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Tips for Getting Back on Track

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  • Tips for Getting Back on Track

    I'm still fairly new to GTD, been working on it for about 2 months or so now, and must say, I'm loving the flexibility its given me. I know there are areas I need to work on, but I feel like its working.

    Now, this isn't to say I haven't had troubles at times. With the Easter long weekend throwing me a curveball, and people taking vacation (thus my workload increasing exponentially), I have to admit I fell off the bandwagon. A weekly review got missed, the mind like water started to look a little more like mind like the North Atlantic in midwinter, and I could feel my stress level rising and my energy level dropping.

    I was able to recognize the problem, and thus take steps to correct it. The big cause was that I wasn't sure what was in the entire system. Sure, I knew what was going on with some of my NA lists, but my project lists, waiting fors, and others were somewhat forgotten.

    The cure? Well, for me it was make sure I did a weekly review. Sure, I ended up sticking around the office for an extra hour on a beautiful Friday afternoon, but the payoff was that I went into my weekend, and was actually able to step back from the worries.

    So, I know that I wasn't some huge case of totally falling off the boat and drowning, but at the same time, it got me to thinking about how easy it could be to fall out of the habits that make this work, and what other people have done to get themselves back on it. So from that I just wanted to see if anyone has had similar experiences, and tips that they might have for someone facing this kind of situation.


  • #2
    Question here: what is it that makes you want to come back to your system? I filled in the higher levels from 50,000 feets down to the runway level as well. Not just some projects, but my overall life-goals as well. That means, when I am working off from my n/a-lists I am highly motivated because I am working on the dreams of my life. Not just getting things done, but getting the wildly important stuff done. Things that matter. And this is a feeling... ... so rewarding you just want more of it. You just want to work you system so much.


    • #3
      I've tweaked my system to where it works smoothly and is inherently pleasing to update. It's very pleasant when my NA lists are complete and updated, when my in box is empty, when my project lists are freshly reviewed.

      Part of it is picking "toys" you'll like. DA explicitly recognizes that, which I love about the book. I have some little niceties like using different colored highlighters to mark things as done, a pleasing font & layout for my NA lists, etc.


      • #4
        For me, the weekly review is that magic. During the weekly review, I make sure everything I want to do is on my lists. When my lists aren't current or comprehensive, I don't use them because I can't trust them. But the "brain dump" I do during my weekly review is always the magic key for me. I have a daily planning session as well where I "brain dump" the little things and keep on top of my lists. When I get everything out of my mind and into my system, I am able to focus because I am not pre-occupied with worry.