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  • Is it worth attending GTD seminar if I've read the book?

    I get this question all the time, here in the office. "Is it worth attending the GTD public seminar if I've read the book/listened to GTD Fast?"

    I attend most of our public seminars and have been noticing that more and more seminar participants are already familiar with the information, they've been around this info for a while, read the books, and get the e-newsletter...

    And there's a whole group of attendees who have friends/family/colleagues say you gotta go...

    What would you say to someone who asks "should I go?"

  • #2
    Re: Is it worth attending GTD seminar if I've read the book?

    Jodi posed the question:

    What would you say to someone who asks "should I go?"

    My answer: absolutely! I read the book a couple of times and thought I understood the material pretty well. I then went to David's two-day seminar in Dallas in September 2002, and I can't tell you how much more you learn in person. In addition to the material and David's presentation -- which is great fun! -- you get to hang out with some great people with a shared interest and, invariably, a different take on the material. On the GTD Fast CDs, there's one point where David says something like "There's no way in hell any one of you had the same seminar as anyone else." His point is that everyone brings a unique perspective and focus to the material -- and that provides an additional learning experience for everyone in the room.

    You also interact with seminar participants and the davidco group over lunch -- and the discussions often carry over after the seminar is over.

    I've also made some good friends and, at the Leveraging Focus and Vision seminar this past September, got to meet, face-to-face, some of the folks who participate on this posting board. It's always nice to see the face behind the name.

    On top of all that, I've listened to the GTD Fast CD's a number of times since going to the seminar. It's amazing how much I've learned from those CDs each time through. There's always something new. As David says, this is like an onion; there are so many layers.

    Has all this helped me? Absolutely, and it's noticeable to others. My paralegal and assistant sometimes tease me about something I do by saying "That's a very 'David Allen' thing to do." But they see how productive I am. My family sees it, too. And our firm committee that sets compensation sees it, too; in the last two years my compensation has almost doubled -- and for a large firm lawyer nearing 50, that's pretty amazing, at least to me. It works at all levels in your life.

    So, that's a very long answer to Jodi's question, but as you can tell, I'm very enthusiastic about the GTD method, the seminars, everything, not because I'm an organizational groupie, but because it has had such a powerful, positive effect on my everyday life.

    Randy Stokes

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    • #3
      I believe that repetition over time is very helpful in the learning process. It is more effective to go to a one hour seminar every week for 16 weeks than it is to go to one, 16-hour seminar held over two days.

      One of the odd things about business life is that I have found it extremely difficult to ask my boss if I could attend training for a second time. The conversation feels like I am admitting that I didn't learn anything the first time, when what I really want is a refresher or a new level of mastery. As a result, I've stopped asking. And as a boss myself, I know that it is difficult to justify budgets for repeat training.

      Any comments / suggestions?

      -Ken

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kglade
        I believe that repetition over time is very helpful in the learning process. It is more effective to go to a one hour seminar every week for 16 weeks than it is to go to one, 16-hour seminar held over two days.

        One of the odd things about business life is that I have found it extremely difficult to ask my boss if I could attend training for a second time. The conversation feels like I am admitting that I didn't learn anything the first time, when what I really want is a refresher or a new level of mastery. As a result, I've stopped asking. And as a boss myself, I know that it is difficult to justify budgets for repeat training.

        Any comments / suggestions?

        -Ken
        Well, let me use the martial arts/black belt model or analogy David often uses. I earned a black belt in Taekwondo. It took me -- and my family (we did it together) -- over two years to do that. We went to classes two and three days a week, learning and re-learning the moves, the forms, the board breaks, everything. We almost never learned something the first time we saw it demonstrated. We had to watch, think, learn, repeat, extend, repeat, on and on.

        I've heard of some intense Taekwondo training programs where they put you through classes at a more intense, high rate of training, and you earn your blackbelt within a couple of months, rather than a couple of years. I don't want to say those black belts are worth any more or less than mine, but my knowledge, understanding and appreciation of what I learned (and earned) were enhanced exponentially by the process of learning, repeating, testing, repeating, etc.

        I have no doubt I will attend David's GTD and Leveraging Focus and Vision seminars again (even if I have to pay for it myself). There's just too much more I can learn. I believe I am definitely blackbelt in GTD -- probably second or third degree, now -- but as in Taekwondo, there are always higher degrees to earn, and more to learn.

        And remember, just "learning" the GTD methodology is NOT an end in itself. It is a way to become far more productive, with less stress, and more fun, in all areas of your life.

        Randy Stokes

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        • #5
          Yes, go to the seminar! But...

          I felt that I went to quickly after reading the book. If I were to do it again, I would buy the GTD Fast CD's, then sign up a few months in advance for the seminar. That way you are driven to keep trying GTD as you await for the seminar. For me the seminar answered too many questions! Therefore with the book and CD's I would hopefully have most of it down pat, and the seminar would tie up the loose ends. The only thing that you might be tempted to do is not to close those loose ends, don't give in, go to the seminar. GTD is about closing all loose ends.

          Idea: What I really like to see is public driven 'demo' where we put David behind a desk in various scenarios and see how he does his thing. We could have a 'paper only desk', 'Palm/Paper desk', etc... This forum could query members for different ideas, like different projects, 'todos that are not NAs', fake bills, reference materials. Filing cabinets that are hanging, cabinets that are to his liking, etc... Then later provide it as a video. Some of us need visual examples! Which the seminar provides somewhat.

          Thanks,

          Bryant Smith

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          • #6
            Is it worth attending seminar if you've read GTD.

            Definitely. Like Randy, I attended David's seminar in Dallas and enjoyed it very much. I've been using GTD for about 2 years and learn something every time I listen to David's audible book or read some of the postings on this board. I'm going to an Evening With David this Thursday in Austin and looking forward to it.

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            • #7
              Re: Is it worth attending seminar if you've read GTD.

              I say absolutely yes. I read the book and kept up the work (at the white belt level sorry to say) and then went to an evening seminar in Boston. At that seminar David talked about the benefits of "triangulating," which to me meant to approach the subject from a different angle to reap benefits previously absent. I would further say anyone who has read the book through and even considers going to a seminar probably shares these characteristics:

              1. They really needed to implement the GTD methodology in order to solve some entrenched problems and to eliminate dysfunctional organizational behaviors.

              2. They have not succeeded 100 percent in reforming, and therefore could use some additional help.

              Cris

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              • #8
                Woth Going to the seminar if you read the book

                I was very interested in the book and tried to implement GTD. The 2 day seminar where I was able to just think about GTD and how I was going to implement it was terrific. Being with other people for two days who also really needed this training gave me another burst of energy and enthusiasm to go back to my life and really work at this stuff. I went to the Focus and Vision seminar and the evening with David and I will take the seminar again for reinforcement. The tapes Getting Things Done Fast help a lot particularly having gone to the seminar. I still need periodic reinfocement by just stepping away for a couple of days and being with other people who are struggling with these issues. Well worth the money.

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