Getting Things Done® – David Allen's GTD® Methodology http://gettingthingsdone.com David Allen's GTD® Methodology Mon, 04 Dec 2017 17:18:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 67790724 Get a Grip on Your Process, or Give It Up http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/11/get-a-grip-on-your-process-or-give-it-up/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/11/get-a-grip-on-your-process-or-give-it-up/#comments Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:00:02 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16337 If you’re not willing to commit to keeping your head completely empty, it’s not worth trying to make any “personal management system” work. Give it up.  Don’t kid yourself. Throw your productivity tools away. OK, I’m becoming more direct and succinct. (At 72 I think that serves us both, and I choose not to beat […]
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If you’re not willing to commit to keeping your head completely empty, it’s not worth trying to make any “personal management system” work. Give it up.  Don’t kid yourself. Throw your productivity tools away.

OK, I’m becoming more direct and succinct. (At 72 I think that serves us both, and I choose not to beat around the bush.) But I’m also getting a bit bored with people half-heartedly attempting half-implemented solutions as they attempt to do “just a part of” GTD and complaining about it “not sticking” with them. Now, a partial engagement with this methodology won’t really hurt (and can create some minor wins), but it produces such a minuscule fraction of the value possible if you go all the way. People who say they are “doing GTD” are still showing me half-filled-out lists of still-undecided stuff in their system. They may have a few folders set up, a couple of next-action lists; but a majority of their stuff is still scattered from tables to briefcases to kitchen drawers to their heads—all un-retrievable in any consistent fashion.

Stop complaining about your stress and your overwhelm! Look outside—the universe is not stress-out or confused. It’s fine. It’s only the way we are engaged with it that creates our negative reactions. GTD is the process we’ve uncovered that creates appropriate engagement. What you’re dealing with at hand may not be easy or fun, but being in the driver’s seat about it moves that experience to a much more mature and effective level. But If you’re not willing to make this process really work, 100%, don’t tire yourself with the pretenses of half-baked solutions. They just add insult to injury, and quite frankly, may not be worth the energy to continue.

It’s like trying to keep air in only three tires on your car. Hello. IT WON’T DRIVE WITHOUT THEM ALL! If you’re going to flop along anyway, don’t waste your energy trying to keep just a couple in good shape.

Either your head is the place to keep track of stuff, or it’s not. You’d have a hard time intellectually justifying something in-between. If you use a calendar at all, you’ve already admitted you need external support to manage your life.

But, hey, why not? Just keep it all in your head, throw away your calendar, and trust that you’ll have what you need for information and perspective whenever you need it. If you had the guts to really do that, 100%, it might work. I might actually try that some day. Until then I will be responsible to the creative process that I’m born with, frequently makng agreements with myself and others that I need to define, clarify, track, and renegotiate regularly, to get off my own back and to make meaningful things happen.

But, if there’s only part of all this in your system and only a part in your head, you won’t trust either place to give you appropriate guidance. You’ll be driven in your choices of what to do by simply the latest and loudest things in your psyche. Good luck.

OK, I admit it—I’m just projecting some of my own frustrations with the resistance to full-out execution of the Getting Things Done process that I have encountered with so many people, and the unfortunate give-up energy I have seen from people who “fell off the wagon.” Don’t take me too seriously. Most people haven’t really had the game defined so they could see how the partial solutions are no solution. But if you have…

Give yourself a break. If you’re going to play this game the way you are trying to play it, you’d better really play it.

Write it down. Anything, everything. Decide what your intention is about it, and what the next step would be. Do the action, delegate the action, or defer the action to your list of optional things to do. Look at all that regularly. Be conscious about what you’re doing, and what you’re not. Get free. You should be focusing all your energy on bigger issues, greater joy, and more expanded opportunities.

Thanks for listening.

