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  • Bridging GTD with other works outside of Franklin-Covey

    I am actively bridging concepts from GTD with works from other thoughts leaders. Franklin-Covey is certainly a popular work that gets much attention in this forum and I have posted my opinions in their respective places as I've gained much from FC, too.

    I am interested in leading a thread of conversation with people who feel they benefit much from David Allen's work and at the same time, appreciate integrating what may be lesser-known paradigms into their own life. The purpose and focus of this topic is leverage GTD as a means to tie our thoughts together and pursue an affinity to fuse these works together some way, some how.

    Two that come to mind right now in particular:

    Mission Control -- They emphasize getting away from old school prioritization mechanisms much akin to GTD. I have not completed this work myself and discovering the relationships to GTD has perked my interest.
    Landmark Education's Communication Cirriculum -- The foundation of this work stems from inventing a new model for communication for yourself. I've completed this work and just for the record, my reference to GTD came from someone I completed this Cirriculum with and believe me, I am forever thankful!

    If anyone has completed either of these 2 works, I'd love to hear your thoughts. While I'm certain there are more than these 2 worth noting, I thought this would be a place to start and get the ball rolling. Please feel welcome to suggest other pieces of work that position themselves to address "personal productivity" (I try to use this term loosely) in the spirit of making this conversation multi-faceted.

    This is certainly an opportunity to bring forth what you're passionate about and make it fun!

    Yours truly is personally looking forward to an opportunity to see David Allen live as early as tomorrow!

    Cheers,
    Chinarut

  • #2
    Chinarut,
    I clicked on the link you provided and looked at the Mission Control site. I read their newsletters, viewed their slide show, and even called and talked with one of their customer service reps. I still haven't the slightest notion how the model works. I assume the "not doing now" list is another name for the "someday/maybe" list, which other models would call the "master list" or "master task list." I assume "occasions" are the same thing as appointments. There is something called the "never doing now" list, to which I haven't a clue. I got the impression from a couple of the newsletters that instead of haven't context lists, everything goes on the calendar, but I could be wrong.

    If anyone has more insight into this, please share. From the looks of things, I have a feeling it's not going to be near the model that GtD is.

    Comment


    • #3
      comparative analysis

      Frank, thank you for your comments.

      I am proud to say I completed David Allen's workshop last thu/fri, had a great time, and pleased with the results thus far! My office has a whole new look, my project and action lists are in existence, and I am floating at the 80% collection mark and looking to have a breakthrough in completion by monday.

      I, too, reviewed Mission Control newsletters and honestly, I feel I get more out of David Allen's newsletter. I made a request to speak to someone in at Mission Control that could speak to David Allen's work. They quickly put me in touch with one of their senior coaches and I've been engaging in a conversation since my last post last week.

      I thought I'd share my analysis so far. Please take what is below as my opinion and my opinion only. I in no way represent either organization and consider myself neutral and unbiased. My intention is summarizing all the information I have thus far is to put the knowledge out there for review by the GTD community and invite everyone to comment:

      community -- As David Allen's "manual" has been published as a book and is available in 8 languages, the size of the community worldwide is substantial and keeps this conversation very much alive.
      resources -- I think it's great GTD has an online forum committed to supporting each other. I think it's also great that practical tips & tools are given away so people get a sense of the work.
      references -- GTD's reference are strong. The work is based on over 20 yrs of experience coaching top executives and leading workshops organizations of some very well-known companies listed on this web site.
      root -- Mission Control has a relationship to Landmark Education and considered a "sister company" The staff and program directors are encouraged to leverage Mission Control productivity principles. The CEO of Mission Control has his roots from Day-Runner.
      online -- Mission Control offers webinars that lead workshops to audiences who have access to a web browser. How effective this is, I don't know.
      engagements -- GTD requires no pre-work, homework, and post-work is left to your discipline. Mission Control appears to have pre-course calls and assignments before, during, and after the course. GTD does keep you very active and encourage you to complete work in real-time during the course.
      accessability -- Mission Control registration support appears to have a willingness to escalate questions to a level for you to be complete. I have not attempted to escalate questions with David Allen Co. at this time of writing.
      distinctions -- The distinctions around project lists, nextAction lists, etc. seem to be very very similar and appear to have many mappings. Without having completed Mission Control, I cannot speak to a direct comparison.

      I hope this is a start and useful to anyone who follows this thread. I, myself, am off to Thailand until April 2 and I, foremost, am excited to continue implementing and practicing David's Workflow Process as a discipline. There's no doubt I certainly look forward to getting things done in Thailand!

      Given this forum is over the web, I look forward to keeping up this conversation. Best wishes in being powerful out there!

