Basic implementation

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by peterjack, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. peterjack

    peterjack Registered

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    I've read both books a couple of times now, and love the ideas, but I'm having a *ton* of problems implementing.

    I'm *really* perfectionistic, and so I feel I need the *perfect* system, before I can really start depending on it...
     
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  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Bad news is: your system will never be perfect.

    Good news is: GTD is not obligatory, many people live without it somehow...

    But... if the professional perfectionist does everything perfectly he should be able to perfectly use imperfect tools, shouldn't he? ;-)
     
  3. @Newbie

    @Newbie Registered

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    i've (had) the same problem. perhaps try not to implement all at once, instead implement some of the tricks like the two-minute-rule and and in-basket, then try adding a filing system, once that's done do a brain dump and try to put it into lists etc. etc. For me, all at once was just too much.
     
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  4. Suelin23

    Suelin23 Registered

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    Perfect practice is more important than a perfect system
     
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  5. TobyTrigger

    TobyTrigger Registered

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    Define perfect. Nothing undefined is reachable (or you reach a point then assign that as a definition retroactively to get the monkey off your back... i.e. musicians who have "made it").

    What is a perfect system? If that is too nebulous, then define "what does my GTD V1.0" implementation look like? Then once those concrete criteria are met you can activate a task to review it... you need testing time in order to iterate.

    I stole a term I really like from Alexander Technique called "end-gaining". The idea is that by trying to implement a perfect system at the start you are creating a gap which ironically will never let you get to a perfect system. Its like a musician who spends their whole practice time pretending to perform, as opposed to working out the notes and where they go, then layering on the art of performance later once the notes are learnt (its also why most classical musicians cant play in all 12 keys/improvise, as they skip learning how music works and focus purely on physically executing a set repertoire).

    Seeking perfection denies you perfection. Iteration will lead you to perfection. You already have identifyed perfectionism as a paradigm that is holding you back (you posted here!) Try not to think of it as a character trait, but as an operating system you are in the habit of using. Now you are free to try switching different operating systems out and seeing what works. "Who you are" is a much more fluid and customisable than most people realise.

    To me, authenticity is who you choose to be in spite of your enviroment/upbringing/socio-economic status, not because of it.

    Edit: perfectionism has your attention. Is it in your inbox? Have you defined next physical visible action toward a desired outcome/project based on how you want to change it? If it has your attention, even subtle stuff like this, inbox it!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  6. AndrewJMason

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    I will be stealing this, thank you very much. ;)
     
  7. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    As per "The Mythical Man Month", plan to throw away your first implementation. Or as the astronomers say, it's faster to make a 5 inch mirror and then a 7 inch mirror then it is to make a 7 inch mirror.
     
  8. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Can you really stretch a mirror? Just kidding... :-D
     
  9. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    In my experience, perfectionism usually stems from unrealistic fear. There's usually a thought lurking beneath that fear that says, "If what I do isn't perfect, the results will be catastrophic."

    I've found the best way to address unreasonable fears is to examine them. Ask yourself, "What do I think will happen if I do something imperfectly? What will go wrong?" Examine what evidence you have in favor of your belief that perfection is necessary, and the evidence against it. Ask yourself it that belief would hold up in a court of law; chances are, you'll realize it wouldn't.

    For as long as I've been practicing GTD I'd still only give myself a grade of "C+" for it. There are areas where I could improve, and I continue to strive to do so. But I've found that an imperfect GTD practice serves me better than none whatsoever.

    GTD doesn't require perfection. In fact, like anything else in life the only way you can practice GTD is imperfectly because we are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. If you give it your best effort I think you'll find that will be more than enough.

    If you need practical advice on how to implement GTD when you're a perfectionist, start with a smaller chunk rather than trying to implement it all at once to minimize the shock to your system. You might try implementing the system by attacking a small amount of email, for example, rather than getting your whole life's worth of open loops corralled all at once. I implemented it in phases that way. It's not as easy as getting it all up and running in a single weekend but it's still doable.
     
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  10. Mark Jantzen

    Mark Jantzen Registered

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    I like my system because it's moving toward perfection but I've let go the idea it's a destination
     
  11. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    As a survivor of anxiety/ phobia issues I have found the best way to address irrational fears is to face those fears and not analyse them beforehand.

    "Perfection Sucks"
     
  12. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Yes... So why do we buy iPhones? ;-)
     
  13. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    I guess whoever can answer that has the ability to make a lot of money!

    By the way, I find the iPhone difficult to use. Just yesterday I borrowed my wife's because I left my brick phone at home and somehow accidentally called her boss when I put it back down. Maybe it's an age thing.
     
  14. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    What I described was an oversimplification of something called Cognitive Processing Therapy, which has greatly benefited me and many, many others. I'm glad you found something that worked for you even though it was different. It needn't be an either/or discussion.
     
  15. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    Hey, I'm just bringing my experience to the table. I tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (which I presume is something similar) and found it not only completely useless, actually counter productive. Could be I never stuck it out for long enough.

    In any case, in the context of this thread I agree with your advice to try out GTD despite perfectionism and try smaller chunks (baby steps). I think pretty much all the advice you write in the forum is sensible and good.
     
  16. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Probably iPhone age thing. You should upgrade your wife's iPhone to the newest model. ;-)
     
  17. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    The reason this forum exists is for us all to bring our experience to the table. I wasn't trying to denigrate your contribution and I apologize if that's how it came off. I was just trying to explain where my own suggestion about dealing with perfectionism came from. When I say it needn't be either/or, what I mean is it's not a case where one of us must be right and the other wrong. Often there is more than one way to solve a problem.

    Thanks. I think there's a lot of wisdom shared in these forums. Some of your advice a while back helped me clear a big roadblock when it came to the weekly review.
     
  18. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    I'm thankful for the presence of "'s iPhone" in the middle of that sentence :D
     
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