–David Allen

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

 

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Episode #35 – The Case for Capturing http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/11/episode-35-the-case-for-capturing/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/11/episode-35-the-case-for-capturing/#comments Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:10:27 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16331 Listen to an engaging presentation David Allen gave on the case for capturing. In it, David explores the concepts of psychic RAM, society’s move into knowledge work, and the freedom we feel as we begin to implement the GTD methodology.   Listen Now   Subscribe or Download iTunes Stitcher Libsyn Google Play Music Spotify SoundCloud
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Listen to an engaging presentation David Allen gave on the case for capturing. In it, David explores the concepts of psychic RAM, society’s move into knowledge work, and the freedom we feel as we begin to implement the GTD methodology.

 

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Work/Life Balance http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/11/worklife-balance/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/11/worklife-balance/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 16:33:54 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16313 There’s not really work/life balance, there’s just balance. I mean, work is anything you want to get done, right? It doesn’t have to be pejorative. Having a good vacation can be work. Just think of the affirmation: Wow, this really works! Is that a bad thing? There’s a lot of stuff we have to do […]
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There’s not really work/life balance, there’s just balance. I mean, work is anything you want to get done, right? It doesn’t have to be pejorative. Having a good vacation can be work. Just think of the affirmation: Wow, this really works! Is that a bad thing?

There’s a lot of stuff we have to do that’s not glamorous. What you should be after, instead of some arbitrary boundary between work and home life, is a balance that you define for yourself. And that starts with values. Why do you have the things you have? Why are these important? When you ask these questions, the end game is in focus and the rest of your thoughts—work or otherwise—serve that end. But you need to be in the moment and you need to write down your thoughts as they hit you.

A lot of folks suffer from what I call the “latest and loudest.” These are the distractions that seem so important in the moment, but that don’t really serve your values or further your end game. Write what you think your values are so you can interpret them and take appropriate action. Ask yourself: Do I feel comfortable with the actions I’m taking in the moment? Or are they driven by external influences?

–David Allen

 

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Are You Micromanaging Your Mind? http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/10/are-you-micromanaging-your-mind-2/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/10/are-you-micromanaging-your-mind-2/#comments Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:57:26 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16308 One of the greatest traps in growing a business is also a pitfall for self-management: If you don’t trust your system, you can’t let go of operational details and you’ll limit your ability to create at a bigger level. Many successful entrepreneurs I have worked with over the years could be characterized (and have been, […]
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One of the greatest traps in growing a business is also a pitfall for self-management: If you don’t trust your system, you can’t let go of operational details and you’ll limit your ability to create at a bigger level.

Many successful entrepreneurs I have worked with over the years could be characterized (and have been, by their employees and friends) as “highly creative control freaks.” It’s understandable, because usually it takes that kind of strong, directed energy to create a business, to make something out of nothing. Much like a parent will go to superhuman lengths to protect its vulnerable offspring, someone who gives birth to an enterprise almost of necessity must have skin as thick as an elephant’s and the aggressive/defensive capacity of a samurai warrior. It takes tremendous focus, determination, and, yes, a certain lack of sensitivity, to create something new and get it to stick around in this world.

That protectionism can, of course, become their undoing. In order to continue in their visionary capacity to grow and expand, they must mature not only their team and their systems but themselves as well, to prevent the strangulation of micromanagement. They have to trust. But trust is not something you can just do because you should. I suppose you can develop a greater sense of overall optimism about life, but you don’t merely learn to trust—you learn to build trust. And you do that by creating a system and working it, so you can let go at that lower functional level, without letting go of the bigger picture of what you’re trying to accomplish.

A beginner at the wheel of a car will have jerky, small movements. They are maintaining control, just at small increments of focus. Only as they learn to trust the car’s responsiveness can they let go on that level, extend their horizon, and cruise at higher speeds more easily.

Similarly, if you don’t fully trust your personal systems, you are likely to be dedicating inappropriate and unnecessary mental attention to details and content, often with a resultant negative emotional component. You’ll feel pulled, overwhelmed, and often like you’re close to losing control.