      Chinarut

      Comment


      • #4
        re:"flawed system" below and "bridging"-

        I have been making efforts to implement GTD but encountering difficulties reaching stressfree productivity. Specifically, I have just kept carrying around my huge notebook, get depressed when I open it, throw materials from work, home and hobbies on my desk which is like a giant growing in-box, and feeling less and less in control as I capture more and more just from my mind to my lists and don't even get to the other stuff. So I am trying to specify for myself what the "difficulties" are and see if they can be dealt with as grist for the GTD mill. So, I am taking "over-whelmed" and mindsweeping it: I can break it down to 2 minute vs. single, action vs project vs. SDM, etc? And, the answer is yes. Thus, a 2 minute or less action is re-stack t frightful stackthat has fallen off desk and keeps me from getting to the desk). A single action item is remove gym bags and brief cases from in front of desk. A project (small) is take all note book pages with just one or two items left and re-distribute into exisiting or new buckets to reduce list from 50 plus pages to ten or less, and a project (large) is to learn ways to reduce work using technology. If I let "these difficulties" just float around in my mind they will rob my mental and physical energy. In other words, problems with the system may be open loops in implementation. That being said, I noticed that a contributor to the size of my list was undone routine actions--if GTD has a system for routine items then I haven't gotten it . Although I recall on the FAST tapes reference to reminder checklists, I don't recall much elaboration here. Probably, David's main clients have staff to delegatethe duties to for many of the recurring routine items, so perhaps this isn't elaborated or perhaps I just didn't get it! However, Pam Young and Peggy Jones, a pair of writers in the realm of household management, have a book and system for the recurring tasks that need to be done at specified intervals for things to go well in the home--they use a tickler system with color coded index cards for daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal tasks. As their kids grow up and in my opnion they had more control of their time, that is, they had bigger units of time and more predictable interuptions (yes, this is domestic life but you can find the overlaps with workplace roles), they switched to check lists in a notebook. In both systems theyhave you include motivational reminders of hour choice that you put into your own tools. Anyway, I thnk that the best complement to GTD is their system(s). For one thing you see that what is a project one day becomes a 2 minute recurring task the next! For more info. go to their site SHESINTOUCH.COM where SHE stands for Side Tracked Home Executive and you can find descriptions of their books. There site is not very commercial and worthy of support by buying their books via the links from there. I don't work for these ladies but I truly think that some GTD users would find the SHE systems highly bridgable and you can do it lowtech (index cards, notebook) or hightech (Palm) .

        Comment


        • #5
          we are where we are

          Hi Jamie,

          Thanks for telling us where you are and being brave to hit this forum running! First, take a deep breath..there's nothing wrong with whatever "difficulties" you perceive!

          Quick comments:

          6 levels of work -- I hear a focus on David Allen's 6 levels of work model may make a difference. I get the impression you're on the "runway" and you're probably getting good at it. Have a look at the other 5 levels of work and see if this makes a difference. are you only putting > 2 min actions on your list? nextActions < 2 min if they are items you cannot complete where you are (ie. @Home when you are running errands)

          Delegation -- The @Clearing context is useful for items in other people's courts. You speaking about delegation and my comment is when I leverage this context, they are not necessarily direct reports, but rather nextAction I'm holding friends, colleagues, family members, loved ones, whatever accountable for doing what they said they'd do. What I'm finding is there are times you just gotta set people straight and not be afraid to tell them they're not being their word...one of my challenges.

          Routine Items -- I'm having this challenge too and the coaching I got is to trust your daily and weekly checklists. I'm about to take this on over the next few weeks.

          ShesInTouch.com -- I had a look and it looks like another community to connect to leverage each other's resources. Other than that, I'm not very clear on what the purpose and mission of the community is without asking. It is not very obvious and/or posted.

          Hang in there, get in the cockpit, be happy you're on the runway, and fly high! =)

          Chinarut

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for your reply Chinarut and I esp. thank that your noticing that I am focusing on one level of work (runway) --thatis probably right on target and I do need to address that. I think that your comment about SHESINTOUCH not having a clear mission for visitors is excellent. Their site would not be very appealing to people whose workplaces and jobs don't include a lot of home and family responsbilities--the original authors have created a system of time and task management for people doing often boring, unappreciated, and repetative work that is central to homemaking but who by the nature of the environment get interupted all the time, get new demands thrown in (e.g., sick baby, spous's job loss) and who by personality makeup would excell in creative, project-based, or crisis-directed work. Thus their system it revolves around checklists and ticklers with the idea that you can never cathc-up but you can jump in but it is not as well-developed in the project areas or the levels of work concepts. I do think that my bloated next-action list can be cured by more effective use of checklists. I do have a checklist of 27 items that must be done everyday without fail and by golly when things are out of control, I know I better grab that list and do the first one that I can given the context I am in/at(some of these must be done at home but others can be done in the car, at the office, while waiting, etc.).

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Jamie,

              Could you give us a reference to the URL that describes the ShesInTouch system?

              Upon first glance, it looked like discussion resource (much like this forum) and I must have missed the reference!

