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  • need suggestions

    I've implemented GTD several times, but have never been able to "trust" the system enough to rely on it, which consequently leads to failure of the system as a whole.

    I've given it much thought, and I believe the problem is in collection.

    Here's the problem:

    At work, I use Outlook. I can get email (i.e. new tasks) when I'm here, or when I take the laptop home. I don't want to use my work buckets for my list management, because these buckets can be, and are monitored, and my employer does not need to know every personal task I have in my lists. This leads me to use tools outside of the corp enviroment.

    That works fine except now how do I get my work tasks into them?

    I almost need to set up 2 distinct trusted systems, and keep my @work there, and my @home there.

    But then you end up fighting the overhead involved with management of two very populated systems.

    On top of that, no one, not at work, not at home will "respect" the system. But that's just me venting.

    I'm open to suggestions. I hate falling off, I always feel so lost and confused when I do.

  • #2
    Originally posted by meatstack View Post
    On top of that, no one, not at work, not at home will "respect" the system. But that's just me venting.
    Others will have good replies to the larger part of your problem, but meanwhile would you clarify the statement above? What is the effect of this lack of respect? That others can interfere with your system? Or don't respect you for using it? Other?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
      Others will have good replies to the larger part of your problem, but meanwhile would you clarify the statement above? What is the effect of this lack of respect? That others can interfere with your system? Or don't respect you for using it? Other?

      To clarify the other part: working (or living) with others who do not have a system can be challanging. Perhaps you have a supervisor who sends and email, then immediatly tells you the same thing in person, interrupting whatever you were working on at the moment. Or, contuisly changes priority of items. Nothing everyone does not have to deal with, thus the "venting."

      My wife is more extreme. Her favorite thing to do is to call me when I'm driving somewhere, and start to list off things I'm supposed to do. I explain I can't take notes now, and can she hit me with this later, or perhaps make a list for me. Which frustrates her because she feels I should just remember these things.

      Wives. Can't live with them, pass the beer nuts. - Norm, from cheers.

      Comment


      • #4
        It sounds one problem or challenge you face is putting together an organizing system that fits your needs.

        Technology often presents obstacles to those who are just getting started with GTD. If you really want to get GTD, you need to remove those distractions and go low-tech. Focus on getting the habits of collecting, processing and organizing down first, then worry about integrating technology into that later. Many have "hybrid" systems where they keep an electronic calendar but paper action lists.

        You also sound torn between a single system or separate systems for home and work. That's a hotly debated topic and there are lots of threads about it on this forum. Here's a link to one where I described how I managed to loosely merge my home and work calendar and task lists in Outlook.

        That's all for now; I may be able to add more later. Good luck!

        -Luke
        Last edited by ellobogrande; 09-30-2009, 09:28 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          2 Distinct Systems

          Hello,

          I've recently switched from having one system with "work" and "non-work" combined. When I used this mixed system I was a self-employed consultant and it worked well.

          I've just taken a job as a full time employee somewhere and have decided to have two systems. This means I have two sets of collection mechanisms, two sets of contexts lists, two sets of reference and project materials, and two weekly reviews.

          I have not noticed any real strain in dealing with the overhead of having the systems split up. It works for me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Forgive me for answering my own question, but I've found a system that works well to overcome the 2 system problem.

            From another thread in this forum, I found out about thinkingrock. I installed that app on a usb drive, and can take it to what ever computer I'm by, work or home.

            Although this solution works for me (at least so far) it might not be perfect for everyone, since many offices disable the USB on their computers to prevent connecting USB drives.

            Thanks for your help, and I hope this helps someone else.

            Comment


            • #7
              Problem of life?

              Originally posted by meatstack View Post
              I almost need to set up 2 distinct trusted systems, and keep my @work there, and my @home there.
              Why don't you try to focus on create only your first "trusty" system. I found extremely useful, at the beginning, some 3X5 paper cards - always with me - to collect all: ideas and other. Then you could move from paper to outlook, so updating your system
              Originally posted by meatstack View Post
              On top of that, no one, not at work, not at home will "respect" the system.
              yes, could happen to all! But you could also ask an help to the other:" My dear, as it seems so important this things and as I'm driving and I cannot take a good note, do you mind idf I call you in 20 minutes?...or could you help me, please, send me an email with subject....only as a remind for me...I'm driving now and...

              Originally posted by meatstack View Post
              I'm open to suggestions. I hate falling off, I always feel so lost and confused when I do.
              I think it could be useful read "Making it all work" the last book by David Allen. Personally I found it very useful to find a direction, the right perspective. And you know, if your goal is clear then all the troubles find their own way to be fixed.
              1. Clear Goal
              2. Check what was successful and continue to do
              3. Retune the direction and try again

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by meatstack View Post
                I installed that app on a usb drive, and can take it to what ever computer I'm by, work or home.

                Although this solution works for me (at least so far) it might not be perfect for everyone, since many offices disable the USB on their computers to prevent connecting USB drives.
                Though the USB ports are enabled on our office computers it is a violation of our code of conduct to plug personal USB drives into company-owned computers. Make absolutely sure you're not doing something that might get you into trouble or fired.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, yes, this is a tough situation. I sympathize!

                  Let me tell you how I manage it:

                  I keep two separate systems, one at home and one at work.

