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  • Can GTD help me?

    Hi,

    I seem to get distracted a LOT at work. I've tried task lists on outlook express, legal pads, etc. and still don't get things done, both daily tasks, new tasks that pop up, and long term projects and tasks.

    To top it off, the stress of the industry that I'm in, which is having difficult times, is causing financial anxiety and problems.

    My typical day is to write down tasks to do. Then I'm constantly distracted by other tasks. Phone calls causing more tasks. Put out fires from unforseen problems. Waiting for people to call me back for answers to my questions. Get distracted by looking at sports scores on the internet. At the end of the day I get bummed when I look at my list and little has gotten done, despite lots of activity.

    I'm trying to decide if I need a therapist to help me focus, a new occupation, a new method of work (GTD?), heavy drinking, or just admit I'm a lazy idiot best suited to pick up used soda cans for a living.

    So far I've bought the book, and have read about 30 pages, but haven't found the time to read the entire thing yet.

    Is this GTD the type of system which might help, or am I fruitlessly searching for a non-existent miracle cure? Is this worth a try or a waste of time? I wish I could be like the "rock in the water", but I feel more like an armadillo getting squashed by the tractor trailer.

    Have any of you had similar problems and anxieties, and used this system to fix things and restore sanity?

  • #2
    Read the book...you won't regret it

    My coming to GTD was not dissimilar to yours. Having read the book and now just re-read it I can honestly say that I don't think you can afford not to make the time to do so. You will look back and see the time and energy you invested was worth it. Procrastination, lack of focus, 'latest and loudest' as David Allen calls it - that was me. My other suggestion is focus on implementing GTD (in whatever way makes sense for you) but do it simply. Avoid tools, gadgets and the like for the moment (or altogether!). Tweaks can come later.

    Simon

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    • #3
      Tweaks WILL come later. (c:

      Enjoy the process............it's hard not to with GTD.

      Best of luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CB3 View Post
        Is this GTD the type of system which might help, or am I fruitlessly searching for a non-existent miracle cure? Is this worth a try or a waste of time?
        Yes! Errr, yes to the first, no to the second. Yes, GTD can help, and can help a lot. Details below.


        I seem to get distracted a LOT at work. I've tried task lists on outlook express, legal pads, etc. and still don't get things done, both daily tasks, new tasks that pop up, and long term projects and tasks.
        Sounds like you need a combination of GTD and "Do it tomorrow" (can't remember who wrote that book, and too lazy to look it up). Just remember that what's important is forming the habits of behaviour: if you just do the form of any system without changing that reactive behaviour, you'll never get anywhere.


        My typical day is to write down tasks to do. Then I'm constantly distracted by other tasks. Phone calls causing more tasks. Put out fires from unforseen problems. Waiting for people to call me back for answers to my questions. Get distracted by looking at sports scores on the internet. At the end of the day I get bummed when I look at my list and little has gotten done, despite lots of activity.
        Some of this will cease to be a problem if you implement GTD successfully. Some of this takes other skills, but everything is learnable, it just takes time . Check out Zen Habits for some good ideas on habit change.


        So far I've bought the book, and have read about 30 pages, but haven't found the time to read the entire thing yet.
        My advice is to read it and implement it in stages. Don't try to do it all at once, just gradually develop the skills you need. You might want to look at Zen To Done, which has some tips on where to start and what to focus on.


        Have any of you had similar problems and anxieties, and used this system to fix things and restore sanity?
        Yep, and it's ongoing. I'd concur with a previous commenter who suggests starting with the simplest possible system: lists on paper. Once you've got the habits, you can start tweaking, but it's often fatal to try to set up some groovy software solution to do it all for you. The groovy software just gets in the way, imposes its own learning curve, and obfuscates the essentials.

        And take it slow: one habit at a time. And keep at it.

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        • #5
          Minimal ZTD

          Originally posted by unstuffed View Post
          My advice is to read it and implement it in stages. Don't try to do it all at once, just gradually develop the skills you need. You might want to look at Zen To Done, which has some tips on where to start and what to focus on.
          Maybe Minimal ZTD would be a good way to start:
          http://zenhabits.net/2007/04/minimal...stem-possible/

          Rainer

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          • #6
            Everything requires focus.

            Originally posted by CB3 View Post
            I'm trying to decide if I need a therapist to help me focus, a new occupation, a new method of work (GTD?), heavy drinking, or just admit I'm a lazy idiot best suited to pick up used soda cans for a living.
            Efficient and successful picking up used soda cans also requires focus.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a warning

              Originally posted by CB3 View Post
              Hi,

              Is this GTD the type of system which might help, or am I fruitlessly searching for a non-existent miracle cure?
              Just a warning, though: miracle cures are really non-existent. You may see a rise in the feeling of being in control for the first few weeks, and then it may wane down. Depending upon your situation, acquiring GTD habits (or any other serious habits, for that matter) may take six months to two years. Has been so for many people here; at least true for me. Of course it's not that you don't start getting the benefits before the end of two years; it's improvement all along. (I am in fact rephrasing lines from one of the DA podcasts.) Keep working on it, and stay tuned

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