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Getting Your Spouse to Use GTD?

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  • Getting Your Spouse to Use GTD?

    My wife REALLY needs GTD! She's not the type of person you can push into anything, so I've been dropping hints here and there about how great GTD is over the past year or so. When she's run into problems that she wouldn't have had she been using GTD, I've gently--no I told you so's--suggested that GTD would have helped. I've even offered to take a weekend to help her go throught the initial process and set up her system. Her responses: "I'm doing okay." and "I don't have time to do all that."

    So, I'm looking for suggestions from anyone out there who has successfully convinced a reluctant spouse/significant other/life partner to implement GTD. Thanks!

  • #2
    A personal response

    My advice would be to emphasise the 'mind like water' concept.
    I am a single (widowed) mother of 3 adult (but still at home) children and I know I would often let my frustration with my life and my responsibilities interfere in my interaction with my children. I find I am now able to appreciate each child more and actually listen to them as I am confident that all the other 'stuff' has been captured in the GTD system. I feel more in control and definitely calmer and not as distracted.


    • #3
      Spouses & GTD

      I don't think you can successfully force a spouse to use GTD, even if they really need it. What you can do is speak in GTD terms when having discussions with your spouse. What is the next action? What would a successful outcome be? How can we capture this information so we will have it when we need it? Encourage her to talk about all of the stuff she is keeping in mental RAM and get it down on paper or Palm. As she sees the beauty of GTD, then she may decide to adopt it for herself...


      • #4
        I suggest starting with the FlyLady system. It's easier than GTD, funny and with a feminine point of view. I also suggest you should talk to her not about her faults as perceived by you, but about your needs .
        Look at and have fun.


        • #5
          Have to confess that I, too, am a 'GTD Flybaby'


          • #6
            I started by making an "in-box" for myself


            Here's a question we get in EVERY seminar! "You know, what do I do when someone I know SHOULD be doing this?"

            As a matter of fact, here's the article I wrote on this topic...


            I wish you the best; and it usually turns out that "small things done consistently create major change." I don't that any one system is "easier" than another; it seems to be more a fact of "how much one wants to change."

            Start with one thing, then, if that works to more of it! (The place I started, back in 1997, was creating an "in-basket" for myself. I asked that anything that wasn't put "away" simply go there, and that I would be sure to handle it within a certain time frame.)


            • #7
              I'm reminded of a saying of one of the saints, (and I'm paraphrasing): "Preach the Gospel always and, when necessary, use words".

              My wife and I are both attorneys. I started experimenting with the GTD methodology thanks to serendipitous product placement at my local Barnes & Noble. (Prior to that I know nothing of it). As my wife saw me getting more and more efficient, effective and relaxed, she started asking what I was doing to get there. I just sensed that the idea of a "clean sweep and dump" (getting everything into "in" with the permission to not have to complete it all right then and there) would resonate with her. And it did. From there she's gotten into the next action context-based lists, project lists, etc.

              My advice would be to simply model the system, and try to get a sense of which phase will hit home for her, and start there.

              Good luck.
              (And don't forget, "encourage spouse to GTD" should now be on your Project list!