                  Each system consists of a clipboard, with pages for Next Actions, Projects, and Waiting For lists (one page per list). Someday/Maybe and "Roles and Goals" (my higher-level objectives) are stored in text files on my computer (the work set on the work computer, and the personal set on my home computer). I also have a physical tickler file. At work, I use Outlook for mail and calendar items; at home, I use Thunderbird for email and Google Calendar for calendar items.

                  For collection, I keep a good pen and a stack of 3x5" index cards in my pocket. I also have a physical inbox (at home and at work), of course.

                  To answer your questions using my system as an example:

                  That works fine except now how do I get my work tasks into them?

                  As new emails, tasks, etc. come in, I scribble down relevant NAs and Projects on the appropriate pages on my clipboard. Ditto if the incoming information becomes Waiting For or Someday/Maybe items.

                  I almost need to set up 2 distinct trusted systems, and keep my @work there, and my @home there.

                  Indeed!

                  But then you end up fighting the overhead involved with management of two very populated systems.

                  What overhead?

                  In my experience, two systems are no more work than one. You're still doing the same operations (writing down items on lists). You're just putting work items in one place, and home items in another.

                  You may ask, what about getting a @Home idea at work, or an @Work idea at home? I pull out my 3x5" cards and jot it down, and toss that into my nearest inbox. When I process that inbox, I email the idea to my work or home address. It then becomes another input into that system there.

                  Does that help?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    About the wife - lol. My Mum was pretty much the same, except she 'ambushed' me in RL and started with the list of things 'I ought to have known anyway'...

                    We have a few good topics about GTD & family in GTD connect forums - so if you haven't tried the free trial, get a look..
                    Basically, for me it helped to ask in advance (every evening for the next day, and eg every Saturday or Sunday for the week ahead) what are plans etc. Someone suggested doing this with their (very disorganized) boss at another forum.. At times I even scheduled informal 'meetings' to discuss seemingly very 'banal' stuff.. You could try this and see if it works..

                    Also I started (informal) lists in the kitchen, to write down what needs to be bought as things run out, and the kitchen wall calendar seems very helpful too.. Especially if you ask in advance and write stuff there, in enough detail, and then sync with your GTD system if needed..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Learning moment

                      I'm very interested in the scenario you describe here:

                      Her favorite thing to do is to call me when I'm driving somewhere, and start to list off things I'm supposed to do. I explain I can't take notes now, and can she hit me with this later, or perhaps make a list for me. Which frustrates her because she feels I should just remember these things.
                      It seems to me that, rather than being an anomaly, this is actually the essence of a problem that we all face, and is at the core of GTD. I think David Allen developed GTD not to handle "convenient" collection opportunities -- such as when you're sitting at your computer at your office -- but to handle exactly these kinds of "difficult" ones.

                      At the heart of GTD is the idea that if you can't collect immediately -- anytime, anywhere -- and place items in a trusted system, then they're going to live in the most problematic place of all: your head. You have almost no control over when stuff comes at you, from where, or from whom. We can talk about limiting stuff that comes to you through e-mail, but there are many other commitment streams that you have virtually no control over.

                      Another fundamental GTD idea is that half the solution is the system, but the other half involves one's own habits. The issues you're raising -- do I keep two separate systems, how do I work around access restrictions at work, how do I keep my wife from calling me at an inconvenient time -- are somewhat removed from your own role in managing the inputs in your life.

                      Let's say that your entire life were lived in your car (for many consultants and salespeople, this is practically their reality), and that all of your inputs came to you over the phone while you were driving. What would you do? How insurmountable a problem is this really? If you were to reorder your priorities so that collecting an input was the very highest priority, what kind of system and what kind of behavior would result? When the call came in from your wife, what might you do?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by meatstack View Post
                        Her favorite thing to do is to call me when I'm driving somewhere, and start to list off things I'm supposed to do.
                        Is answering your phone while driving really the best possible use of your time in that instant?


                        Cheers,
                        Roger

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You don't have to answer the phone.

                          Originally posted by meatstack View Post
                          Her favorite thing to do is to call me when I'm driving somewhere, and start to list off things I'm supposed to do. I explain I can't take notes now, and can she hit me with this later, or perhaps make a list for me. Which frustrates her because she feels I should just remember these things.
                          You don't have to always answer the phone. Sometimes you can contemplate it ringing on and on... You can treat it as a form of meditation practice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                            You don't have to always answer the phone. Sometimes you can contemplate it ringing on and on... You can treat it as a form of meditation practice.
                            He he, at times I would purposely leave my phone in the other room, if I needed uninterrupted focus, or set it on quiet, or just to 'ring once' so it didn't drive me crazy in a car, but I could hear it and check later or answer if it was important and I could talk..

                            Phones in a car can be dangerous, and illegal in some countries.. (also depends on your setup, handsfree or not)
                            Also, gadgets (or functions?) exist where you can record calls and use this as input/inbox..

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Roger View Post
                              Is answering your phone while driving really the best possible use of your time in that instant?
                              No.

                              Text messages are a godsend for me in this kind of situation. Instead of trying to remember the grocery list my husband is calling about, I'll ask him to text it to me. I have it without (a) trying to remember it or (b) (worse!) trying to write it down while driving, and (c) he can double check to make sure the list really includes everything it should.

                              Katherine

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