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GTD Helped me Move and Start Dream Life!

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  • GTD Helped me Move and Start Dream Life!

    I couldn't have done it without GTD. No possible way in hell. 4 months ago I was sitting in a chicago cramped, freezing, noisy apartment with just an "idea" to move to California. I had a vision (purpose and outcome 50,000 and 40,000 ft, respectively) and did weeks of brainstorming, editing, organizing, and planning (40k to 10k) of the "vertical" natural planning model.

    Without GTD I would have been so daunted with the overwhelming number of "STUFF" and "THingS" necessary to complete a full move from chicago to california, it would not have happened. This book helped bring me from zero activity, zero career, zero health in the midwest (which is still a great place) to total freedom, flying career, Nature home, and peace in CA!

    Here's some of the things I new I had to do and thanks to the @Action lists, Project planning, Mindmap brainstorming, Natural Planning Model (what I call the Blueprint 6-Part Paradigm for Success), and all that, this would not have been posible.

    Here's some of the sub-projects and tasks included in the huge "Stake in the ground" of moving from midwest to CA.
    1. Drive 2000 Miles West
    2. Find place to stay in CA before finding a new apartment
    3. Decide upon a quality, healthy, peaceful new apartment and city in CA.
    4. Completely close up shop in chicago incuding end all bills, sublease apartment and parking spot, clean apartment, and move out all belongings to storage or transportation out to CA.
    5. Start necessary utilities and bills in new apartment.
    6. Full move-in to new apartment with transported belongings.
    7. By all necessary household cleaning, grocery, and maintenance needs.
    8. Buy furniture for new apartment

    Just ONE of those tasks would have fried my brain, but I accomplished it all with GTD! It was truly the ULTIMATE test of my knowledge of the awesome system. I made it my own. Weekly reviews kept me "bound" to all those millions of little leaks or cracks in the huge project of the move. I practiced some delegation (I had family friends actually move out many belongings after I had already left thanks to a highly detailed Action list of storage, discard, or ship certain items). Processing steps of the project constantly kept me updated on teh volume of things I had to do. Best of all, it was all in the GTD system so for part of the time, i actually met some new people and made great friends even during teh move process! @Phone calls came to the rescue with scouting out new apartments and finally zeroing in on one and tehn all the doznes of calls, faxes, and paperworkd deadlines made it all possible. I had a March 25th deadline to be out of the temporar garage place in which I was staying and into the new apartment and that DAY I got the keys to the new apartment. I also started hollywood acting classes that were just a little more than the EXACT same price i earned for subletting the chicago apartment for one month. The classes have helped launch tremendous friendships and career. All that worked seamlessly, it was stream-lined, and seemed like chaos in teh process a times, but I always had scope, and it was always measurable how far I was with the GTD system!!!

    Sweet! It's tried, true, and tested for me with a huge project like relocating to the west coast. That was more than a test drive, a full-tilt utilization of the system. Now I'm going to give it a go with "acting career"!!

    Sweet!

  • #2
    Congratulations!

    Congratulations! One more evidence of the GTD power.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by validatelife View Post
      Sweet! It's tried, true, and tested for me with a huge project like relocating to the west coast. That was more than a test drive, a full-tilt utilization of the system. Now I'm going to give it a go with "acting career"!!

      Sweet!
      I am glad to read of your success. That's the thing about writing out your goals and your plans to achieve them, once you have a little success you start making bigger and bigger plans.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
        Congratulations! One more evidence of the GTD power.
        thanks! I'm not a "power" guy. So I say, evidence of GTD alignment, control, and pure productivity efficiency. It SERIOUSLY massively aligns me!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by moises View Post
          I am glad to read of your success. That's the thing about writing out your goals and your plans to achieve them, once you have a little success you start making bigger and bigger plans.
          YEah, thanks moises. That's REALLY encouraging. Before gtd, though, I'd write out goals, but they were so disconnected, so unanchored. Now they're all tethered to Next Actions to be actually accomplished!

          You're right. That HUGE move mult-projected meta-project I DID. Best of all, i proved to myself that I can single-handedly (well, with some bit of tiny bit of delegation) handle huge projects like that. That's evidence that I can do the same thing with career and even bigger project for performance and everything!!

