provides a way to get other things off the mind so that focus stays where it needs to be.

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      • #4
        Most of DA's clients work in corporate America. However, there are many of us, including myself, who do not work in corporate America who find GTD very useful. I am self-employed and I use GTD extensively in my business as well as my personal life, including with my hobbies. So I am sure that you will find a lot of value that GTD has to offer even though you are not working in a typical office setting.

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        • #5
          1) GTD is more helpful for some jobs than for others and it may or may not help you with your job. However, GTD is not just for managing job responsibilities, it is for managing all of your household and personal responsibilities and personal/professional goals, etc. I think GTD is a good system for everyone who has a life, regardless of profession or even being retired. If there are any areas of your life that seem overwhelming or could use more organization and efficiency, then GTD can help.

          2) Your wife does not have to be onboard for the system to help you to be more effective in coordinating and following up with her.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the insights!

            I've got a 4 day weekend coming up starting tomorrow. I'm going to go ahead and dive in feet first.

            Now i've just got to figure out Datebook5 and Shadowplan and how to implement everything. It sounds like it's fairly painless to go all paper at first though, then switch over some aspects of the system to an electronic format after the fact, so i'll probably go that route until i understand my tools better.

            -Antiacus

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            • #7
              Hi there,

              I've been using GTD for about a month. My husband is not "onboard" with GDT either. He loves that I use it, but he doesn't use a palm or the computer at home. I use it from my perspective and still list items to be done by both of us. You could create a context category called @your wife's name for her to do's and a 1:1your wife's name for your items you must discuss with her. If she had a palm and got onboard it would be easier, but it could work just for you. What is important that you find a trusted system that your brain can trust that you will use to keep track of things that are important for you.

              For me I have the following context locations for my personal to do's.
              @home - Things that can only be done at home.
              @office - Things I can only do at work- Personal things about work like 401k, benefits, etc.
              @calls-
              @computer- I don't use online since all my computers are online. Could be PDA, research something on computer.
              @errand-anything I need to do while I'm out. Shopping lists go here.
              @husband -These are things that are on his plate to get done. I review them and remind/talk to him to keep his projects moving forward.
              @Waiting for-Anything I want to track that I'm waiting on someone else or something to come in.
              1:1 husband - These are things to discuss with him.
              1:1 kids-Things to discuss with kids-one for each of them
              Someday/maybe list


              I'm an administrative assistant and my work and home systems are totally seperate. The GTD works wonders for me personally keeping my kids activities and all other activities running smoothly.

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              • #8
                Re: Interfacing with other people...

                2) In regards to your wife being onboard, I would say that GTD is primarily a set of tools designed to help one individual move to a much higher level of INDIVIDUAL responsibility--not just in tasks and to-do's, but in relationships as well.

                For me, adopting GTD dramatically illuminated the LACK of a similar system in the lives of my wife and friends. As I get better at managing my life, I'm struck by how often I have to follow up with other people and tactfully remind them about their commitments. GTD lets me do this with a relatively low amount of pain, and helps me be less susceptible to the inevitable times when someone else drops the ball (since my system encompasses reminders about the things I'm waiting for from them).

                So, no, your wife definitely doesn't necessarily have to be on board in order for you to greatly benefit from GTD. But she may notice that you're following up about things more often, and if her personal system is less robust than yours, your awareness of this gap will probably increase immediately.

                Just one perspective, but I hope it's helpful,

                Jeff
                Last edited by blaster151; 11-01-2005, 02:57 PM. Reason: Silly title

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