But you can’t trust your system until it’s trust-worthy. When is that? When you know you have captured all your commitments, clarified what you’re intending to do about them, decided the actions you need to take about them, and have parked reminders of those actions in places that you know you’ll look, where and when you need to.

Entrepreneurs have to break out of their comfort zone of operational control and let go, getting good people in the right places, accountable for the right things and monitored appropriately. Similarly, to keep a clear head focused creatively at the right things, you must have all the right things in your personal system and the behaviors to look at them at the right time. Cognitive science has now validated that if you try to keep more than four things in your mind at once, you’ll lose objectivity about their relationships with each other and denigrate your performance. Less important things will bother you more than they should, and you won’t give the tactical and strategic stuff the objective attention it deserves. And if some part of you knows that you don’t have everything captured and organized in the right place, your brain simply won’t let go of some attention to unseen details. You’ll find yourself still to some degree at the mercy of the latest and loudest. It’s the price paid for staying in the comfort zone of keeping control of it all in your head.

When people begin to implement the Getting Things Done® methodology, they initially experience a rush of energy and creativity, while feeling more relaxed at the same time. But those positive experiences can slip away quickly without the confidence that the content of their systems is complete and current (the inventory of which could have been changed and expanded hugely with the last phone call).

People have often said, “Gee, I have everything captured in the system, but my mind is still worrying and reminding me about this and that.” My question is, “How long have you been working your system?” Usually they have only recently set it up. That won’t be sufficient to build trust yet, and your mind will still try to keep control.

That’s why the challenge is to keep going—to keep coming back to everything captured, clarified, and organized. And the trick is to come back often enough, reflecting on the contents, for the mind to be able to let go, trusting that remembering and reminding is really being handled by something better. Then you’re truly free to be thinking about things, not of them.

–David Allen

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

 

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2018 GTD Organizer and GTD Organizer are now available! http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/10/2018-gtd-organizer-and-gtd-organizer-are-now-available/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/10/2018-gtd-organizer-and-gtd-organizer-are-now-available/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:21:40 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16302 The 2018 GTD Organizer and 2018 GTD Calendar are now available. The GTD Organizer (pictured) includes all of the lists we recommend, plus a 15-month (November 2017–January 2019) calendar and extra pages. The GTD Calendar is just that, without the additional lists. Available as a PDF download to use on your computer or print. Buy […]
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The 2018 GTD Organizer and 2018 GTD Calendar are now available. The GTD Organizer (pictured) includes all of the lists we recommend, plus a 15-month (November 2017–January 2019) calendar and extra pages. The GTD Calendar is just that, without the additional lists. Available as a PDF download to use on your computer or print. Buy now or learn more

 

 

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Episode #34 – Crafting Your External Brain http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/10/episode-34-crafting-your-external-brain/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/10/episode-34-crafting-your-external-brain/#respond Wed, 11 Oct 2017 15:39:55 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16293 David Allen presents a webinar on how to craft integrated external systems that allow you to focus more productively. He explores the cognitive science behind the external brain, what the purpose of it is, and how you can use it most effectively with your GTD system.   Listen Now   Subscribe or Download iTunes Stitcher […]
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David Allen presents a webinar on how to craft integrated external systems that allow you to focus more productively. He explores the cognitive science behind the external brain, what the purpose of it is, and how you can use it most effectively with your GTD system.

 

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GTD Public Courses http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/09/gtd-public-courses/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/09/gtd-public-courses/#comments Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:57:53 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16247 GTD Public Courses are offered regularly by our Global Partners around the world.
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GTD Public Courses are offered regularly by our Global Partners around the world.

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Commitments kept in your head http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/09/commitments-kept-in-your-head/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/09/commitments-kept-in-your-head/#comments Mon, 04 Sep 2017 22:47:46 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16233 What’s on your mind?
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What’s on your mind?