          Comment


          • #6
            More than GTD brought me here. All my books I wrote and other read motivational books. But GTD was utterly vital and pivotal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Validate

              Validate, I love to hear stories like this and I think we could all use to hear more. Question: What tools did you use? Like did you use electronic or paper or a combo or a notebook and a calendar on the wall? Did you use "closed lists" for the day? Or were you pretty CLASSIC GTD? List's of NA's? Did you use Moleskine or what? A treo phone and iCal? Awesome filing system? I love knowing that too. Something about all this utterly fascinates me but of course the outcome is the most fascinating. Best of luck with your acting career. My daughter moved to L.A. one year ago, lives in Silverlake, and now is directing a feature film!! She says that if you told her one year ago what she would be doing now and the $$ she is making, she would have laughed you out of the room.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Trish View Post
                Validate, I love to hear stories like this and I think we could all use to hear more. Question: What tools did you use? Like did you use electronic or paper or a combo or a notebook and a calendar on the wall? Did you use "closed lists" for the day? Or were you pretty CLASSIC GTD? List's of NA's? Did you use Moleskine or what? A treo phone and iCal? Awesome filing system? I love knowing that too. Something about all this utterly fascinates me but of course the outcome is the most fascinating. Best of luck with your acting career. My daughter moved to L.A. one year ago, lives in Silverlake, and now is directing a feature film!! She says that if you told her one year ago what she would be doing now and the $$ she is making, she would have laughed you out of the room.
                Hey trish,
                Great Questions.
                My response here is WAY too long, but it helped me get scope of ways to perfect my organizational system as well as served as a reminder of what works and to keep doing that.

                I'm trying to think of "how" I did it from an organizational-GTD stand-point. Honeslty, I think the key thing was making all my lists, projects, NAs modular. Meaning I cycled through so many GTD systems (GTDInbox with email, a version using google notebooks, a version using pure all paper lists, and finally Ready-set-do) that the "junky" NAs or pointless projects kind of fell off the boat. This is kind of similar to maybe moving 4 times? You end up realizing what you really need with such mobility! Anyways, cycling through all those different gtd systems really created scope and awareness of all my NAs and "unlocked" a lot of different angles and dimensiosn to Actions and projects that I had neglected for a long time. It was a PAIN to go through all those systems. Good God! Very tedious transferring them around, but I needed to do that...gave all my NAs and projects "a work out". Additionally, the system I finally settled on (categorized calendars with ready-set-do with 5 paper folders and a paper list of NAs) I know works best and I have confidence that it's the best method out there for me after sampling so many other ones!! In short, it was a long road of trial and error with gtd!

                That sounds like your daughter has an invaluable success story! Maybe I'll connect up with her for some acting work and a film! haha! When you're full of productivity, passion, and well-directed pursuits, life can move at lightning fast speed! Obviously, I'm trying to apply the same productivity and success I had with home/environment to career now!!

                Okay about the tools I used.
                You used a lot of terminology I'm unfamiliar with! "Closed lists"?? "Classic GTD"?? Sounds like YOU really know this stuff. What are those? I did what worked.

                First off, what's the big deal of Moleskine?? I read about that. It's just a paper organizer with a special type of leather?? Why does everyone freak out about that?? Seems seriously silly to me (wow big on the alliterations today!) haha. Anyways, except for my GTD Folders, I'm seriously electronic-tech-geek so that was my core system.

                Different GTD Systems created Modularity at First

                Immediately before doing the drive I had been experimenting with a whole saga of computer-based GTD methods,

                I tried Google_Notebooks (with Reference, NA, Projects, W/F) lists and all @Location events on their. That was temporarily useful because I could pull all of those up on my phone. but after awhile that got extremely slow and tedious. At times where I didn't have an internet connection I couldn't check my lists!! So slow speed and occasional inaccessibility knocked that off.

