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Basic implementation problems -- perfectionistic

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  • Basic implementation problems -- perfectionistic

    Hey, everybody...

    I've read both books a couple of times now, and love the ideas, but I'm having a *ton* of problems implementing.

    I'm *really* perfectionistic, and so I feel I need the *perfect* system, before I can really start depending on it...

    Any ideas on how to deal with this would be appreciated...


  • #2
    perfect system

    If it has to be "perfect" for you go to one of David's seminar or better yet have them come to you and help you to implement it.


    • #3
      Re: perfect system

      Originally posted by Mardo
      ... better yet have them come to you and help you to implement it.
      The David Allen Company coaching processes implement the principles of workflow mastery in real time, via an intensive one-on-one session in your physical work environment and subsequent telephone reinforcements.



      • #4
        "perfect" implementation

        In addition to availaing yourself of perosmla teaching, as suggested above, may I suggest that you keep in mind that GTD involves skills and with skills it takes practice and adjustment of how you do them based on the results you are getting to eventually get the results you want.T hink about learning how to make scrambed eggs--it was pretty messy the first time you cracked an egg on the side of a bowl!

        Finally, you might approach the implementation of GTD as a project. Write out in a few words what you think the successful outcome of GTD as a project would be at this time. Then decide if now is the time, or if you want to wait until after some other event in your life (if so, you might put that on your calendar), or maybe you want to post pone indefinitely, thus it is really a SDMB for you(Some Day MayBe). If this is going to be an active project then just start with the first action that you think is the step toward implementation. For me, it was an errand, getting dividers for my planner. Then, an anywhere action, labelling them. Interestingly, after a few months I re-labelled to have different sections. At one point, just making a vocabulary list of theGTD meaning of the words was a step. I am about 18 months into it and I would say about 40% implemented but each step has been through several stages of adjustment,

        Enjoy discoverying a new way of thinking that has endless possibilities for development. The perfection in here is in the cycling through it, gettting feedback as you go.


        • #5
          Re: Basic implementation problems -- perfectionistic

          Originally posted by carikate
          Hey, everybody...

          I've read both books a couple of times now, and love the ideas, but I'm having a *ton* of problems implementing.

          I'm *really* perfectionistic, and so I feel I need the *perfect* system, before I can really start depending on it...
          What system are you using now? ("It's all in my head" counts as a system.)

          How bad would your GTD system have to be to make it worse than what you have now?

          If answering those two questions doesn't make you happy, you can always choose to run your current system and your new system in parallel until you gain confidence in your new system. It will be a lot of work, but perhaps a lot of work is what you need right now.

          You must make mistakes to learn a new skill. There is no other way. Make enough mistakes, though, and you will become a wise and wily person.

          You are just starting. Things will be goofy for a while. It will chafe at first. Expect it. But if you keep at it, you will get a pretty good system pretty quickly, and a very good system soon after that.


          • #6
            FInd a balance between perfect and "good enough"

            Perfectionism exacts a heavy toll. At my company, we were all so hung up on getting everything right down to the last detail that we weren't able to act on even a portion of the good ideas we came up with. As we've worked on recognizing the value of incrementalism and finding a "good enough" point, we're executing a lot better and getting a lot more done.


            • #7
              Almost all truly successful corporate and software development processes are reiterative. In other words, build a quick prototype (like tonight), run/test it for a few days/weeks, then fix it...rinse, repeat. Version 1.0, 2.0, etc.

              Or you could think about it some more, maybe read a couple self-help books, walk your ferret, consult an astrologer.

              Frankly, I love perfectionist. While they're holed-up worrying about completely inconsequential details, I'm out making the money that they could have had had they simply stepped up.



              • #8
                This is probably an overgeneralization, but I think there might be two kinds of perfectionists (or two perfectionist-like qualities in people): those who don't want to do something unless they can do it perfectly, and those who won't stop doing something, stop trying, or call it "done" until it's perfect.

                Both exist in me. The first is, for me, really a fear of failure, and it sometimes keeps me from trying new things. I don't want to learn to rock-climb because I have to do it perfectly or the consequences could be disastrous. This isn't really perfectionism, though; it's a fear of failure, of looking stupid. (Intellectually I know that I can take safety precautions to avoid disastrous consequences.)

                The second is, for me, something that gives me pride. I don't want to go at something halfway and then quit. I don't want my work or my life to be "good enough." I want my work, my life, my relationships, my health, to be as perfect as I can get them. And it takes trying, failing, tweaking, trying again, starting over, taking a different approach, letting something simmer while I think it over, etc.

                If you're describing the first characteristic, you'll probably be frustrated when you start implementing GTD. It's a process of training your mind, of starting, fostering, and growing new habits. Plain and simple, it isn't going to be perfect at the moment you start.

                But if you're describing the second characteristic, you'll enjoy implementing the GTD principles and finding out what is "perfect" for you. That might mean starting with paper and moving to a Palm, using a tickler and deciding you don't need to, or doing a weekly review and realizing you need to do it more than once a week (something I recently realized). If you're goal of a "perfect" implementation is being the most productive, efficient, calm, and ready person you can be, taking this on will be rewarding.


                • #9
                  Make mistakes on purpose. Pick a target number. And try to meet that number even if you have to go back to your work and reintroduce mistakes.