Combing the best bits of GTD in hybrid with other methods? ('Hybrid Productivity')

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Ship69, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hello

    With the best will in the world I have found (and continue to do find) the GTD method rather complicated and time consuming. Heck, given that we are trying overall to SAVE time, just reading the 2016 book at 352 pages was is a mighty chore. One of the most intelligent people I know solemnly read it and said her head was swimming afterwards and thought the only way forward would be to ready it several times. That's a LOT of time invested in saving time.

    And that's before learning ones way around and configuring any task management applications. And before reading his book "Making it all work"

    Anyhow I thought this article on Quora by Paul Klipp (Kanbanery founder) about how he runs a kind of fusion of different techniques ("Hybrid Productivity") was very interesting.

    https://www.quora.com/Personal-Prod...s-Done-GTD-by-David-Allen/answer/Paul-A-Klipp

    I'd like to get your thoughts

    J
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  2. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    When I first heard of David Allen, a year or so before the GTD book came out, I had already looked pretty extensively at Covey and Franklin (then separate) and found no help. David Allen's ideas immediately made sense to me, and mirrored my own experience. Implementing his best practices has been a long journey. I think success ultimately requires a radical honesty about commitments, goals, and abilities.

    I have found that the simpler I make things the better, as long as it's not too simple to get the job done. I would guess 95% of my work gets done using lists and calendar. I like being able to filter my lists by contexts (for doing) and areas of focus (for reviewing). If I have a project, it goes on a list. If I have a new life goal, it goes on a list. If I have a someday/maybe, well, you get the idea. I'm well versed in outlines and mind maps, and use them if I need to, but having everything either on a list or on my calendar is really the most important thing. I think many people make GTD much harder than it has to be, either because they focus on one idea as central ("write everything down") or read into GTD things that aren't there ("only one next action per project"). I think I've tried most of the ideas Klipp puts forward (and lots of other things), but have found them either unhelpful or unsustainable. This is not to say they might be helpful for someone else.
     
  3. petdr

    petdr Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    The article is a good overview of how one person implements his time or task management system. There is nothing wrong with taking features from different systems that resonate with how you work. Although, other than GTD and Steven Covey, his other mentions were more applications or methods, not actual systems. Using mind maps, Pomodoros, and apps to manage your tasks is not necessarily counter to GTD. His description of mind maps and focusing on different levels is similar to the different horizons, just viewing them in mind maps instead of lists.
    For me, the biggest lessons from GTD are to get all my commitments onto lists (I mean lists in a general sense --- can be outlines, mind maps, pile of index cards, etc.. basically out of by head and into an external holding place) and know what I want to do/be (goals). Until I do that, does not matter what apps or shiny toys I use, I still am not effectively managing my life.
    I am not sure what part of GTD you are having problems with -- if it's the implementation, then combining methods may help you. But for me, ultimately, I needed to understand the GTD concepts or framework to get more out of it. And I am still learning :)
     
  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    48
    You can keep the whole GTD system in one mind map if it works for you.
     
  5. Mark R

    Mark R Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
     
  6. Mark R

    Mark R Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    You might find Mark Forster's methods of interest if you're finding GTD overly complicated.
     
  7. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Forster and his followers are focused largely on one thing: how to traverse a list of things to do. Although there is some overlap with GTD, a fair number of people just want to write (lots of) stuff down, and figure out what to do next. A lot of thought and energy has been applied to this, and some of the schemes are quite complicated. My favorite is called "Fast Final Version Perfected." It is an evolution of "Final Version," which turned out to be not so final. You can pretty much do any of these list traversal algorithms on top of GTD.
     
    TesTeq likes this.
  8. Yiannis Miliatsis

    Yiannis Miliatsis Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Sales Rep.
    Location:
    Thessaloniki Greece
    Home Page:
    You are right, it kinda looks like you have to invest a lot of time to save time. I did too. I took me about 2 years and maybe 5 reads of the book to get to a point where i feel the system go in the background. Now when i introduce people in GTD i do it in portions. "The 2' rule" is the first. The collecting habit, the calendar clean up, the tags in the system... it just seems a lot easier to go that way. I am not sure but it may also be that the people i introduce the system have a person to help them where i had only the internet and sometimes this great forum.