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Going the Distance to Mind Like Water http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/09/going-the-distance-to-mind-like-water/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/09/going-the-distance-to-mind-like-water/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 15:18:23 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16230 There is a light-year of difference between a system that has merely a lot of our stuff objectified, and one that has 100%. Few people have experienced what I’m talking about, because there are few people who have ever gotten to a 100% empty head—absolutely every project, action item, and potential commitment we have made […]
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There is a light-year of difference between a system that has merely a lot of our stuff objectified, and one that has 100%. Few people have experienced what I’m talking about, because there are few people who have ever gotten to a 100% empty head—absolutely every project, action item, and potential commitment we have made with ourselves and others externalized in an easily reviewable format.

If you don’t have everything in a system that the system ought to have, you won’t have full trust in that system, and you’ll have greatly reduced motivation to keep it up and keep it current. If your system isn’t tracking every computer-related action you need to take in discreet folders or lists, then your mind still has the job of remembering what to do when you open your laptop. You’ll probably leave emails sitting in the inbox or files on the desktop, hoping you’ll remember you need to handle something. There is not full freedom to trust your intuition about which action to take off the list, since your mind still has the job of remembering and formulating all the options. Similarly, if your reference systems are only partially complete, you probably won’t be motivated to get all your reference processed and organized, as soon as it arrives in your life.

How will you know when your reminders and categories are complete? When will you know how much you have out of your head and into your system? Even if you have 99% out of your head, you still won’t know that it’s 99% because of what may be lurking in the 1%. You will only know how much you have left, when there is nothing left!

Either your head is the best place to hold all your agreements with yourself, or it’s not. (You can guess which way I vote.) I can’t imagine any intellectual justification for halfway in between. Yet most people still have over half their life in their heads. They won’t totally trust the incomplete system, nor will they totally trust their head. This fosters latest-and-loudest prioritizing, instead of trusted strategic choices.

A partial system is almost worse than none. In regard to life commitments—99%’s a bitch, 100%’s a breeze.

–David Allen

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

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Episode #33 – Wrangling Your Priorities http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/episode-33-wrangling-your-priorities/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/episode-33-wrangling-your-priorities/#comments Mon, 28 Aug 2017 16:27:51 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16217 David Allen and Coach Meg Edwards give expert coaching on wrangling your priorities. The discussion includes three common challenges: competing priorities, mapping day-to-day priority choices to your higher level goals, and prioritizing as a group.   Listen Now   Subscribe or Download iTunes Stitcher Libsyn Google Play Music Spotify SoundCloud
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David Allen and Coach Meg Edwards give expert coaching on wrangling your priorities. The discussion includes three common challenges: competing priorities, mapping day-to-day priority choices to your higher level goals, and prioritizing as a group.

 

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5 Signs You’re Getting Better at GTD http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/5-signs-youre-getting-better-at-gtd/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/5-signs-youre-getting-better-at-gtd/#comments Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:13:41 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16209 1. It feels weird to keep stuff on your mind Capturing what has your attention is a key practice with GTD. Getting better at GTD means you are capturing what’s on your mind when it shows up, moment-by-moment and keeping something ON your mind, well, it just feels weird. 2. You empty your inboxes regularly […]
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1. It feels weird to keep stuff on your mind
Capturing what has your attention is a key practice with GTD. Getting better at GTD means you are capturing what’s on your mind when it shows up, moment-by-moment and keeping something ON your mind, well, it just feels weird.

2. You empty your inboxes regularly
No getting around this one. If your inboxes aren’t processed to zero on a regular basis (at least weekly in your Reviews), you won’t fully trust your priority decisions, because of the unknown factor of what’s lurking in any unprocessed stacks.

3. You don’t fight the Weekly Review
The Weekly Review is the glue that keeps GTD together. Getting better at GTD means you willingly create the space and time in your life to get clear, current, and creative and no longer make excuses that you don’t have time for it.

