Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

GTD For Adults w/ ADD?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • GTD For Adults w/ ADD?

    Hi,

    I'm an adult with Attention Deficit Disorder. I'm 37, and was diagnosed at 33, but had lived with it untreated most of my life. You can imagine the effect that had on my work life.

    Anyway, as I'm also a working parent, I'm desperately in need of some organization and time management. I'm reading GTD because I remembered a coworker recommending it a year ago, and I've gpttem about halfway through it in two days, in hopes that I'll have it finished by Monday and can start thinking about implementation.

    My question is this. Does anyone know how well this system works for an adult with ADD? I've tried other systems in the past, and my experience is that I've always had difficulty maintaining them once started and returning to them if I get derailed. Maybe it's because I'm usually so desperate for a fix that I get started before I understand the total philosophy.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

  • #2
    There is no reason that GTD should not work for a person with ADD.

    The real issue (and I speak as a individual with LD issues) is you're self. As you noted, you're always looking for the 1 best system and once you think you have found it you have difficulties in staying on or getting back on track.

    My recommend action is to read the book plus get the free downloadable diagram for DA Co and slowly work through implementation. What you need to also do is set up some reward and feedback stuff. Rewards for getting to a particular milestone etc. A friend etc can be used for feedback ... their job is just to monitor you and provide support.

    Just remember you are trying to change a life time of habits and that takes time. So take it one day at a time and do not throw in the towel if you slide for a day ... just pick yourself up and move forward.

    One final thought keep you're GTD system simple ...

    Comment


    • #3
      me, too!

      I too seem to have attention issues (i.e.,what part of something to put my attention on and how to keep it there) and short-term memory issues (e.g., if I read something and have not written a little summary and turn the page I can't remember what it was I read, unless it was a very evocative description of an atmosphere or personality or a I am very familiar with the concepts and facts) and I seem to have a kind of wild associative tendancy so that between one idea and another that I generate, I drift unless I can focus. What helps me focus? -pressure, deadlines, novel ideas, written outlines, previewing (even if seeing a movie, I won't remember much about it unless I know the basic plot first), talking over plans and activities with interested and intelligent people, sketching out a flow chart. Sometimes medication at very low dosages but the medications I have tried sometimes make me aggitated and that exacerbates the problem, so I rely more on cognitive strategies.

      Certain parts of GTD have been easy for me to implement:

      1.The two-minute rule in processing paper stuff (like entering address and dates) and handling physical stuff (like sew the button on when folding the laundry rather than setting it aside, glue something back in place). The later means having the necessary materials at hand and in several parts of the house. GEtting set up for this continues to be a little difficult.

      2. Defining projects in outcome terms. But I can get lost in creating projects that are too big and not see how to divide them into smaller projects. If the projects are too narrowly conceptualized then the outcomes don't fit together. Also, sometimes I don't distinguish between projects and the higher level guides, until I fail to make progress. I did not realize this until someone on the board noticed it.

      3. Filing A to Z rather than creating elaborate hierachies. However, the rules need to made explicit and written down somewhere or duplicates filed. And I had to make certain exceptions.

      4. Regularly reviewing the higher level values and purposes.

      5. Entering true dated committments as soon as I encounter them and putting in lead-time reminders.

      6. Using @adgenda for things I need to talk to people about or just tell them.

      What does not work well yet-

      1. Weekly review can too easly become a manic brain storming session.

      2. I do a n/a but forget what project it goes to or where it fits in with the whole project. This happens in physical projects and in writing and planning projects. If I go back to the project description, I find myself re-conceptualizing the project or thinking about another related project.

      3. Connecting incoming stuff with exisiting projects. I often can't remember if I have already created a project and an outline, or what. For example, I orderered a part for something (that took a few n/a) but when it arrived, I couldn't remember where I had put the item it went to, if I had decided to keep it or if I had decided to give it to family member who had expressed interest in it.

      4. If there is a delay between n/as I get lost. If I need to move a dresser and I need someone to help me, I will forget where I wanted it go by the time he or she gets to my house. And, I won't remember if the project name is "dresser". "kid's room" or what. Once I find the information, I can't remember why I chose the location (and I may need it because the helper may suggest something that I already ruled out).

      5. If there isn't a delay between the n/as, I may not recognize that I am going down a rabbit hole or fixating on a little detail.

      6. I don't always see what specific context is appropriate for a particular n/a. because I am so focused on the n/a.


      If anyone has any ideas on what might help, I welcome them I feel that improvement is a little bit at a time from different practices. LifeBalance was suggested ot me, but I have really, really afraid of diverting my time and energy to learn it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well... In itself GTD is really very, very simple. By actually working with it you hit spots where you think "so how..." or something else prompts you to either ask questions or overanalyze.

        In that respect GTD can make your life much more difficult, of course.

        However, if you manage to stay away from overcomplicating things and going with the basics you're halfway there -- and have gained a lot.

        In fact, if you can implement even only one thing from the book consistently you'll soon experience enormous relief.

