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  • Have given up & feel free.

    I have been working with various forms of GTD for a number of years to varying degrees of success. I know that the reason it has not really taken is I have not practiced what has been recommended, though I have really tried. I have read the books and listened to all 8 CD's in Getting Things Done Fast.

    I decided to pack it in and save for a work project list and forget about the @next action categories, waiting fors etc about two months ago.

    How liberating it has been for me. How much more productive, too.

    To those of you who are being effective and have a mind like water - my complements!

    To those of you who have been struggling for a while - let it go - I am happier, less stressed, more productive. You might be too!

  • #2
    I am at the point to get my things done, but not with GTD in a 100%-state, but in my way, picking up more and more components as right for my speed and circumstances.

    GTD is a killing way when force is the inspiration!

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't really understand the "100% state" comment

      I'm pretty sure that David doesn't suggest you do everything exactly his way. In fact, that has been one of the best parts about the system, its adaptability. He says he prefers not to use hanging file folders, but use them if you want to or need to, etc. Absolutely none of these of things are "required." The entire book is a recommendation that says, "If you do these sorts of things with this sort of consistency you're going to accomplish more."

      Why you would take the parts that work for you and leave the others and say you're "giving up" means that you might be taking the book a bit too literally. Sounds to me like you're having success with some of the techniques.

      Comment


      • #4
        Even one GTD tip can change your prodouctivity.

        You do not necessarily have to implement the whole GTD methodology to increase your productivity. Some people use the 2-minute rule only and it increases their performance significantly. But for me the most essential part of GTD is the Weekly Review which forces me to stop for a while to catch any open loops and decide where I want to focus my attention and activity in the next week(s).

        Comment


        • #5
          Case in point...

          Case in point...

          But I think I know what you mean. On the other hand this is the first system I have ever seen that is or can be totally inclusive, totally adaptable and the more I get into it...gives me hope!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Eutychus
            Case in point...

            But I think I know what you mean. On the other hand this is the first system I have ever seen that is or can be totally inclusive, totally adaptable and the more I get into it...gives me hope!
            Eutychus,

            I think you have hit the nail on the head. The essence of GTD is its totalism. Tickler files, 2-minute rules, in-boxes, labelers, and standing files are peripheral. So is grouping by contexts. (I know, who appointed me to be the GTD police? No one. This is all IMHO.)

            The essence of GTD is getting everything out of your head and into your trusted system.

            Of course, this is impossible. You can never get everything you think you've committed yourself to do written out. But that's the ideal. That's the goal. If you know that there are major life commitments that are not in your system and you don't put them into your system at your next weekly review, then (IMHO) you are not doing GTD. Using the 2-minute rule is not doing GTD (unless you are organizing every >2-minute NA into your trusted system).

            Lots of people draw mind-maps and make outlines. Lots of people have an in-box. Lots of people have a trash can. They meet neither the necessary nor the sufficient conditions of being a GTDer (as defined in the newly discovered 5 books of moises). Having a written list of everything you are committed to doing is necessary and sufficient for making you a GTDer.

            I know that David says it's all about tricks. I suppose you could put it that way but I believe that misrepresents his accomplishment. Perhaps it's an expression of his exaggerated modesty. The tricks are tricks. And many of them are darn good ones. But GTD is not an accidental bricolage of assorted tricks. It is, at its heart, a total system. And whitevandriver has decided that maintaining a total system is more than he wants to deal with.

            I applaud his frank and illuminating post. Surely there must be many more GTD dropouts than he. Doing GTD takes, as CosmoGTD used to say, a fair degree of compulsion. Not every personality is constituted to be so compulsive. And, many people have lives that do not require such compulsion.

            GTD takes hard work and discipline. It's paid off handsomely for me. I couldn't conceive of keeping all the balls that I have in the air without GTD. But it's not for everyone. In fact, it's not for most people. And whievandriver's post is an expression of that fact.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by moises
              ...as defined in the newly discovered 5 books of moises...
              Are you sure they weren't written by Mary Magdalene?

              Thanks for your summary; you make some excellent points.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, David explains clearly that GTD isn't for everyone. On the FAST CD, he talks about chucking it all, living on the beach, and selling beads for a living. But clearly there are degrees of application which fall somewhere between a fully integrated mind-like-water state and the other extreme of selling beads on the beach.