                Ready-Set-Do
                First off, I'm a pure Apple Mac guy. I'm the type of person who not only knows the logical reasons of why Apple and all mac organization systems are better, but i've taken the (hellish) time to really live with Windows and Linux OSes for a year. The year with windows and linux was utter hell. My productivity plummetted. I spend most time troubleshooting the OS instead of getting things done!! So with mobile phones, and computers across the board I'm all mac. If I gave myself a GTD rating of productivity on a windows/linux it would be a 1, on a mac it's a 10. I find non-mac computers slow, clunky, and "dim-witted" with intuition. Then again, I've been using macs for over 20 years, so macs feel like an extension of my mind I know them so well! Just my personal opinion. Therefore, had to use mac-based GTD system. After much experimentation, finally discovered one called REady-Set-Do. In short, everything is neatly organized in folders on my desktop. It's highly modular, fast, and always accessible. I've been using that for the past 4 months flawlessly.
                In it I have Actionables and in that I have so many mini-to-dos that I have sub-categories of actioanbles of

                Electronic/Computer GTD -- The core of my organization
                • @ ACTING-CAREER
                • @Downloads
                • @ EMAIL
                • @iPhone
                • @R&D
                • @ RNDM -- random, couldn't categorize
                • @TOP-PRIORITY -- stuff I'm currentl work on, this folder gets "filled" from other folders
                • @ WEB-COMP --web design tasks
                • @ WRITING
                • @130 SANTA BARBARA
                • @Film_Editing

                Also have "Completed" folder.

                My Read-Review folder is extensively categorized into
                AR_Read -- already read articles
                Career -- articles for career
                Trivial -- just fun random interesting articles
                Read-Completed
                Also have a Watch-Review folder

                Reference
                I have over 2000 computer documents I created from programs to books to articles to braintstorming sessiosn. For awhile I used hundreds of folder within folders, but that got loony. Because you can instantl search alphabetically on the computer, reference item folders were superfluous. REference is just a collection of all my well-named documents.

                I just got an iPhone so that may likely change my paper-based organizing systems around. the iPhoen seriously feels like the missing keystone to mobility I've needed for about 5-6 years. so things should get interesting and exciting with mobility. I like it more than my computer so that means more productivity "out on the road" out and about on the fly, which is how thigns should be.

                The computer-based system works perfectly. One problem is having a spiral list that sometimes is redundant to things on the computer.

                Note that I eliminated "@Errands" and @Phone lists from the computer-based lists because I'll need those when on the go. I might look into eliminating the spiral and getting it all on my iphone possible, we'll see. For now, this works.


                5 Types of Calendars

                One thing that I kind of invented was categorizing my "hard landscape" calendar items into different categories. This was marvelously productive for me b/c every activity, every event -- be it writing emails, watching a movie, having an interview, meeting with acting contants, WHATEVER -- automatically would fall into 1 of 5 calendar types:
                • Galvanizing -- all enriching events almost always with other people
                • Physiology -- all exercise
                • Low-Risk_Speculative -- events that are "new" or events that didn't go so well or have the desired outcome
                • Organizing -- any time spent typically alone organizing GTD, emails, reading, etc.
                • Sleep -- yes, I recorded my sleep patterns. Having a pretty "up in the air" life for a while, this was important.

                Most importantly....each calendar has it's OWN COLOR.
                I wrote a post on this calendar system but can't locate it. Others thought it was ridiculous, but it seriously organizes my life. It's indescribable how useful it is to take a quick glance at your weekly calendar and be able to tell where you'll be, what you'll be doing just by the colors of the events. You dont' even have to read the events names! If I see a ton of blue (physiology) and purple (organization) I know I've scheduled a lot of exercise and organization chunks. Again, many people responded to my post and thought that was ridiculous but it's what works marvelously with me and I have proof it works! But it may not be for everyone. Works wonders with me, though!

                Continued in next post...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by validatelife View Post
                  Continued in next post...


                  Paper-Based GTD

                  Okay for paper-based (away from computer) systems I use one spiral notebook with an
                  @Errands
                  @Phone
                  W/F
                  Maybe-Someday
                  @Material (just kind of bigger items I want to get that will eventually migrate to @Home-Computer (ordering online) or @Errands)
                  @Home-Computer -- this category is mainly stuff like (fix disposal or hang painting because I have about 400-500 items all listed on my computer for computer items)

                  Then I have Folders (each a different color)
                  NA & W/F
                  Maybe someday
                  Reference (mainly memoriabilia)
                  Computer -- for computer ideas I think up on the fly

                  Additionally I have a reference area of my des that has about 7-10 types of informaton ( I have about 50-80 pounds of saved, organized reference documents from school and "past lives" at my parents house that I didn't take with me. Simplicity.