    Having said that its kinda like martial arts. Learn the system and use what its necessary...
     
  9. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I tried that but found that it gets very messy once you have about 100+ projects on one mindmap.
    Mindmanager 2017 is probably the most powerful mindmapping tool, with lots of very sensible default layouts etc, but it's filtering system is woeful and not really usable. It is also very expensive. I tried a plugin for MM17 called ResultsManager which looks amazingly powerful, but it scrambles the order results in a very irritating way which I found to be a deal-breaker in the end. It is also expensive.

    Also, I may be incorrect, but as I recall it fails to show you Next [n] Actions per project, and this makes big projects mess up your task lists.

    In truth lots of task managers work really nicely with only a few projects, but they all seem to become very painful as once gets to have more than 100 or 200 projects in the system.
     
  10. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Can you point me to a short summary?
     
  11. Ship69

    Ship69 Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I googled it but I didn't completely understand "Fast Final Version Perfected"
     
  12. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ship69, I think that since reading speed is an issue, your system should be designed around minimizing reading. The system that you link to doesn't seem to be designed with that goal in mind. It does mention minimizing workflow and mention a Kanban-related source, but the numbers that it mentions are really big for Kanban.

    I know GTD wants you to do a lot of reading--lots of current options, reading everything every week, and so on. But you're not doing that, right? My understanding is that you don't have time, so you don't do it.

    If you accept that there WILL be a compromise and you won't read everything as often as you'd like, then adjust your system to control the compromise.

    So I would suggest:

    - Very short "active" lists. I'd get scientific about this. Figure out how much you can scan in X minutes--one minute? Five? And then limit your active lists to that number. This will force you to prioritize during the weekly review, and let you minimize reading during the week.

    - Minimal actions per project, with the rest in project support material. In the active lists, just have one or two actions per project. If you want to have a list of lots of action for a project, move those to the project support material. You don't need to even look at the action list in the project support material until you've finished the current actions for a project, so you don't waste time reading it over and over.

    - At least two levels of Someday/Maybe. Those very short "active" lists of course mean that you have long Someday/Maybe lists. But I would group these by priority, too.

    I'd suggest an "on deck" list for stuff that you plan to move on to as soon as the current projects are done, and I'd make that list, again, short. And, again, I wouldn't have long lists of actions for each project--I'd either just have the bare project name with NO actions, or I'd write the actions in project support material.

    Then a "backlog" list for other stuff--again, with no actions or only actions in support material. You look at the backlog once a month, not once a week. (Or you could do the weekly/monthly/quarterly thing, but I don't think you liked that.)

    Edited to add: And where possible, even move things out of backlog. If you have two dozen books you want to read, don't make them two dozen lines in backlog--make a "Books to read" list that you ONLY look at when you finish the current book.

    - Tickler list and date-sensitive mini-projects. Keeping so many projects out of sight means that you won't see date-sensitive things related to those projects very often. So you'll want to make sure that you don't miss those dates. I think that the best way is to extract the dates from the projects and put them in a separate list that you'll scan every week. But you only need to scan the actual dates.

    For example, your "2016 taxes" project may be in your Backlog so that you don't keep on scanning it. But "check on W-2s" and "start taxes" may be in a dated list. In theory, you should be able to scan the dated list quickly, because all you need to look at is the dates themselves--you don't even need to read the text for items that have a future date. (You'll set your dates accordingly--so if Jane's birthday is 9/15, you add a dated item for 9/1 to remind you of it in plenty of time.)When something comes up, you can make it a mini-project--"Check on W-2s", will be over and done with quickly, while "do taxes" might sit on your lists, occupying reading time, from late January through mid-April.

    (Edited to add: The tickler list is a refinement of my previous thought in a recent thread, where Jane's birthday would have had her actual birthday of 9/15, so that every time you scanned the list you'd have to consider when to start worrying about the item, which would require reading the item. Why do that evaluation every time you scan, instead of doing it just once when you add the item to the list? Then you can just read the date.)

    That's my suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
    Tom.9, JodieFrancis and TesTeq like this.

Share This Page