                Like Moises, I'm convnced that GTD is making me more productive and profitable. Unlike Moises, I'm confortable employing the elements that work for me right now while moving closer to full impletmentation of the system as it becomes possible for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It can take a little time to work up to...

                  I mean, why would he even publish the thing about the belts if you're supposed to just "get it" in one sitting? For me it's got to be a progression. Like David, it's a bottom up approach for me. I'm good at the capturing, pretty good at the next action and context list bit, not bad at the weekly review, but I'm still down the slope on 50,000 foot planning and project planning. The better I get at the low level stuff, the better I'll get at the high level stuff.

                  Unless I just "give up" and abandon the whole thing, I cannot help but progress toward that black belt if I just stay with it at some level. Reread page 4 of Getting Things Done. David says, "You can incorporate, as many others have before you, what I describe as an ongoing dynamic style of operating in your work and in your world. Or, like still others, you can simply use this as a guide to getting back into better control when you feel you need to."

                  Clearly it's not an all or nothing approach.
                  Last edited by Vramin; 07-31-2006, 09:10 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vramin
                    The better I get at the low level stuff, the better I'll get at the high level stuff....

                    Clearly it's not an all or nothing approach.
                    Nicely put. Yeah, it stressed me out a lot at the start to try to have complete and exhaustive lists. One thing that helped was giving myself time to get on a roll at the atomic level of next actions and forgetting about the bigger picture for a little bit.

                    I think you have to build up trust in your system bit by bit. So you start by cultivating the habits of collecting, processing, and acting and then build up to a complete capture of all your stuff. I know this is the reverse of complete capture that David recommends in the book. I know that you can't really "trust" your system until it contains everything. But at the same time, the idea of thinking of everything is a little bit daunting--and hard to do if you haven't worked out your system. So I guess all this is to say that the buildup is gradual. And in my case, it was better to get some things done than none at all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My 2 cents...

                      GTD Pros:

                      Mind like Water
                      Empty Head
                      Productivity increase
                      Repulsion from disorganize people around you when you make them accountables
                      Organization
                      Peace

                      GTD Cons:
                      IT IS HARD TO DO
                      IT IS HARDER TO KEEP IT CURRENT
                      IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET THE SYSTEM
                      In David Allen's words... IT IS AN ONION... (my 2 cents... IT IS THE NEVERENDING ONION)

                      I have been doing GTD, in some way or other since December 2003. When on the wagon, fell of the wagon, play with the system, fight with the system... and so on...

                      GTD it is hard, requires a lot of work to make many of their common sense techniques to stick, took me months to do a constant weekly review, took me months to empty my inbox, took me months to carry an UTC... took me months to get from green belt to my proud brown belt...

                      I am a proud brown belt, and I agree, GTD it is not for everybody, there are simples fixes, they are easy ways, they are other ideas...

                      GTD it is not an easy fix, takes a lot of work to get there, it is not I read the book and I am set... I have read the book 5 times, and continue getting new things, I have listen to the GTD Fast almost everyday for the last 2 years it is the only thing I listen in the car...

                      It is not easy, it is a hard thing to do... but like a martial art... break the board, takes years of practice, of running, of many sacrifices... but the day you break the table (or you have mind like water) even if it is for a day... you look back, smile, and remeber how great the journey has been...

                      GTD it is a Journey.... you can enjoy the journey or not... you can take the road or not...

                      I will continue taking the GTD road, for those moments that I get my mind like water... even if I get 1 day a year... I am getting one more day than before... I am getting the haponess of breaking the board...
                      Last edited by apinaud; 07-31-2006, 03:28 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by madalu
                        Nicely put. Yeah, it stressed me out a lot at the start to try to have complete and exhaustive lists. One thing that helped was giving myself time to get on a roll at the atomic level of next actions and forgetting about the bigger picture for a little bit.

                        I think you have to build up trust in your system bit by bit. So you start by cultivating the habits of collecting, processing, and acting and then build up to a complete capture of all your stuff. I know this is the reverse of complete capture that David recommends in the book. I know that you can't really "trust" your system until it contains everything. But at the same time, the idea of thinking of everything is a little bit daunting--and hard to do if you haven't worked out your system. So I guess all this is to say that the buildup is gradual. And in my case, it was better to get some things done than none at all.
                        I concur. Your system will never contain everything. It is daunting.