              Thanks,
              Chinarut

              Comment


              • #8
                The system that Pam Young and Peggy Jones have outlined is in their books, one is called The Side Track Sisters... but I don't think I can find their method on a website except that you can reference the books via the SHESinTOUCH site. The main idea is to color code cards for recurring tasks by frequency and use a dated tickler system, include in the cards inspiration and other growth-enhancing activities and even flexibiity to swap activities from one day to another. The book is great for people up to their ears in house work or who can see the similarities between housework and other kinds of work but may not appeal to people in corporate environments. I do think that I have reduced a portion of my next actions by using the tickler/card system and just referencing on the next actions list--so "office, first hour routine--see cards"refers to different tasks on different days--some are 3 minutes, some 10 minutes, some a bunch of 1 minutes all together--like attack backlog alphabetical filing, and some are not timed but could be 5 minutes or 20 and just break down a bigger tedious project like "make revisions on next page of policy manual".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mission Control

                  I have taken the Mission Control workshop and am working on integrating GTD and Mission Control. Mission Control is more focused on how all of the things you have to do exist for you. It focuses on the "why is that something for you to do?" and provides mechanisms for keeping that why present as you prepare to do it and then do it.

                  While the "Visual Display" has quite a few components in common with GTD, I think that GTD introduces additional practical approaches to cleaning the inbox and deciding on next actions that are absent in Mission Control.

                  I'd be interested to hear from others who have merged these concepts...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Anonymous
                    I noticed that a contributor to the size of my list was undone routine actions--if GTD has a system for routine items then I haven't gotten it.
                    The Tickler file.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Try Flylady

                      Hi, If you have not checked out the FlyLady website at www.flylady.net you should. They teach a modified version of the S.H.E. system, and offer lots of online resources for working at home. Search this site and you will find a number of people who have merged GTD and FlyLady.

                      There is lots of hope! You are up and running, keep going. Habits built over years and not changed in a few days, but you will pick fruit over time.

                      Best Wishes,
                      Gordon

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ssh
                        I have taken the Mission Control workshop and am working on integrating GTD and Mission Control. Mission Control is more focused on how all of the things you have to do exist for you. It focuses on the "why is that something for you to do?" and provides mechanisms for keeping that why present as you prepare to do it and then do it.

                        While the "Visual Display" has quite a few components in common with GTD, I think that GTD introduces additional practical approaches to cleaning the inbox and deciding on next actions that are absent in Mission Control.

                        I'd be interested to hear from others who have merged these concepts...
                        wow! I'm so pleased to see this post! Looks like thread notifications didn't translate through the PHPBB to vBulletin transition.

                        I clearly feel like I would have to take MC - but I get a sense of what you're saying - it's no surprise given the folks that designed the course that MC is based on concepts around ontology - the study of existence or being.

                        I'm going to forward your comment immediately to my contact at Mission Control and see if we can get any additional comments. I would certainly would like to hear feedback from others as well!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          People should be aware that Mission Control is linked with Landmark Education.
                          The Landmark Forum is an extremely controversial and dangerous group that was derived from "est", and it actively promotes itself all over the internet in covert ways.
                          The confusion you feel when attempting to understand their material is deliberate, and meant to draw you into their "coaching", which then leads you to attend their seminars, which draws you in yet deeper, as the cycle continues.

                          Search on Google for "Landmark" and "cult" and you will see countless sites criticizing the dangers of the Landmark Forum. This is one to stay far away from.

                          http://skepdic.com/landmark.html
                          http://www.rickross.com/groups/landmark.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ProjectThis!
                            People should be aware that Mission Control is linked with Landmark Education.
                            The Landmark Forum is an extremely controversial and dangerous group that was derived from "est", and it actively promotes itself all over the internet in covert ways. ...This is one to stay far away from.
                            It can be useful to be aware of the foundations and controversies of people's work. However, Mormonism could be considered equally controversial, and it is the foundation of Hyrum Smith's extraordinary Franklin Planner, and Steven Covey's very useful 7 Habits. Anyone who's studied history would question many of the actions behind Catholicism, yet some of my own best teachers are members of that school of thought ("The Teachings of Cathol", as Eddie Izzard says). The list is pretty long of controversial foundations behind some pretty useful ideas taught by useful people.

                            I agree with much of the complaints around est, but I also agree with much of the complaints around the others listed above. But I personally got one great insight from the est workshop I took moons ago; I got a handful from 7 Habits, and countless ones from Covey's work. I don't know what David Allen believes, and for me, it doesn't matter. The system he teaches I find extraordinarily valuable.

                            It is a great skill to learn from people of extremely wide backgrounds, even really weird wacky ones, and trust that you won't end up in the cult of Cathol in the process.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If I want to know what GTD is all about, there are several ways to do so. Probably the easiest today is to buy the GTD book (<$20 in paperback), or the audiobook. There are active, open forums on the web. The basic ideas are summarized in many places on the web, there are plastic templates available for not much money, there is a $10 whitepaper on implementation in Outlook, there is a nice brief summary at the back of the Ready For Anything book. So why do people pay much more money for live seminars or personal coaching? For a variety of reasons, I think, but two reasons are surely that getting started is hard and building consistent habits is hard. There are no secrets.

                              If you want to give Mission Control some of your money, they have a $35 module called "Using Not Doing Now and Never Doing Now Lists " which is described this way: "This module provides you with a way to remove the burden of all the things you think you should be doing but aren't - immediately leaving you more focused and productive." Seems like a relatively cheap way to find out if there is more there than with the gtd someday/maybe list, but I'm not buying. Are you?

                              Comment

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