GTD with a newborn

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by CamJPete, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. CamJPete

    CamJPete Registered

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    My wife and I are expecting our first child in a couple of weeks and are way pumped. So, I currently have 31 projects on my projects lists. I have been using GTD for about 10 years, and am probably a 6 or 7 out of 10 on holding regular reviews. Has anybody out there had a newborn while successfully using GTD? Have you found it best to move almost all projects to somebody-maybe just to keep sane for a couple of months, or do you keep it on your lists just so you can feel good about what you are not doing? I think either way I'll have some attention on it because the stuff is not getting done (not a bad thing...keeping our baby alive and loving him is by far my highest priority). Any other wisdom to impart to maintain your lists during a constantly "low energy" limiting criterion phase of life?

    Also, we have a few names selected but nothing finalized. Any unique name suggestions that you have used or loved over the years? It's a boy. (Yes, choose name is one of those projects.)

    (I meant to post this to the general forum, but it ended up in tools. Oh well. Maybe the forum site admins can change it.)
     
  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Congratulations! Don't give him my first name. Nearly no English speaking person can write "Krzysztof". The most common misspelling is "Kryzstof". Can you see the difference? ;-) So maybe call your boy "Kryzstof"! :)
     
  3. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    Congratulations! The truest advice my wife and I received about living with a newborn is "First things first, second things probably not and third things not at all." You are about to be overwhelmed in the most rewarding way possible. Whatever your system, you will need some way to get those first things done. You need to track the other things because some of them will become first things, usually quickly. You will need to review and update your lists very frequently, often while you are very tired. Simple and fast is good. Add new contexts as needed and delete them when not needed. As to your specific question about projects, I think it depends on your specific implementation. Ask yourself instead "Is my system able to handle a 4am run to the drugstore and come back not only with the prescription but with the wet wipes we were going to run out of tomorrow."

    As to names, please look into the future. If you don't want your son called "Ham", don't name him Hamilton.
     
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  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Maybe...
    - Elon Tesla CamJPete?
    Good investment and a free ticket to Mars, I suppose! ;-)
    Just kidding, I hope you're not offended!
     
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  5. RS356

    RS356 Registered

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    Congratulations! A newborn baby is both the most rewarding yet overwhelming experience I've been through. As @mcogilvie stated above, keeping first things first is key. Be forgiving of yourself. Accept that you'll be in reactive mode often. Keep up the basic steps of the GTD process, but simplify. In my own practice, my system consisted of about 5 index cards in my shirt pocket. This worked well, and I was able to keep it going despite extreme fatigue. I found that it was too much effort to maintain anything more complex.

    GTD is uniquely suited to help you manage the variable, unpredictable reality of a newborn. I wish you the best with it!
     
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  6. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I still do something similar at professional meetings abroad, which is to say jet-lagged, under-slept, over-caffeinated and kept in dark rooms for most of the day. Usually I use a small Moleskine notebook.
     
  7. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I think that I'd suggest structuring it this way. Go through your projects and find the ones that will have negative consequences when ignored. Consider having one project called something like "Put projects to bed."

    For example, if you normally have a forty-step "winter garden prep" plan, maybe you'll just extract "turn off and blow out irrigation system" to the new project, add an item for "Hire Joe's Garden Service to do winter pruning", and put all the rest of it away.

    If you normally do a gazillion Christmas things, maybe you add "Choose a book to have Amazon-shipped as everyone's Christmas gift" and "Order artificial tree" and put the rest away.

    I realize that these are personal projects--I wasn't sure if you're talking personal or work. For work, you might do things like identifying someone to attend meetings that you might miss, maybe swap time-sensitive projects for more flexible ones, and so on.
     
  8. CamJPete

    CamJPete Registered

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    These are all great suggestions. Thank you all for responding and the congratulations. Gardener, I particularly like the idea of projects to put to bed. There are some things that have been lingering like "change brakes on my car" and "change my oil" that I want to do myself. I like the idea of just hiring it out right now even though I can do it. To answer the question about what kind of work projects: 95% of my projects are personal, 5% are work. I usually have one big project on my plate as an engineer like "complete analysis and write report" that I work directly from the project plans while I'm in my "Office" context. It's my personal projects that I really have to hold back into the Someday/Maybe holding reservoir or else I overwhelm myself.

    I think I need to be really realistic and just say: no, not now...you, project X, are going to have to wait a couple of months. It's not worth the burnout. I've actually already started shopping for my wife's Christmas gifts so that I can enjoy December stress-free.

    Funny you should say Elon as a name. Ironically, I used to engineer rockets and did analysis on the propulsion system for the Ares program that competed with Elon's SpaceX. When he started getting more funding our company lost out on it and I lost my job (2500/5000 positions were nixed). I hold nothing against him though. He is a rather entrepreneurial fellow that creates a lot of jobs as well. Probably won't make the cut for my child's name :) My first name is Cameron, so I was thinking of continuing the name as Cam O'Uflage Peterson. It would be quite fitting since I lose things quite easily (or at least used to before GTD).
     
  9. TesTeq

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    I'm sorry for this Elon...
     

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