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does age matter?

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  • does age matter?

    so i've been combing through the GTD book the past month, and i have a question that doesn't seem to be answered in the book. i'm glad that i found this forum. from the anecdotes that he gives about his work with clients and even examples that he gives to make his point usually involve "grown-ups." and the things that they deal with. but i'm 24, just starting out in my career with a modest number of responsibilities, goals, and aspirations. i came across this whole world of GTD through my love for blogs; particularly 43folders. but not really because i had so many responsibilities and i was so overwhelmed that i needed desperate help.

    so in a situation like mine, i was wondering if anyone can give me insight on how someone like me can use this effectively. ie: how many next actions/waiting for tasks one should have, how many projects, (Allen emphasizes that you should have at least fifty of them at any given point. Mine is about 20-30), how can i further implement this better as i start to gain more and more responsibilities and things going on in my life. in essence, how i can start implementing this great strategy even if i don't have kids to raise, business to start, bills to pay, investments to make, etc.

    i'm not an executive by any means, but my goal is to become a productive one as i grow up using these methodologies. thanks in advance, and will be glad to clarify if need be.

    Minnow

  • #2
    I would not worry about not equaling or exceeding the project totals that David talks about in the book, make sure that your system is complete with all of your NAs and projects and you will be doing fine.

    From the sound of it you are already implementing the GTD methodology so just keep doing so and as your responsibilities in life increase so will the volume of information that you get out of your head and into your system.

    There is a great article in one of the GTD journals (I think these are only get posted out to Connect members) about kids using the GTD system. Their world is a lot smaller than ours but if they are using the methodologies now, imagine their effectiveness in 20 years time!

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    • #3
      Congratulations and keep at it!

      Minnow

      Far from being the 'wrong' time in your life to implement GTD (which is what I interpreted you were perhaps thinking) I applaud you for doing so now. I look back as far as my late high school and university days and wish I'd had the skills I am developing now. Frankly I would have learned more, had more fun doing it and probably achieved better grades. I am now working to ensure that my children as they enter high school are exposed to some of these ideas so that they too can maximise their potential with a minimum of fuss.

      Simon

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      • #4
        Implement GTD now!

        Implement GTD now, when you are not overwhelmed and you will be ready for anything in the future!

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        • #5
          Get the framework in place and everything else follows

          Hi Minnow,

          First off, let me just mention that I was just a few weeks shy of my 25th birthday when I started my GTD implementation, and as I'm now approaching my 27th, it's been a good two years.

          As far as your concerns regarding how many projects/NAs to have, my recommendation is work with what you have to start, get the framework in place, and then you'll slowly find that your responsibilities grow and fill the framework.

          Best of luck!

          Adam

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          • #6
            Agreed with the rest.

            You don't want to start learning a martial art when you're two weeks away from a tournament. You want to start learning it years before you'll actually use it.

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            • #7
              thanks guys, i know it's something valuable, but i guess i didn't feel important enough to use it.. haha. but the other day, i remembered to put in a refill of train tickets into my wallet because i read it on my iphone from a note that i had made earlier that day. knowing myself, the only time i would actually remember it was when i would be fidgeting through my pockets looking for the ticket as the train conductor was approaching.

              needless to say i was proud of myself and grateful for GTD. thanks for the encouragement guys. will be sure to pose here more often.

              minnow

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              • #8
                Get the best return on your GTD investment!

                ABSOLUTELY yes! I've been doing GTD for over three years now. I will be 26 in a month. My very first boss out of college introduced me to GTD--he got a copy for everyone in the office. The way I see it, those of us who start working GTD young have years to work with this and hone our personal practices. I think of it like putting into my retirement fund (you do that too, right?)--the longer time I have to work with this, the greater the benefit that can be gained as I really trust my system and am able to spend time making decisions at the higher altitudes.

                And seriously, we're at a fantastic time to start implementing GTD--it's precisely because young people don't have as much to track that it's so much easier for us to get in the habit. Even though I have a fairly complex job, my home life mostly consists of keeping a 13-pound cat happy. So, when I weekly review, I can sweep *everything* out of my mind and into my system without having this huge unwieldy system. And now, I'm bothered when something *is* on my mind that I haven't made a decision about. Sometimes I let it continue to bother me (hey, no one's is perfect) but most times I get it into "in" and know an action will be decided upon, and then done when the time is right. I began with "@Home," "@Office," and "Errands" and built a more complex system as my responsibilities grew--I didn't have to try to create a system that will capture all the NAs and projects that an upper-level manager with a spouse and children has. When I do reach that stage of my life, my GTD system will already be there.

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