                  Then I sometimes pick off thigns that I might need to do outside from my computer files and add those to my paper-based lists.

                  The past few months I've carrried the paper-based

                  Weekly Review
                  David Allen says this is the core of the system, that holds it all together. I couldn't agree more, but this is a very personalized weekly review. I've done over 1.4 mllion words of jounraling. I have unique gifts and talents and experiences . So my weekly review (as should everyone's) caters to that. Obviously, it involves quite a bit of reviewing my old documents.
                  I customized a weekly review . here's what I have listed as a checklist in my calendar every week.
                  • Play David Allan GTD Audio MUSIC NOW.
                  • Take out all and deal with slips of paper.
                  • Take files out of folders and organize them if necessary.
                  • Look at Monthly Calendar and Yearly Calendar.
                  • Get Scope.
                  • Sort through Projects, Incubator, Action Items.
                  • 1. Sort, Edit, Clean Bookmarks
                  • 2. Clean out, Edit, Sort Gmail Labels
                  • 3. Clean out, Edit, Sort Gmail unfinished emails
                  • 4.. Review All projects (from "project list" just review them, don't need to do yet)
                  • 5. Examine Past and Upcoming calendar.
                  • 6. Do an "empty your ram" session. and hopefully all of the stuff in there will already be in your organizational system, so the weekly empty ram serves as a "double-check" device for the efficiency of your system. Sweet!
                  • 7. Skim all Ready-Set-Do folders.
                  • 8. Remix iShuffle. Be highly SELECTIVE! Remember running is a sacred visualizing time, it should ONLY have correspondingly inspiring and good-experience songs.
                  • 8. Review "My Lists"
                  • 9. Review "It" & "Quotations"
                  • 10. Skim & Lightly Read Past Journals and Dream_Compiliation
                  • 11. Review Run_Log and Budget
                  • 12a Back up Address Book file
                  • 12b. Archive Desktop and Reference
                  • 12. Ensure Computer Files are backedup.
                  • 13. Do Recipts.
                  • 14. Sort through phone SIM and external Contacts. If anyone made the "frequent call list" cut, add them to "Voice Dial".
                  • 16. Do Forgiveness/gratitude list. Review all of them.
                  • 17. Review 2008 Resolution Adder.
                  • 18. Review Running Tips
                  • 19. Do Networking 2 People via email (why X should meet Y, and vice versa).
                  • 20. Add new Vitamins
                  • 21. Review NLP file
                  • So a great weekly checklist is
                  • Health -
                  • trails (1+) =
                  • surf (1+)=
                  • pool (2+)=
                  • gym (2+)=
                  • Any Auditions (1+) =
                  • Any Clients? =
                  • Dates (1+) =
                  • Apartment clean(1+) -
                  • Friend get togethers (2+) =
                  • Adventure (1+) =
                  • Minimal Computer =
                  • Spiritual. Stay super aligned

                  I think there's a tendency for people to just randomly "check all folders, papers, and process and organize" for weekly review. That's detrimentally, almost dangerously to "vague". I love the checklist for hte weekly review because it creates certainty with completion.


                  Car GTD
                  You think of a lot of ideas while driving!
                  Additionally this was huge. During the car drive I recorded a TON of ideas. The idea of vertical project planning as establishing a blue print paradigm, etc. I all recorded on the road while driving, played it back, took notes up on it. That was invalauble.

                  In the Car I have a notepad taped to the center compartment for notes and I have the sony mini voice recorder if I don't want to write or have long ideas I want to record.

                  that's about it! In conclusion, I'd say my system is 80% electronic, with the 3-4 folders, and spiral @Action lists that I review weekly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Forgot to Add


                    Whiteboards and other tricks

                    This part is just downright eccentric. I had a huge 4ft by 3 ft white board, 2 mini whiteboards, and 2-3 notepads all velcroed to the wall and numerous pens and pencils velcroed to the wall before I moved. I was a think tank for a year chiseling down my books, web sites, and other professional ventures before moving. I'd get an idea and be able to jot it down "on the wall". I don't do that any more becaue it got pretty chaotic (may re-implement 1 whiteboard, likely not, good for brainstorming though) but I definitely utilized 3-d space!

