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Connecting Points

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  • Connecting Points

    The whole GTD system covers much of what life is: it may sound a little too much but that's exactly what GTD is all about _ Life and how to live it. David Allen is, by the shear quality of his work, and the wholeness of GTD, a true master of our way of life. However, David Allen is not the only one, nor can his book stand alone (can it?) in this type of empirical science. So, my debate suggestion is: where are the Connecting Points, if any, between Allen and, let us say, Covey or Mackenzie?

    As far as I can see it, the 30000 to 50000+ Feet level, or even the whole 6-level model, may be one of the open links between GTD and other classic books on the theme.

    There are several GTD principles/tools that demolish most of the other authors work: you know what I mean (no priority lists, no daily to-do lists, and so on).

    The big practical issue is: is GTD all you need to read to fulfil the objectives the book itself sets for the reader?
    Last edited by boino; 06-01-2009, 04:46 PM. Reason: bad spelling: "grounds... instead of ground: replaced it for demolish..."

  • #2
    Interesting question!

    However, perhaps I'm just being cantankerous, but I think this issue varies so much from person to person that general principles can't be usefully extracted.

    There are a whole host of issues that may need to be resolved before a person can fulfil their role in life--psychological counseling, for one. We've seen on this board a number of psychological blocks that keep people from fully implementing GTD.

    Also, people vary in their stage of life and acceptance of input. As David Allen has said, some folks get this right away, while others struggle for a decade to implement it. Which is nothing against the latter group; it could be that the message is communicated poorly to them, or that they need to deal with other problems in their life before they can get everything out of their head.

    But that's just me.


    • #3

      I guess people must "want" to get GTD running, pretty much like someone who really wants to stop smoking. There are no good solutions for those who don't really want to quit… but we can’t fall on the “if-you-really-want-to-anything-will-do” trap.

      Anyway, I noticed your apparent focus on "getting things out of your head" and it almost answers my question: you don’t need Covey’s principles nor avoid Mackenzie’s time traps. You want your head clean.

      Very cool input. Thanks!


      • #4
        Originally posted by boino View Post
        The big practical issue is: is GTD all you need to read to fulfil the objectives the book itself sets for the reader?
        For me the GTD book probably isn't enough. But it's amazing how close it comes, and how much meaning can be teased out of that little gem with repeated readings and persistent application. But I didn't "get" GTD completely until I read Making It All Work. Maybe I still don't fully get GTD.

        But if the objective of the book is "Getting Things Done" - it can only go so far. It can bring me to water, but it can't make me drink. This is the part - the all-important action step itself - that I think most needs to be supplemented by other material and sources. I don't believe any model or framework is possible for motivating a person to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.


        • #5
          Originally posted by boino View Post
          Anyway, I noticed your apparent focus on "getting things out of your head" and it almost answers my question: you don’t need Covey’s principles nor avoid Mackenzie’s time traps. You want your head clean.
          Covey's and Mackenzie's ideas are useful tools. Most self-help and personal productivity systems are collections of useful tools.

          GTD is a structured mindset. It's a holistic approach to one's commitments.

          Covey's "Begin with the end in mind" is a great principle, and ties in with a lot of GTD. It can provide an "A-ha" moment that may not come from GTD.

          And we need these little tools and reminders. There's more to life than GTD, and many other ideas and principles can strengthen it for different people in different situations.


          • #6
            Prior to GTD I did set up from-the-top thinking programs for myself. When GTD came along, I put the higher levels aside and really started getting things done. But a clear overview of your projects and NAs is not going to be the biggest driver to get you up earlier or to get you to pursue new things or even to take care of the mundane. It's instrumental in making a lot possible and giving me a sense of great control, but one needs other levels.

            When I decided to identify my higher horizons in GTD, I pulled in all my previously defined purposes and visions and goals and what-have-yous. I tweaked them to match my current needs. It was easy for me, since I had done this in great detail earlier. They tied together nicely.


            • #7
              Sdann hit the point: In fact, "The Magic of Thinking Big" (David Schwartz) pretty much fills the gap. And... have you ever read Garry Kasparov's "How Life Imitates Chess"?


              • #8
                Before GTD I bought into FranklinCovey hook, line and sinker. I was absolutely convinced that the principles were correct and the Franklin Planner was THE way to go to stay organized and focused.

                The FranklinCovey principles (roles, values, mission, leadership etc) are correct and connect directly to 20-50K ft horizons of focus, but the Franklin Planner with the ABC priority codes is woefully inadequate and outmoded for implementing work at the runway and 10K ft level.

                No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make the Franklin Planner work very I tried even harder, not realizing my efforts were totally mis-directed. Once I got married and bought a house, the entire system collapsed under the sheer volume and level of discomfort I had with all of the "stuff" associated with home ownership. I fell into a state of numbness and depression, nearly ruining my health and my marriage.

                GTD is the lifeline I used to pull myself out of that hole. Soon after I got on the GTD bandwagon I sold my Franklin Planner on eBay but kept the 7 Habits book. I still refer to it from time-to-time for personal leadership advice.

                In conclusion, if I want advice on personal leadership and direction at 20,000 ft and above, I refer mostly to Stephen Covey's material. If I want advice on implementing and doing, I refer to David Allen's material.