4. You feel good about what you’re not doing
This one is big, but can be subtle at the same time. GTD is as much as about feeling good about what you’re choosing to do, as it is feeling good about what you are choosing NOT to do. The latter comes from having a complete and current inventory of projects and actions so you know what’s not getting done when you are getting other things done.

5. You naturally start projects asking, “What’s the purpose?”
Projects don’t always arrive in neat packages. And, the purpose you see may not be the purpose others see. Getting better at GTD means you clarify the purpose on the front-end of projects, to make sure you and any others on the project are aligned to the “why?”.

How are you doing on these? Any areas of improvements?

–by Coach Kelly Forrister

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Getting Unstuck http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/getting-unstuck/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/getting-unstuck/#comments Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:23:53 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16205 Got any knots? What’s your desired outcome to resolve that? What will be true when you can you declare it done? What’s your next action?    
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Got any knots? What’s your desired outcome to resolve that? What will be true when you can you declare it done? What’s your next action?

 

 

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How’s your altitude aptitude? http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/hows-your-altitude-aptitude/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/08/hows-your-altitude-aptitude/#respond Thu, 03 Aug 2017 15:28:52 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16199 Over the years, it has become more and more helpful in my work to help people understand the ecosystem of GTD® (particularly priorities) by framing their thinking and decision-making around my altitude model: GROUND: Calendar/Actions – The nitty-gritty this-moment doing level. Call Fred. Buy tires. Draft proposal. Email Susan. HORIZON 1: Projects – The things […]
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Over the years, it has become more and more helpful in my work to help people understand the ecosystem of GTD® (particularly priorities) by framing their thinking and decision-making around my altitude model:

GROUND: Calendar/Actions – The nitty-gritty this-moment doing level. Call Fred. Buy tires. Draft proposal. Email Susan.

HORIZON 1: Projects – The things you’re committed to finish that one action won’t finish. Give Barbara a birthday party. Set up my new MacBook. Implement this year’s budget. Hire a new marketing VP.

HORIZON 2: Areas of Focus and Accountability – Current job responsibilities and status of key aspects of your personal life. What are your roles and responsibilities re: work? What areas of your personal life need to be maintained at some appropriate level? Given a review of all of those, what projects should you have on your list that you don’t have yet? Any projects on your list you should dump?

HORIZON 3: Goals and Objectives – The typical strategic level. Goals and direction of the organization and your work. Things you want to accomplish personally, in the longer term. Definition of current and new key result areas.

HORIZON 4: Vision – Career, lifestyle choices. Is this the job you want? Are you in the right game? What does success in the long term look, sound, and feel like? Talents, skills, interests.

HORIZON 5: Purpose and Principles – Life. Living the one you want? Quality of life issues. Values, balance, style, inner gifts, personal expressions.

So what about this? Well, too often I find people trying to solve a Horizon 4 problem with a Horizon 2 solution. Or trying to solve a Ground-level problem with a Horizon 5 solution. Doesn’t work—and even worse, it creates deep frustration and confusion because they know somehow that the questions that they are posing are good ones.

Whichever of these levels most has your attention is a fine place to begin, and to reassess its contents for yourself. However, trying to solve an out-of-control inbox (Ground) by agonizing about whether this is the job you should have (Horizon 4) is the Serious Pits. That’s why I usually coach on this scale from the bottom up—if your landing gear doesn’t work, it’s pretty hard to make real decisions from any other level! Getting control of where you are is a prerequisite for healthy thinking about where you should be.

–David Allen

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

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Episode #32 – The Better You Get http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/episode-32-the-better-you-get/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/episode-32-the-better-you-get/#comments Mon, 31 Jul 2017 23:10:56 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16185 David Allen says, “The better you get, the better you’d better get.” This podcast is about how to improve your skills, when you’re already proficient at GTD®. Coaches Meg Edwards and Kelly Forrister will guide you through some of the coaching they would give to a client who already has a solid foundation and plenty […]
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David Allen says, “The better you get, the better you’d better get.” This podcast is about how to improve your skills, when you’re already proficient at GTD®. Coaches Meg Edwards and Kelly Forrister will guide you through some of the coaching they would give to a client who already has a solid foundation and plenty of experience with GTD.

