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Fragmenting GTD to get it going

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  • Fragmenting GTD to get it going


    I have had several starts at GTD, only to stop most of them fairly quickly. I have seemd to find that I will get dragged down by several things in my personal life that are generally longer term aims and/or large projects. As a result I get discouraged/overwhelmed by a lot of that and it ends up collapsing.

    Would it be a better approach to start using GTD using a subset of my life to start? So far I would actually say that my work life is the simplest to organise and review - does it make sense to make a start on GTD there, with the intent that a few weeks or even a few months later to extend that system into other areas of my life?

  • #2
    This can work. I started with GTD at work since the volume of input & tasks was highest there. Once that was on cruise control, I tackled other areas.

    In fact, I still split my 'work' and 'personal' weekly reviews and use different tools for work & home lists. This is partly due to business restrictions, but also helps maintain separation.
    Work: Lotus Notes/Blackberry
    Home: Toodledo/Pocket Informant (on Motorola Defy)

    Since my work and personal time is separate - I commute to an office, but I can also easily add to the 'other' lists when doing the review, this works well for me.


    • #3
      I started just using GTD for work,as that's where I needed it most. I haven't really used it for home life, except when moving house last year.

      I think it's perfeclty reasonable for you to start with a clearly defined area and get that under control first.



      • #4
        Originally posted by benjamin View Post
        Would it be a better approach to start using GTD using a subset of my life to start?
        If that will get you going then do it that way.

        However, I found that I didn't make significant progress in my implementation of the GTD method of dealing with problems, opportunities and tasks until I integrated my entire life into that framework. For me my big gains came when I realized that it's all one life, there is no work/life separation and it all has value and moves me towards my purpose and all deserves the same level of attention and care. When I added hobbies, funs stuff, big long term dreams (aka "Bucket List") things, future projects, decades long goals was when GTD really started to make a difference in how I worked and played and allowed me to both get more stuff done but also and most importantly get more important stuff done.

        So don't wait too long to add other parts of your life to the GTD process once you learn the basics.


        • #5
          Yeah you can start off with something really small and later on integrate your life into it. In that case I would start off with your personal life because there is less pressure to keep the system intact.

          As you get more familiar with how GTD works and your software (assuming you use software) you can look into expanding. What might be great is to use it and along side read chapters of GTD. That way you have some experience when you reread those chapters. Sometimes things will click a lot faster.