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GTD and Discipline

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  • GTD and Discipline

    As I have vacation time over the holidays (and once again find myself randomly tweaking my GTD system) I ponder the critical role of discipline and GTD, and discipline and life in general. I put a post up over here.

    This led me to think about how important discipline is when utilizing GTD. You need discipline to capture. You need discipline to conduct your weekly review. You need discipline (if you're weird like me) to not constantly look for a "better GTD mousetrap." Although I have to admit, that last piece is kind of fun (did I mention I'm a little weird)?

    What keeps you disciplined with GTD? How do you keep a level of discipline in your life?

  • #2
    For me some keys to maintaining discipline are:

    1. reviewing - constantly reminding myself of my goals and outcomes, and why I want to achieve them
    2. journaling - to write out my thoughts on what I want to achieve, and how I'm doing - this keeps the goals fresh in my mind and helps to identify opportunities for improvement
    3. persistence in the face of inevitable setbacks and failure - to not treat a setback or "failure" as permanent - just use the next opportunity to reset my discipline and try again

    I read somewhere that discipline is "The ability to do what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you want to or not". I definitely don't live up to this ideal, but I've found that by managing myself closely I can simulate being disciplined fairly effectively.

    PS I like M.J. Ryan's book "This Year I Will" for it's treatment of sticking with goals in the face of "failure".


    • #3
      "What keeps you disciplined with GTD?"

      NOT doing GTD is painful enough that I'd rather do it than face the consequences of not doing it. No discipline involved for me!


      • #4
        Originally posted by jasont View Post
        What keeps you disciplined with GTD? How do you keep a level of discipline in your life?
        Knowing that with GTD I achieve goals much quicker than without. I do things at a much higher quality and with faster execution.


        • #5
          Reviewing and doing are the two hardest, and require the most discipline.

          If you've done well on the first three phases though, it will be a lot easier.