 

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The best ways to deal with stress http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/the-best-ways-to-deal-with-stress/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/the-best-ways-to-deal-with-stress/#comments Mon, 31 Jul 2017 16:36:59 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16175 David Allen on the best ways to deal with stress:  Understand first that you’re actually IN stress Determine what’s causing it Clarify what you’d like to have true in the situation—what’s your desired outcome, at least in terms of how you’d like to be feeling? Decide if there is a next action you can take […]
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David Allen on the best ways to deal with stress: 
  • Understand first that you’re actually IN stress
  • Determine what’s causing it
  • Clarify what you’d like to have true in the situation—what’s your desired outcome, at least in terms of how you’d like to be feeling?
  • Decide if there is a next action you can take to make some positive progress toward clarification and/or resolution
  • Engage in some activity or focus that you feel will potentially improve the situation for you.
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Outsmarting Your Mind http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/outsmarting-your-mind/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/outsmarting-your-mind/#respond Fri, 14 Jul 2017 23:17:40 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16122 I have the feeling and the hope every now and again that in 25 years what GTD teaches will be such a “given” that we may wonder what it was like to walk around with such pressure and stress from our suboptimal thinking habits. The advent of the “knowledge worker” society has given so many […]
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I have the feeling and the hope every now and again that in 25 years what GTD teaches will be such a “given” that we may wonder what it was like to walk around with such pressure and stress from our suboptimal thinking habits.

The advent of the “knowledge worker” society has given so many of us projects and things to do that are not nearly as clear-cut as work used to be. (Can you ever create a perfect workshop, or write a perfect article for the newsletter?) It has created a world in which we’ve given our minds tremendous work to do. But we’ve also grown up trusting that our minds could (and should) handle it all from beginning to end (because, aren’t they smart!?).

The problem is, much of the pressure I witness going on for people is their mind trying to do things that it doesn’t do very well. Most people are thinking about how they should be thinking about what they should be thinking about. And then trying not to think about that! They’re not finishing the exercise of the thought process required for completing what it should be thinking about, nor ensuring that they have good trustworthy action-level systems in place to manage the task of reminding themselves about the results of what they’ve come up with in that clarifying process.

Our minds seduce us regularly. When you’re thinking of something, some part of you is convinced that because it’s so evident at that moment, it will never forget it, and will supply that information or perspective or thought at the appropriate time and place. If that were really true, that would be great. It’s not. Otherwise you would never even need an external calendar—your head would know exactly where you needed to be when (as well as having a consistently correct view of everything coming toward you in your future!).

When you make agreements with yourself about something (“I would, could, should, might, ought to, etc.”) your mind, dutiful servant that it is, will be glued to that task until it is given further instructions. With no sense of past and future in its short-term memory bank, however, it creates instant and unresolvable conflict if it has more than one thing to do. Learning how to manage this is as straightforward as learning how to scramble eggs. You just have to act from the place that is smarter than your mind.

–David Allen

 

How is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?—Duc de la Rochefoucauld

 

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

 

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Episode #31 – David Allen talks with Dr. Theo Compernolle http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/episode-31-david-allen-talks-with-dr-theo-compernolle/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/episode-31-david-allen-talks-with-dr-theo-compernolle/#comments Thu, 13 Jul 2017 15:48:50 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16084 David talks with Dr. Theo Compernolle, a doctor with a 35-year background in medicine, psychiatry, teaching, and research. His most recent book is Brain Chains. You’ll find this interview to be educational, and perhaps challenging, as you learn that we may be using technology in counter-productive ways.   Listen Now   Subscribe or Download iTunes Stitcher […]
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David talks with Dr. Theo Compernolle, a doctor with a 35-year background in medicine, psychiatry, teaching, and research. His most recent book is Brain Chains. You’ll find this interview to be educational, and perhaps challenging, as you learn that we may be using technology in counter-productive ways.
 

