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  • Stuck

    I am stuck.

    As a freelancer it is imperative for me to get the most out of my time. I am convinced that GTD is the right system to help me with this.

    Of course I started out strong, energized with the possibilities of actually being more productive. But as time went on, the fire dimmed, collecting slowed, processing ceased, and and everything crawled back into my brain.

    Now all I feel is guilty.

    GTD has gone from being a way of managing my life successfully to being another thing in my life I struggle to keep it all together.

    So I am stuck, and don't know how to move past this.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    First, your experience is very common. You're past the honeymoon phase with GTD and sounds like reality set in about the work involved to maintain it. You probably had some old patterns hold on tight and the new patterns with GTD didn't have enough time to "set".

    Also, judging yourself is no fun, so let's look at what you can see that's positive in this.

    I'd give yourself a big old dose of acknowledgment first for how far you have come. Then I would highly recommend signing up for the two-week guest pass for GTD Connect and:
    - going through the Getting Started & Refresher series
    - doing the December Weekly Review challenge (David has said the best way to get back "on the wagon" is to simply start the process again with a Weekly Review. Watch this video where he mentions this.)

    I'd also pick a goal with GTD where you can experience a win. Were you thinking it's all or nothing? Maybe pick a more achievable project or goal with some smaller microscopic steps, like "Seamless list manager up & running" or "Doing Weekly Reviews consistently for one month" or something like that.

    Hope this helps!



    • #3
      I've written myself a mini procedure on my GTD method - I read this everyday, and it helps remind me of what my procedure is, and inspires me to keep doing it. There's a lot of complex detail with GTD, and I find this helps me keep track, once I get it on autopilot I don't think I'll need it anymore, but it's helping me in the interim.


      • #4
        try the quick wins

        Originally posted by Dean_IconWeb View Post
        I am stuck.

        Now all I feel is guilty.

        GTD has gone from being a way of managing my life successfully to being another thing in my life I struggle to keep it all together.

        So I am stuck, and don't know how to move past this.
        hi there,

        what helps when I seem to let it slip a little, is to focus on the quick wins, those things where you really feel GTD is helping you get a hold of things in a better way. For me, it is capturing, listing as NA's and executing all those little things I need to do. I'm also a freelancer, so I often need to get back to clients (call back, send them a specific file I promised, send an offer, ...). Often just above two minutes of work, but mostly less than 5 minutes. Capturing those, putting them on my NA list and executing them, gives me a real feeling of reward (wow, I provided a good service to my clients, I delivered what I promised them, besides the main propject I work on for them). And that motivates me to better capture my other projects and actions, and to review them.

        To you that feeling might come from something else, but you might try to think at the moments when you feel/felt best with GTD, and try to start again from there.

        Also: have a look at your tools. maybe they are too complicated, and that won't motivate you to use them. Keep it as simple as possible... My NA-list is an Excel file. Colums for context, estimated lenght of work, due date (if there is one), wish date (when would I like to work on it) allow me to filter and sort easily. For example when I feel I get nothing done, and I want some quick wins, I sort according to lenght of work being 5 minutes, and I perform 5 or 6 actions one after another. After 30 minutes of work, I get the great feeling I described above.




        • #5
          Honeymoon's Over

          I think, like Dean, I also need to get back into the good habits that GTD promotes. It's been about a little over a year since I last read GTD. I want to read it over again. But also I want to re-implement it because I feel overwhelmed by projects and work.

          Kelly's right that the Weekly Review is essential. I know that now. I'll set aside time for that because it does help significantly.

          My system is mostly paper (manila folders, calendars, and plenty of post-its) but I also use a BlackBerry and a laptop. I know people swear by Excel but somehow it just feels unnatural to me. Perhaps learning some tricks for Excel could help too.

          My big obstacle mentally is that I am afraid that if I try to treat all my tasks systematically that I'll end up too rigid and lose time to just relax or make spontaneous decisions. If anyone can relate to that, how do you deal with it?


          • #6
            Thank you all

            Thank you all for your input. Old behaviors do die hard.

            I will definitely put the weekly review front and center.

            Kelly, I actually signed up for the free trial a year ago. The monthly price point of $48/month is a lot. But I may give it a go for a month or two.

            Thanks again.


            • #7
              I also think time management systems are not one size fits all. Think about the specific areas of time management you need help in and implement the elements of GTD that helps those areas. I found I did not need all of the lists and that contexts were not helpful for me. I only needed projects, next actions and a waiting for list. I implemented what I needed and left out what I didn't need and it was helpful. This way one does not need to add more overhead than they need. Good luck