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Failed 2x at the first exersize

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  • Failed 2x at the first exersize

    I bought GTD the day before yesterday and am a little discouraged because I failed TWICE at the first exercize on Page 13. My assignment was to write down the project most on my mind at the moment, write a one sentence description of the desired outcome, and identify the first action step I needed to take to move towards that outcome.

    Well the thing most on my mind is a mammoth client project that is consuming my time and thought life, and for a variety of reasons has me stumped ... After much thinking I was unable to figure out a desired outcome or what the next appropriate action step was. I stopped reading the book until I could complete the task. After 24 hours had passed I decided to try the exercize on my next biggest problem.

    I did better with that but had to settle for four action items ... which I then stopped reading to go do. Hmmmn. That one may not have been a failure -- I feel better now that the things are done and a little more i-control of my once organized life that has become (since Jan 15th of this year) a crescendo of chaos!

    Anyway, I'm hoping these "failures" don't mean I wont be successsful at this sytem.

  • #2
    Sounds like the project is tough. Maybe your next action could be something like "brainstorm plan with ____" (fellow worker, partner, etc,) or "meet with client to determine goals"? Just making any progress might help to unstick a bit (e.g., Lakein's "Swiss Cheese" method - poke some holes in it - five minutes spent on *something*). If you could provide some more detail...

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    • #3
      Thanks

      Originally posted by cornell
      Sounds like the project is tough. Maybe your next action could be something like "brainstorm plan with ____" (fellow worker, partner, etc,) or "meet with client to determine goals"? Just making any progress might help to unstick a bit (e.g., Lakein's "Swiss Cheese" method - poke some holes in it - five minutes spent on *something*). If you could provide some more detail...
      Thanks for responding! I like your swiss cheese metaphor. I don't know how to describe my difficulty quickly, and I promised myself I'd go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight -- I've been pulling alot of odd hours in association with the devil project. You know I've been trying to figure out how to make this thing work since January 15th -- maybe I should STOP thinking about it for a few days... Just read the book, and then try again after a breather!

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      • #4
        You may just need to let the "devil project" percolate for some time as you think about a desired outcome and some next actions.

        Also note that it's just an exercise. As far as I know, success/failure on that exercise is not a predictor of success/failure with GTD as a whole. The most important thing is that you're framing your projects in the context of goal and Next Actions, which is great!

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        • #5
          I appreciate that

          Thanks -- That's precisely what I was worried about!

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          • #6
            I've always had the idea that the desired outcome should be a short, simple statement. "The customer is happy" is short and simple, but nailing down exactly what that requires is probably rather complicated.

            Not a silly problem at all.

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            • #7
              If you don't know where you're going....

              Originally posted by ActionGirl
              I've always had the idea that the desired outcome should be a short, simple statement. "The customer is happy" is short and simple, but nailing down exactly what that requires is probably rather complicated.

              Not a silly problem at all.
              I think in any project a clear description of the desired outcome is really essential to success. If you don't know what the desired outcome is how will you know when you've achieved it?

              It might be worthwhile to have a meeting with the client and your partner (and whatever other stakeholders are involved) and just dream a little. Get a whiteboard and just try to define, describe, draw or whatever what this thing (you didn't say what kind of project it is) will look like when it's done perfectly. Describe it as completely as possible. Make a wish list.

              I recently had to do that with a project and was startled to discover that my client had a much more modest expectation than I had thought. I was worried about the massive scope of the project and that it was going to be quite a chore -- then I discover that the client wants something much less dramatic. Put me not only at ease but I quickly realized that we'll be able to exceed their expectations with much less effort than I had feared it would require.

              Good luck!

              -B-

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              • #8
                define the outcome of the project

                Originally posted by Bschorr
                I think in any project a clear description of the desired outcome is really essential to success. If you don't know what the desired outcome is how will you know when you've achieved it?

                It might be worthwhile to have a meeting with the client and your partner (and whatever other stakeholders are involved) and just dream a little. Get a whiteboard and just try to define, describe, draw or whatever what this thing (you didn't say what kind of project it is) will look like when it's done perfectly. Describe it as completely as possible. Make a wish list.

                I recently had to do that with a project and was startled to discover that my client had a much more modest expectation than I had thought. I was worried about the massive scope of the project and that it was going to be quite a chore -- then I discover that the client wants something much less dramatic. Put me not only at ease but I quickly realized that we'll be able to exceed their expectations with much less effort than I had feared it would require.
                I strongly second Bens statement. Meet your related partners and define the outcome of the project. I found myself more than once in the situation, that I would have delivered much more than the customer expected and would have invested much more time and energy than necessary.

                Yours
                Alexander

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ActionGirl
                  I've always had the idea that the desired outcome should be a short, simple statement.
                  This reminds me of something Albert Einstein said once: "Everything in life should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." So, short and simple statements are good, but only to the extent that they retain enough clarity to be useful. If you can't sum up the desired outcome in a few words, it's okay to take a sentence or two (or three or four or...) to capture as much detail as you need to so that you have clarity about the outcome.

                  I think the goal is one of conciseness rather than brevity.

                  -- Tammy

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