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


No announcement yet.

When things go wrong

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • When things go wrong

    From my experience the total productivity does not depend so much on doing the maximum of tasks in a given time. Sometimes things go wrong, you may have a car accident, forget to pay some money, whatever. The consequences of things going wrong usually eat up all the time you saved being productive and more. Of course I also need to live on a high level of productivity to keep things going but in situations where I can I take a break, do nothing at all, because making a mistake in risky situations can seriously get me off track. Sometimes there are real risks, I am not talking about immediate consequences but scenarios where a mistake in my world combined with other triggers produce a nightmare consequence.
    What's the GTD approach to mistakes, things going wrong , real risks ?

  • #2
    There are different kinds of risk, so I'm not sure there's one good answer.

    There are risks with life threatening consequences, from the slip of a surgeon's knife to falling asleep at the wheel.

    There are risks with short and long term financial consequences, from picking the wrong card in a poker hand to the long term drain of inflation.

    There are large and small personal and career risks, both short and long term. If you miss today's meeting, it might threaten your job, but what happens if you miss too many of your son's baseball games?

    Dealing with risk in general involves deciding how likely the unpleasant event is, how negative the consquences are, and what you can do to reduce the risk or mitigate its effects. Depending on the situation, the answer might be "buy life insurance," "don't buy Florida beachfront property," or "find a new job so I can go to baseball games."

    Once you get down to specific situations, it's like anything else. Identify the desired (or negative) outcome. Plan how to achieve it (or avoid it). Identify and do the Next Action. Repeat.

    All of which sounds vague and unspecific, I know. Do you have a more specific example we could discuss?



    • #3
      Originally posted by dermeck View Post
      What's the GTD approach to mistakes, things going wrong , real risks ?
      I find that the best thing usually is to take a deep calming breath, and dump out what's on my mind into some objective focus tool, e.g., paper, so my brain stops whirling around.


      • #4
        Refocusing is the answer.

        Originally posted by dermeck View Post
        What's the GTD approach to mistakes, things going wrong , real risks ?
        As David says people and teams are extremely efficient in crisis mode. When accident happens you intuitively (in most cases) know what to do and you are doing it.

        So it's all about refocusing. If you've fully implemented GTD you know what you should do and you know what you do not need to do right now. So when something unexpected happens you consciously switch your focus to fix the problem and you know that your previous focus waits quietly in your GTD trusted system for its turn.


        • #5
          Purposes like risk assessment, fire prevention, health care and so forth have to be broken down to responsibilities, objectives, goals, measurements, projects and actions.

          While GTD mostly deals with projects and actions, it's up to you how you manage the higher levels.

          Could you give us any example of the kind of risks that are worrying you, please?

          Last edited by Rainer Burmeister; 12-23-2006, 07:43 AM.