Listen Now

 

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GTD Webinars http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/gtd-webinars-2/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/07/gtd-webinars-2/#respond Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:39:49 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16028 There are two great live video webinars being offered this month on GTD Connect, David Allen’s online learning center. 1. GTD & Outlook—July 20, 2017 This webinar is packed with practical tips and tricks to get you up and running with a trusted GTD system in Outlook for Windows. Learn how to best structure the […]
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There are two great live video webinars being offered this month on GTD Connect, David Allen’s online learning center.

1. GTD & Outlook—July 20, 2017
This webinar is packed with practical tips and tricks to get you up and running with a trusted GTD system in Outlook for Windows. Learn how to best structure the Tasks section to track your projects and next actions, effectively manage your email and calendar, use the Notes section for storing reference, and more.

2. Guided GTD Weekly Review—July 27, 2017
Experience what David Allen calls the “critical success factor” with GTD, by going through a complete GTD Weekly Review. You’ll get a taste of all 11 steps of the process, with helpful coaching along the way.

GTD Connect also offers a ton of other GTD content you won’t find anywhere else, including over 100 recorded webinars with the GTD coaches, audio and video library, What’s New with David Allen blog, educational articles, Intention Journal, member forums, and more.

Learn more  |   Questions

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Getting (back?) on the wagon with GTD http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/06/getting-back-on-the-wagon-with-gtd/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/06/getting-back-on-the-wagon-with-gtd/#respond Fri, 30 Jun 2017 17:33:33 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16014 It all makes sense. You want to do it. And yet, you aren’t doing it.  If this sounds familiar in relation to your GTD practice, know that you are not alone. The methodology is incredibly powerful, but only to the extent that one actually uses it. Perhaps because of this disparity, I sometimes see clients […]
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It all makes sense. You want to do it. And yet, you aren’t doing it. 

If this sounds familiar in relation to your GTD practice, know that you are not alone. The methodology is incredibly powerful, but only to the extent that one actually uses it. Perhaps because of this disparity, I sometimes see clients berate themselves, asking frustratedly why, if they know GTD works so well, they aren’t doing it more.

The good news is that a few simple steps can help you start to make the behaviour changes necessary to get back on the Path of GTD Mastery. Furthermore, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or take drastic measures to get going. Here are five steps I have seen work time and again.

1. Connect with the inspirational purpose
My colleague Ed Lamont speaks about this very well in his article “Goodbye Discipline, Hello Motivation“. Simply put, carrots work better than sticks (and are much more tasty).

So, why are you doing this GTD thing in the first place? For more time with the family? To impress the boss and get that promotion? So you can feel more relaxed and in control? Take the time you need to really connect with that inspirational purpose, and to reconnect with it as you go along. The real reason you’re doing GTD, by the way, stated as though it is already true, can make a great title for the project in your system about getting back on your GTD game. Be sure to get that written down on your project list straight away. It’s a way of telling yourself that you are serious.

2. Ask yourself: What’s worked before?
You are an adult. You have had to change your behaviour many times in the past to get what you want, and to get where you are now. How did you do it?

One client reflected on training for marathons, and how the new habit of morning runs initially felt awful, but by doing it anyway they soon became enjoyable, even irresistible to him. For me, the approach of making very small inroads works to gradually stretch out my comfort zone. For example, when the dentist told me I needed to start flossing, I started out by flossing just one tooth at night. Eventually the habit of getting out the floss became second nature, and I decided that while I was there and ready, I might as well do my whole mouth. (For more on the power of small steps, see “Why Tortoise Really Won“)

These same principles — starting small, acknowledging it will “feel wrong” at first, doing it anyway — are all transferrable to establishing (or re-establishing) your GTD practice. The more important question is: what has worked for you in the past? Now apply those same techniques to upping your GTD game.

