Suzanne’s GTD Story

Your name:
Suzanne Hawes

What do you do for work?
Chief Human Resources, Paya Inc

Where do you live?
Ashburn, VA

How did you hear about GTD?
I was working at SC Johnson in Racine, WI. The training department needed some guinea pigs for a GTD program they were planning to roll out. I’m always looking for hacks to be more productive and so I said, “Absolutely, count me in!” Even read the book before the class so I could get even more out of it.

How long have you been practicing GTD?
12 years.

How has GTD made a difference in your work and life?
I truly am more productive now. People think I have a great memory, but really I just always try to keep my lists up to date, writing things down as soon as they occur to me so I won’t forget. Even if I don’t do it for weeks or longer, I still know it’s “on the list.”

What areas of GTD are you doing really well (or at least better than you used to)?
List management. Two minute rule. Inbox to zero (or anything less than 20 is awesome, because as soon as I empty my inbox 15 emails flow in so I never TRULY get to zero) – note, this is my work email. For personal email, see the next question.

What areas of GTD would you like to get even better at doing?
Weekly Review. Cleaning out the capture tools at home. Filing – I still let it all build up and then file for an hour or so when my drawer gets full. Keeping an up to date list of projects (would probably do better if I’m doing a regular Weekly Review).

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out with GTD?
Don’t try to be good at all of it at once. Start with a few basic lists. Don’t over-engineer it. Limit your capture tools. Find the list system that works for you. I change systems every year or so just to see if I like something better. Sometimes I want an electronic tool, sometimes I just enjoy the feel of writing pen and paper. Right now I’m using Todoist®.


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