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  • New Member Intro

    I am a fiber artist and a secondary teacher and earned a MSED in Workforce Education and Development from SIUC. I have been studying GTD and am nearly through chapter 3. I look forward to implementing this process to achieve my personal and professional goals. This evening I downloaded the free articles available on the website and will be working on my calendar and Next Action lists tomorrow.

    Finding a planning/organizing system that works for me has not been terribly successful. As a person with ADD and an ENFP, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory temperment, my brain wiring is adverse to highly structured routines and schedules. The reviews I read about David Allen's book indicated this was not the same old planner methods I tried to make work for 12 years! Ken Blanchard's recommendation stood out because we used the Organizational Management textbook he wrote with Hersey in one of my Workforce Education classes.

    In this post, I am asking for advice that will help me begin learning the GTD process in simple, easy to implement ways-I hate to use the term steps. I have many goals I know can be accomplished but need to learn "the art of stress-free productivity!" I look forward to hearing suggestions and learning from members of the forum experienced in using this method!

    Thank you,

  • #2
    Discipline required (regular Weekly Reviews).

    Originally posted by RADDmom
    my brain wiring is adverse to highly structured routines and schedules.
    I do not know if GTD is for you since it requires some discipline in system maintenance (for example regular Weekly Reviews).


    • #3
      I'd start with finish reading the book it tells you what to do. Once that done you can start:

      1 collect all your stuff in to one place.
      2 sort it - actionable/file/toss. Your toss pile should be huge!
      3 Id the supplies you have. Id those that you do not have ... buy what you need.
      4 File the file pile
      5 Break the actionable pile down into doable blocks and do.

      ADD's, like all individuals, achieve more when the have some structure build around their lives. You just have to acknowledge that organization is not a strong point and spend some time making it part of your daily routine. Remember 15 minutes today saves 3 to 4 hours in the future.


      • #4
        Thank you!

        I am getting all my stuff in a pile-it just so big from a flooded basement and the remodeling and living in 2 places and moving back. It just takes so long.....

        I do think the system will work, but I will tweak it to fit my ENFP, ADD, and artistic thinking. Art is created within boundaries, i.e. structure, I am a teacher and that requires a schedule, so I am not worried about a weekly review-it was those paper planners that really got me-never found one I liked let alone would work for me. I like a calendar-and GTD is based on a calendar.

        Structure works when I reframe my purpose and thinking about it!



        • #5
          As a person with ADD and an ENFP, Myers-Briggs Type Inventory temperment, my brain wiring is adverse to highly structured routines and schedules.
          Note the term-Highly structured

          Originally posted by TesTeq
          I do not know if GTD is for you since it requires some discipline in system maintenance (for example regular Weekly Reviews).
          While I appreciate your concern that this system might not work for me...
          I like what David wrote in Part 2-Whether All-Out or Casual-Is a Lot About "Tricks." I think it explains that David's system can be an all-out life-change, or can find what he calls "tricks" that when implemented produce great results.

          I don't do well with rigid, unbendable rules, schedules, and routines that confine and restrict. Flexible, adaptable plans provide a structure that is comfortable for me. Weekly reviews in this system are much less restricting than methods used in other system.

          ADD is often misunderstood and has a lot of negative press. It is an essential part of what makes me who I am-and I really like my life with ADD-I just need to learn to accommodate the difficulties I face the same way an amputee learns to live despite the loss of a limb.

          I chose this book because David's goal is to help us get things out of our heads and onto paper or PDA! The ADD mind processes so many thoughts it has difficulty organizing them, writing them down in a project-focused system is very ADD intuitive for me.

          Rebuild, I appreciate your suggestions. I break the gathering part into sections due to the amount of "stuff" I have to go through. It is a 2-step gather and sort. I counted at least 24 boxes-too much to pile all at once. This step is sort into categories and then follow David's steps 2-5!



          • #6
            RADD, I think you are on the right track!

            I'm also a P, and have never done well with elaborate schedules, etc. GTD has helped me a lot, even though I've taken a more tips and tricks approach. It's changed the way I THINK about all those messy runway level details (I'm also an N), even though I've made it only very short periods with anything close to a fully implemented system.

            Off the top of my head, some things that help me most are:

            1) the "police tape" concept. -- If I had to sort everything at the beginning, I'd never make it past step 2 above, but the taped off areas are gradually receding.

            2) the tickler file. -- I started using this right away and found it magical for getting things moving toward decision, action, and even completion. I'm fundamentally repelled by having to make decisions, so it's very helpful to have a place to incubate things and deal with them at a later time instead of setting the paper down "somewhere" to deal with "later."

            3) the filing tips -- I no longer have paper on every horizontal suface, and can generally find what I need quickly. I have 8-10 feet of file space that I use. I do prune it from time to time, and even I keep more than I "should," at least it's not scattered about getting in the way of getting things done.
            ***I have never used a labler, though I shopped for one at the beginning. I just make an effort to write legibly and get on with it. I'm sure it's a great motivator for some people, but it's definitely not essential.

            I'm sure I'd be better off if I had more discipline about sticking to a system, but the tips and tricks approach has definitely done me a world of good.

            Good luck, and keep posting.


            • #7
              Don't let the ADD put you off, I also have ADD but I'm managing to put GTD into place without any real problems. Even though I'm not totally up and running yet, I've found that it's already made a huge difference to my level of organisation and I feel much more in control and on top of things.

              I'm still sorting through the piles of stuff in my in-box but doing the mind sweep was really helpful. Being given permission to put stuff on a someday/maybe list was particularly useful to me.

              Do get a labeller, it's the thing that I've enjoyed the most while implementing the system and enjoyment is often key for ADD people. I still can't believe how much easier it is to read my files now. I bought a whole load of manilla files and a bigger filing cabinet and filing is a pleasure now. I'm slowly getting every relevant piece of paper in there.

              Also, expect it to take a bit of time, mine is taking weeks rather than days. Doing it in small bite sized chunks helps.