3. Replace old rewards with new
Many habits get established as part of a reward cycle. For example, the habit of spending most of one’s day in the email inbox probably has something to do with the feeling of accomplishment when you complete everything there is to do about an email, and can get rid of it. However, it’s not the best way to get an overview of all your options to be nose-down in email all day.

Instead, see if you can replace the sense of accomplishment about “doing an email” with the sense of accomplishment that comes from clarifying and organising all of your emails into projects and actions, getting the inbox to zero. Likewise, see if you can replace feeling important because you are just so busy with feeling on top of everything because you have done your Weekly Review.

You aren’t giving up the rewards of accomplishment — you are upgrading them, and upgrading your definition of accomplishment in doing so.

4. Debrief the present from the future
This one may sound a little odd, but it can be profoundly useful when you are feeling stuck about how to proceed. First, get in touch with that inspirational purpose from step one. Then, embody it. Imagine yourself fully living within that new paradigm of stress-free success. Then ask yourself: how did I get here?

Just as identifying a clear outcome can often help with the next step, so this kind of “flash forward” exercise can often give you clues as to what has to happen — both in terms of what you are willing to do differently, and perhaps what you may need to be willing to give up — to get you to there from here.

In addition to creating a project in your system about getting back on your GTD game, be sure to add as much of this rich detail as possible as “project support” material to review and reflect upon as you go along.

Your imaginary internal GTD master may also have more practical tips for you along the way, so feel free to “flash forward” and ask questions as often as is useful. You may be surprised at how much you already know.

5. Commit to a new habit
Finally, commit to something new. All this connecting with purpose, rewiring definitions of accomplishment, and strategising with the end in mind still won’t get you back on your GTD game unless you actually do some things differently.
The two most common habits I see people take on that help them get going are the daily review and the Weekly Review. For so many people the siren’s call of email is a great temptation. One simple way to beat it is to review your action lists first before you ever open your email. This simple daily habit, like flossing a tooth, will at least remind you that your lists are there, waiting both to receive new clarified input from email and to be worked from as a better approach than just swimming through email all day.

The second habit that really works to both establish and reboot one’s practice is the Weekly Review. In some sense, in the early days, you are falling off the wagon a little bit each week. It’s the Weekly Review that puts you back on, by re-establishing familiarity and trust with your system, and getting you into a virtuous cycle of more relaxed focus leading to more motivation to keep practicing the GTD principles that create the relaxed focus in the first place. Whenever someone is off their game, we usually start with the Weekly Review.

So, there you have it. In a nutshell: get inspired, get practical, rewire what “winning” means, consult your future self a bit, and then take the plunge and commit to actually doing something different.

There is a much smarter way to work and live. You may not have been doing it yet, but you also may already have many of the answers about what needs to change, why, and how to get yourself back on track. Ask yourself a few good questions, listen to the answers, and then get going.

Good luck, and happy wagonning.

–Robert Peake, Certified GTD Coach & Trainer, Next Actions Associates

This article was originally published on the Next Action Associates blog.

 

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The workforce for the next century http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/06/the-workforce-for-the-next-century/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/06/the-workforce-for-the-next-century/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:01:19 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=16005 The assumption that everyone can and should do everything they have been given to do is an old industrial paradigm that does not hold water for “knowledge workers” who all have tons of projects that could be done infinitely better. Renegotiating agreements and standards with ourselves and our world is an unfamiliar but required skill […]
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The assumption that everyone can and should do everything they have been given to do is an old industrial paradigm that does not hold water for “knowledge workers” who all have tons of projects that could be done infinitely better.

Renegotiating agreements and standards with ourselves and our world is an unfamiliar but required skill set for the majority of the workforce for the next century. –David Allen

 

 

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