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Completely Stuck

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  • Completely Stuck

    Greetings everyone. Let me say I have read GTD and have the audio version on my ipod and frequently listen to it on commutes. Everytime I listen I learn or should I say "hear" something new. I have hit a wall personally and professionally. I am finally at peace with it...sort of bottoming out I guess. Now I am anxious to turn things around and one of the tools/techniques is to re-embrace GTD. I just signed up for the trail of GTDConnect and am prepared to start the entire process over again. Here is my problem(s). I have a variety of ideas, desires for the 20,30,40,50K views...but I am having a hard time getting them in place because frankly my runway, 10K k situation is such a mess.

    Here are things that I am absolutely certain of. A paper based system is best for me. I am not a huge fan of relying on the computer (outlook). I don't own nor desire to own a smartphone...

    The second item is I can't continue to go forward without making changes....I am just stuck right now.

    Last edited by ataylor; 03-09-2011, 10:10 AM. Reason: spelling

  • #2

    First, let me say welcome! We're glad to have you. You might consider posting also in the "Members Only" area; some people never look at the public forums (I generally don't, but this caught my eye).

    Now, take a deep breath! Paper is a great choice, so the trick is to just start. It doesn't have to be perfect because you can always fine tune later. Just start.

    Next, go to the Connect home page and look for "Paper Planner" materials. There is a great webinar (recent) that will walk you though what needs to be there. Use the search box or click on the tab labeled "Audio and Video Library" and look under webinars until you find it. Also look at the tab labeled "Set up Guides". You'll find one there for paper planners.

    And take it one step at a time. Really getting GTD is a process...enjoy the process!


    • #3
      I would agree with Barb (who is one of the best GTD Connect ambassadors we have!) The paper planners webinar I did a few weeks ago should be of great support.

      As for this comment
      my runway, 10K k situation is such a mess.
      I can't encourage you enough to block some time for yourself to get this under control. Even 2 to 4 hours of uninterrupted time. I bet you would make huge progress. If you feel like much of that is backlog, watch the backlog webinars on GTD Connect too (or at least listen while you are doing something else like walking/working out if you setup the podcasts.)

      Hope this helps!


      • #4
        Thanks to you both. I am going to take a listen/look at the link this evening


        • #5
          Let us know how you do!

          I've been there (more than once!) and I echo Kelly and Barb - take a deep breath, block out whatever time you have, and give it a try. It really is a journey. Whatever you can put into your system - I'm transitioning to paper myself - will help you, so don't get hung up on all-or-nothing thinking. And let us know how you make out!



          • #6
            Focus on what has your attention

            I sympathise with the desire to think about 20K & up levels, but it is hard to do that when overwhelmed at runway level. This is one of the areas where GTD really works. You can use it to get next actions under control first which helps free up the attention and time to focus on the higher levels.


            • #7
              Thanks to everyone for their kind responses. I spent an hour last night watching the webinar about organizing the paper planner...but I didn't finish it. I had a notebook nearby and spent close to 2 hours just writing everything down. From tax prep to cleaning the garage. I had no idea how much garbage I had running around in my mind. I now have a gigantic pile of written thoughts that I will need to process soon.


              • #8
                David said it him self: control first, perspective later

                You can't hope to get perspective and climb in altitudes if your daily life is not first and foremost under control.

                Then, you'll have the mind clear to think to your altitudes.

                My proposal is perhaps to first raise straight to area or responsabilities (20k) or Objectives 1-2years (30k) and go down from there (you might have something urgent or that will become urgent soon) to identify your mid term priorities.

                Then, go for the top level (50k) and define who you are and what you would like to do with your life. Then go down again from 50k to runway, including the altitudes you've already viewed (30K, 20K) because, coming from 50K, you might want now to clean things up (and add things, of course).

                You might think there's some redundancy at the lower levels because you move through them more than once. My personal feeling about this is that you need to empty your mind at these levels first before climbing higher. It's not efficient for me to try to move higher with a mind not cleared of low level stuff.

                Just like an alpinist that need to acclimate (?) himself to some intermediary altitudes before climbing to the top.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ataylor View Post
                  I now have a gigantic pile of written thoughts that I will need to process soon.
                  A suggestion would be to start the processing today, put all those items in your inbox and start the habit of daily processing.

                  I failed my first few times at implementation because I thought I could wait to do most of my processing during the weekly review. That doesn't work very well.

                  Even if you don't get done, starting it the most important thing.


                  • #10
                    Secret of the Universe

                    Originally posted by Oogiem View Post

                    Even if you don't get done, starting it the most important thing.
                    Oogie said it all right here.


                    • #11
                      Big piles ...

                      As you begin to process that big pile first give yourself credit for the successful capture of all those thoughts. You are now implementing GTD!

                      Now focus on grabbing one thing at a time and follow the Workflow Diagram step-by-step including the all important question ... What Is It?

                      I've found this strategy makes a big pile go away a lot faster than looking at the big pile and thinking ... that's too much.

                      Good luck and keep at it.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mark Jantzen View Post
                        ... first give yourself credit for the successful capture of all those thoughts.

                        Another nice bonus is that once you've got all the unprocessed stuff in one big pile the rest of your space is pristine and calm. That's a good first taste of the feeling of having things in a system.

                        Good luck!



                        • #13
                          I can see my desk again. Amazing.
                          I took the first sheet of paper and went right down the list identifying what could be accomplished in 2 minutes. Those that could not, I wrote on individual pieces of paper and tossed into the physical inbox which is going to need its own separate table at the rate this is going.

                          I then wiped out the 2 minute items left on the page. A great sense of relief and accomplishment. Unfortunately there are still several pages of items to go...and then there is that inbox.

                 other item that I am finding useful these first few days. My email is emptied out daily. I have been unsubscribing from things left and right. I figure if I miss it, I can always go back and add myself to the list again.

                          Small steps is what I keep telling myself. Eventually I can get enough clarity to start working on the bigger picture stuff.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ataylor View Post
                   other item that I am finding useful these first few days. My email is emptied out daily. I have been unsubscribing from things left and right. I figure if I miss it, I can always go back and add myself to the list again.
                            I'd done that once before (unsubscribed from nearly everything) but then I found that when I was looking for something (meaning shopping) I wasn't getting the discount emails. So instead, I just have them all funneled into a separate folder that I only look at every few days to every couple weeks, depending on my schedule and need. Saves time and money.


                            • #15
                              Other things to do that may help

                              Don't forget that even though you have decided to use paper files, that you can still use both. If you use Outlook, you can build your calendar and To do lists, and then print into almost any Day Planner format you want. Then when you need to update your calendar, you don't have to rewrite everything, just go into Outlook and modify your calendar. One thing that has helped me is to only have one calendar in my life. I put personal items in my work calendar (I also have a blackberry-so I have it all the time) and I just mark the personal items "private".

                              Another thought is that you can set up Outlook to funnel emails to a separate folder in many ways. You can separate them if they are from a distribution list, if you are a .cc, if it is from your boss, if it is from any specific site, etc. You can also change the colors of incoming emails--my boss is red, my sons are green. That can help you not have to review each new email that gets into your inbox until you are ready to look.

                              Hope this helps.