                    Additionally, another trick is keeping a few "frequently accessed" files in my computer Actionalbles main folder (the one owth all teh @web-comp, etc.) for thigns I want to say to people. Then I just email that to myself.

                    Again, I'm not saying these will work for everyone. they likely won't! but they definitely worked for me at the time to do the increidbly life-changing, empowering, shift that exponentially launched my entire quality of life into unimagineably awesome areas of home, career, and relationships!


                    I'd like to flesh out the computer/paper-based lists to ensure there's no overlap, ideally moving almost all GTD NA work to mobile phone. all my projects are done on computer with hte brilliant portion of Ready-Set-Dos project feature that automatically maps out Deliverables, Outcome, Standards, Purpose, etc. by asking good questions.


                    Thanks for listening!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey does that mean you figured out which piece it is in that bright classical interlude on the GTD Fast CD's. There is a post here on the Baroque music David likes, but the answer was still inconclusive.

                      I think the thread is focused on David's selection, but I was interested in the piece they play in the breaks.

                      Thanks!
                      Gordon

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigStory View Post
                        Hey does that mean you figured out which piece it is in that bright classical interlude on the GTD Fast CD's. There is a post here on the Baroque music David likes, but the answer was still inconclusive.

                        I think the thread is focused on David's selection, but I was interested in the piece they play in the breaks.

                        Thanks!
                        Gordon

                        HUH?! I think you're in the wrong thread??? This thread was just sharing a personal story of how GTD enabled me to move to california and pursue a dream life and career.

                        The thread to which you were referring about the Baroque Music is http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3423 possibly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Music Reference

                          I customized a weekly review . here's what I have listed as a checklist in my calendar every week.

                          * Play David Allan GTD Audio MUSIC NOW.
                          It was actually on this thread. The poster wanted to know what piece of music you are using, the bit that is between sections or the specific piece of music when he does his weekly review (GTD Fast), but he never mentioned composer or work. I guess the hope is that you know.

                          Edit: I looked at the other thead on baroque music, but the post to which you responded was intended for this thread -- see my quote.
                          Last edited by ceehjay; 05-22-2008, 06:16 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ceehjay View Post
                            It was actually on this thread. The poster wanted to know what piece of music you are using, the bit that is between sections or the specific piece of music when he does his weekly review (GTD Fast), but he never mentioned composer or work. I guess the hope is that you know.

                            Edit: I looked at the other thead on baroque music, but the post to which you responded was intended for this thread -- see my quote.
                            Oh Haha!!! I saw another thread with the same conversation.

                            Play "David Allen Music NOW" refers to
                            a)Playing Baroque Classical music that DA uses to get the mindset for Weekly review
                            b)Actually playing David Allen recordings I have of him speaking about his book, about GTD (GTD Fast and another one). "Listen to the GTD mastermind while GTDing in weekly review".

                            B is something I highly recommend!

                            A has been (this is me personally, I can't speak for DA, which won't answer the core question)
                            Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F (III. Allegro assai) 3:24 Johann Sebastian Bach 25 Bach Favorites Classical 6 5/10/08 4:48 AM
                            Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G (I. Allegro) 2:47 Johann Sebastian Bach 25 Bach Favorites Classical 6 5/23/08 1:21 AM
                            Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G (III. Presto) 3:10 Johann Sebastian Bach 25 Bach Favorites Classical 2 1/5/08 12:14 PM

                            DA's could be one of those. Haydn, Bach, Beethoven, Copland, and funny enough, classical music Movie Soundtracks work great for me. I did vivaldi, but songs sounded too identical and hackneyed after awhile. Jazz and Italian opera are interesting variations, too.

                            Out of curiosity, what GTD background music does others use? .

                            I got it, you're right. The Music side convo does work in this thread. Totally. Just caught me off guard. Far out!

                            Comment

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