        I would start with the capture. Good thought? Write it down. "Hey, could you bring me..." -- write it down. "So next week let's..." -- write it down.

        At least once a day go through that list and see what you need to do with those items.

        @jamie - maybe these things can help:

        3. Connecting incoming stuff with exisiting projects. I often can't remember if I have already created a project and an outline, or what. For example, I orderered a part for something (that took a few n/a) but when it arrived, I couldn't remember where I had put the item it went to, if I had decided to keep it or if I had decided to give it to family member who had expressed interest in it.
        When the last step of the order was done it goes on your @waiting list: "@waiting widget delivery".

        That entry needs extra information right with it. The date and the project it belongs to. Widget comes in. Grab @waiting list. Ah, that was something for a project -- which one it was is noted right there.

        One format might be: "@waiting 06-11-25 widget delivery P:widget cranker"

        Status, date, what, project.

        Every entry, every NA should be easily traced back to its project...

        4. If there is a delay between n/as I get lost. If I need to move a dresser and I need someone to help me, I will forget where I wanted it go by the time he or she gets to my house. And, I won't remember if the project name is "dresser". "kid's room" or what. Once I find the information, I can't remember why I chose the location (and I may need it because the helper may suggest something that I already ruled out).
        I would capture more. The "move dresser project" might need upfront to have an entry about where the dresser is to be moved. Either way, I realize I need John Doe to help me. Fine. Call him and write down: @waiting John Doe move dresser bathroom

        What's the name of the project?

        Each action/entry has to have something to tie it in with its project. Number them, use abbreviations, anything. Forum member eeckberg has a wonderful paper based system with numbered projects, for example.

        Still, sometimes you might lose the name of the project... That is where your project list comes in. You can easily scan it and see "Ah yes, it is called..."

        Comment


        • #5
          I see

          I think the message for me here is to really use each step of the system and to designate projects in a way that I easily find them again. Also, to keep my project notes in good order and accessible. Thanks
          Last edited by Jamie Elis; 11-26-2006, 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling and typos

          Comment


          • #6
            Check out these links...

            Meg Edwards on Davidco Staff, has specialized experience in this area. Check out the following articles from coaches corner...

            http://www.davidco.com/coaches_corne...article17.html

            http://www.davidco.com/coaches_corne...article45.html

            Best Wishes,
            Gordon

            Comment


            • #7
              yes

              Yes, GTD helps.
              This has been written about here to length.. but yes.. GTD has helped me enormously in focusing my attention to the task at hand + allowing me to corral commitments and complete them one at a time.

              -Erik

              Also, I echo the other members... GTD can be as complicated as you make it... dont fall down this rabbit hole! Keep it SIMPLE.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just two categories - Work and Personal

                This is how I simplified my categories for my business and family life. I'm married, two children (9 & 11) and a home office. The Someday Maybe files keep my overactive mind happy, acknowledged and less distracted.
                @Work Projects
                @Work - Someday Maybe
                @Personal Projects
                @Personal - Someday Maybe
                • The GTD audio and other educational programs have been very helpful. I use the audios to pace myself and get a pile of stuff done while I'm listening.
                • Empty in-boxes help me to feel like I've accomplished something.
                • I try to start my day with my tickler file. I keep directions, flyers, projects and paper trails placed in the daily folders.
                • My camera works as a great capture tool to remember people, things, document projects, etc. I also create quick movies with audio capture. My house projects are not a list, but a contact sheet of pictures.
                • I enjoy playing with technology tools. However, I find that they usually are a bigger distraction than help. I've been a big fan of MindManager for about 4 years now and I'm testing ResultsManager 2, which has a lot of bells and whistles that I might have to scale down. I don't watch much TV, so I consider playing with software as part of my recreation time. It's my time to hyper focus.
                • Some weeks I only use a paper system, other weeks I only use the computer. And during my intense ADD moments, well....I don't use anything....as many of you can laugh with me about that....oh well.... I'm still a work in progress.

                Nancy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Interesting stuff there, Nancy!

                  My camera works as a great capture tool [...]
                  I do that too! I have boxes with decorative "stuff" in it. It becomes hard to remember what is where. The photos give an easy way of browsing what is in the house without actually messing around in every box

                  I also create quick movies with audio capture.
                  Haven't experimented with that yet. What type of projects/items/actions would you typically prefer to film this way?

                  My house projects are not a list, but a contact sheet of pictures.
                  Brilliant! I like anything that makes capture faster, smoother. Your idea even eliminates the transcribing process. Going to experiment with this!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Digital Cameras - a great tool for GTD

                    Thanks Ruud. I can't ever remember anyone calling me brilliant... so I will soak up that wonderful comment!