                        I concur with Vramin. Bottom up is the way to go.

                        I concur that you can do GTD just fine without doing the higher altitude stuff.

                        The key is to get your NAs (Runway) and Projects (10,00 feet) into a list. I went more than a year without doing anything higher than 10,000 feet.

                        If you have current NAs and Projects and they are not in your list, then you can't trust your list. As far as I see it, the key GTD notion is psychic RAM. That stuff is very limited. So you get it out of RAM into a written storage system. That is the GTD discipline.

                        A distinct and separate issue is how to learn to do GTD. David Allen Co. often parachutes in for a few days to turn some executive around. But we all know habits take weeks to develop and months, if not years, to hone and refine.

                        No one goes from having no list on Friday to having a complete list on Monday. Sure, it's a process and it takes time.

                        But, after one year, if you consistently have current projects and NAs that you are not entering into your trusted system, then you can't trust that system. And what is GTD if not a system you can trust?

                        I read a very cool quote this morning in a book that I don't have with me at my current location. (Andy Clark's "That Special Something: Dennett on the Making of Minds and Selves") The author of the article called language a mind-tool. He cited some evidence showing that once chimpanzees were taught some language, they were able to do higher order thinking that they were incapable of doing prior to acquiring language.

                        The author was arguing that brain research demonstrates that mind-tools like language change the brain. So mind-tools, a product of human nature, in turn changes the nature of human beings.

                        GTD is a mind-tool. For it to work, the human being must get the stuff they want to do out of her mind. Once she does this, her brain is changed (I would hypothesize) and she is capable of thinking at a level and doing things that she was incapable of thinking and doing prior to acquiring the GTD mind-tool.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bottom up or top down?

                          Originally posted by Vramin
                          Like David, it's a bottom up approach for me. I'm good at the capturing, pretty good at the next action and context list bit, not bad at the weekly review, but I'm still down the slope on 50,000 foot planning and project planning. The better I get at the low level stuff, the better I'll get at the high level stuff.
                          I think that the bottom up approach helps many people to clear the runway and jump to the higher levels of planning.

                          But in my opinion the best results in GTD implementation are achieved by people who already know what they want to do and are focused on their goals. They treat GTD as a great tool - not a goal itself so they are not interested in endless tuning the system to be perfect. They want their goals to be achieved - with GTD or without it. If GTD helps them (as in most cases) - they use it, if not - they stop using it without any regret.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Agreed...

                            Originally posted by TesTeq
                            But in my opinion the best results in GTD implementation are achieved by people who already know what they want to do and are focused on their goals. They treat GTD as a great tool - not a goal itself so they are not interested in endless tuning the system to be perfect. They want their goals to be achieved - with GTD or without it. If GTD helps them (as in most cases) - they use it, if not - they stop using it without any regret.
                            I agree 100%. I think somewhere else David mentions that most people who would even consider a system like this are already goal oriented and driven, otherwise they wouldn't be looking for ways to get better at it. I have given copies of this book to several people who seemed interested in it, but I'm not sure that any of them have actually even read it yet, much less implemented even a part of the system.

                            Myself, I will continue to practice and bring my level of effectiveness up. I find it hard to be specific enough with myself when it comes to my higher level goals - I so distrust myself to ever achieve them that I am repelled from thinking about them. As my faith in my abilility to keep promises to myself rises at the lower levels, certainly my faith in my bigger promises will increase as well. GTD appears to be a vehicle to get me where I want to go, not my destination.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              New baby keeping me awake so thought I'd log on. Far from chucking it all, living on the beach, and selling beads for a living, I am still doing what I was doing before, only more productive and happier than I was with by battles with GTD.

                              I am UK based and run the equivalent of $1.3 billion property fund. So my job is fairly complex and involves 1 to 2 days travel per week, a regular email storm and lots of legal docs.

                              I don't mean to criticize GTD I think it is good system if you can make it work for you.

                              But I am blasting through my work at the moment when I don't have to think about tracking where I am on all of the three to four hundred jobs I have on or delegated at any one time.

                              I do need to trust people to come through on their waiting fors though!
                              Last edited by whitevandriver; 08-03-2006, 02:11 AM. Reason: spelling

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