We discovered Rosalie Gale’s love for GTD on Facebook. We interviewed her so our community could hear her story. Enjoy!
1. How did you hear about GTD?
I used to be the queen of making to do lists. I would write them out over and over again and become very overwhelmed by everything I needed to accomplish. It seemed like I never actually made any progress on anything I wanted to do. For Christmas one year, my husband thought it would be funny to get me an audio book called Getting Things Done. (Get it? Because you never get anything done? Get it? He’s hilarious.) The joke was on him though because I listened to it. Then, I listened to it again. Over the years — I’ve listened to that audio book many, many times and it has honestly changed my life completely.
I went from someone who was just wishing and hoping to accomplish things — to someone who maybe learned how to be TOO productive (is that possible?). When I started GTD, I was working for someone else — and now I run three businesses of my own. My husband and I invented Shower Art – waterproof art you can hang in your shower. I also created and maintain a website called Unanimous Craft where people can find places to sell their handmade and small batch work. In our spare time, we opened a retail shop in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market called Ugly Baby and La Ru.
2. How has your GTD system evolved since you started and what tools do you use now?
When I first started, I used index cards and pens. I love office supplies, so being able to splurge on cool stuff to track my projects made me love GTD even more. I maintained it that way for about a year before I decided I was just repeating too much work and went for an electronic system. I’ve tried just about every electronic to do list and project management system out there — and have been very happy using Asana for the last two years. I use Asana to track all of my projects, due dates and recurring tasks. Then, every morning I make a pen & paper list of what I need to accomplish that particular day. Best of both worlds!
The main way that my GTD approach has evolved over the years is that – when I first started – I assigned everything a due date. It was a mistake because it didn’t give me any flexibility and I was often frustrated when I had to move a task over to the next day. Now, I just assign due dates to things that actually have a specific due date. Everything else I hope to accomplish is just assigned to be done anytime within the month.
3. What’s your favorite thing about GTD?
The part of GTD that really blew my mind was breaking projects into actionable tasks. When I was making my to do lists — I would put huge projects on the list and then never get to feel like I was accomplishing anything by checking something off. For example, I would put “Build website” on my list of things to do. Well, that’s going to take a long time and has many, many tasks required to make that website happen. When you break up those projects into smaller tasks it makes everything seem manageable and possible. Life is much less overwhelming that way.
4. What’s still challenging for you, if anything, around your GTD practice?
I’m still a big procrastinator. I’ll do anything as long as it’s not the thing I’m supposed to be doing. It still makes me super productive but there’s a level of stress that comes with procrastination that I would like to banish from my life for good.