                    Digital cameras are a blessing for me because they can keep up with my mind...which overwhelms with me ideas daily. I can imagine that there are so many creative ways to adapt a camera as a GTD tool. One day I look forward to getting a Treo phone with a camera. I keep things very simple so that I can execute quickly. Perfect photos are not my goal. Here are some tips that have worked well for me to capture information.
                    • I own several flash cards so that I can drop them in my in-box to process. Sometimes I update several times a day and then clean off the card. Other times I just leave the images in the card.
                    • My images are first stored by Year, Month, then by date in my picture file folders for general reference. If I want to further organize the images or movies for GTD, I make a copy of the images and put them in the the following four image folders:
                      • Work Projects
                      • Work - Someday Maybe
                      • Personal Projects
                      • Personal - Someday Maybe
                    • My screen savers are randomly displayed from the four files listed above. I also use the slide show feature from Picture Manager and other photo viewing tools for quick reviews. I jokingly call it "Madison Avenue GTD" because I look at the images over and over and over. The visual cues do keep me on track and repetition works. It seems to be a great warm up tool for the weekly review, especially if I play some great background music.
                    • Most of my lists have 9 different wallet size images printed on a regular sheet of paper so that I can write on it. Contact sheets work good too, but don't use photo paper. Black and white images help save on the toner or ink costs. Microsoft Picture Manager makes it easy to do this.
                    • The camera is also my super sneaky way of inspiring my family to get things done too because they always want to see my screen savers. I take pictures of everything - good and bad, but nothing too embarrassing. I look for projects in the bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen, garage, under the bed, car, garden and things that just need to get done. I also take pictures of my family doing the work, like mowing the lawn, emptying the garbage, filing papers and working together. The kids also use the camera to take pictures of things they want at the store or places to go for their birthdays, vacations and holidays. I have a lot of brown road sign pictures that I want to go to one day!
                    • I insert images in most of my mind maps that I use with MindManager software. It saves on the typing. Today I'm taking pictures of a meeting room to plan how to set things up for an upcoming event. Sometimes my weekly review is in pictures. When my husband comments that I never seem to get anything done, I just show him before and after pictures. It's my proof tool!
                    • My auditory processing skills are challenged, so I take short 15 - 60 second movies when someone is giving me a demonstration, information, instructions, sharing a story, making a wish, etc. The shorter, the better. I also create a sound file if I need to remember a name, place or thing. It's fairly easy to do on some of the digital cameras. It's also a hoot to show my husband what his face looks like when he is giving me "instructions" because he thinks I don't listen well. Of course, sometimes he gets it wrong...so I have additional proof!
                    It took me a while to give myself permission to think of my camera as a capture tool, but now I seem to use it just about everywhere I go along with my note taking tool. I'm careful not to be obnoxious about taking pictures, sensitive to legal issues and I ask permission if necessary. Most people don't seem to mind, especially since they usually want me to send a digital copy to them. For me, it's a lot of fun and creates some great memories, besides helping me to get things done.

                    Nancy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the extensive reply, Nancy.

                      It took me a while to give myself permission to think of my camera as a capture tool
                      Strange how we can resist ourselves One of my favorite capture devices is the voice recorder built into my pocket PC. I started out taking notes on it but grabbing the thing, pressing record and speaking the note is so much easier and faster.

                      Definitely going to play around with your camera idea -- and going to keep a look out for your other posts. Never know what jewels you're hiding in them!

                      Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have ADD and agree that GTD works great for those of us with "issues!"

                        One thing that DA recommends that not enough people seem to notice is to find tools you actually enjoy using. This means choosing tools that are fun, or pleasing to your eye, or for any other reason bring you pleasure.

                        When I bought the book, Getting Things Done, I read it one chapter at a time, and used it to clean/organize my office. I refused to let myself read ahead (thus eliminating the temptation to skip any steps) and I can't say enough about this system and how great it is.

                        Good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Filing Digital Images received from Family via email

                          Nancy,

                          Your ideas about using your digital camera as a capture tool are wonderful. I am going to be thinking about that over the next few days and seeing how it may help me.

                          New question for you or anyone who is watching.

                          I have various family members that email my digital photos. Some are fun to look at and can then be deleted but some are good keepers. What are some best practices you are using? ...saving into email folders? ...saving off to a file structure on your PC?

                          Thanks
                          Larry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Saving Digital Photos

                            I have a photos or pictures folder, subdivided into other folders. I have them named by person who sent them or subject. For example, photos of my granddaugher are saved to a subfolder named for her. Other folders are named for specific vacation location and date, etc.

                            What would be most meaningful to you and would help you find what you are looking for the fastest?

                            Carolyn

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Larry Nordlinger View Post
                              I have various family members that email my digital photos. Some are fun to look at and can then be deleted but some are good keepers. What are some best practices you are using? ...saving into email folders? ...saving off to a file structure on your PC?
                              I save into a file structure on my PC, then use Picasa (Windows) or iPhoto (Mac) to manage them. Visual tools let you skim through dozens of photos in seconds, far less time than it would take to open and review a bunch of email folders. Saving the photos off separately also makes it far easier to do other things with them, from sending on to someone else to printing a postcard or posting to a web page.

                              Katherine

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X