Today I experienced one of the great benefits of GTD: It is a wonderful cure for panic. A major project I am running ran into heavy weather yesterday and after a day of firefighting and chasing down resources I found myself at the close of play with a whole stack of issues and a panicy feeling that I was just spinning my wheels... Read more...
I was reading an article on Matt's Idea Blog about the pitfalls of trying a "Big Bang" approach to learning GTD.
I work in a large organisation here in the Netherlands and have never succeeded in getting someone to "go GTD" in one fell swoop. Dutch people are culturally often cautious pragmatists and most people do not feel the need for an "Xtreme Life makeover".
They are interested in refining their performance and reducing their stress, so I often start out by sorting out their e-mail and straightening up their action lists. Then I make an appointment to go back and "hold the line" for them while they do a weekly review. In between I drip-feed them useful ideas and tidbits to them to keep them on track. It is not revolutionary, but it works and generally sticks, once I get them moving! GTD is life changing, but it is also pretty handy as a collection of tools.
If you are more a drip-feeder than a red-blooded revolutionary here is my tip for the week:
Go through your action list this week and check if everything you see is really attractive and do-able: if something repels you then it is either horrible (cleaning out the green "vegetable" dustbin is my unfavourite) or it is a project you have not thought through. You need to break it down until it is a hard, sharp "Next Action" that you are eager to cross off your list! For an example of that process you can look at this post from my own coaching practice.
My first contact with GTD was reading the "Two Minute Exercise" in a coaching document I found. I did it and felt instantly lighter and easier in my mind, rather like the things they promise you on late-night telelvision but at no charge. The file credited David Allen and Getting Things Done so I went to www.davidco.com and never looked back. At the risk of sounding like late-night television: take two minutes and try it! Read more...
David Allen always describes Getting Things Done as highly organised common sense, which rings true for me. I often hear from people that they recognise parts of GTD as things they already, partially do. He also describes it as the "martial art of work" which tells you straight away why it is worth learning and practicing: anyone can throw a punch, but the practice, discipline and precision of a Karateka make the same basic movement enormously more powerful.
This is my own story of learning, using and teaching the GTD method. GTD has been a lifesaver for me and like many other "saved" people I have a powerful missionary urge to share the goodness: partially because of the pure joy of being on top of things and partly because I get a thrill out of teaching stuff. This blog will be about the things I learn every day about applying GTD: my pratfalls and pitfalls and my experience of teaching and coaching others.
Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action.