Examples for gtd

Wilson Ng

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I've found GTD great for the planning part. I had to go to other books for studies on the "doing" part. Things like the pomodoro, Most Important Task, Big Rocks, Time Blocks, habit formation, calendar management, and Eat The Frog helped fill in the gaps that I couldn't find in GTD.

Master the basics of GTD and then find your own workflow. We're all different and our needs will change.

But I'd say that the daily review and weekly review have been the glue that keeps my s**t together. Daily reviews ensures that my projects lists and tasks lists are always up-to-date and plan tomorrow's work. My weekly review helps me to plan for the next week and track progress of my goals.

James Clear's Atomic Habits has helped me with goal planning and create systems/workflows/rituals that improves my life.

GTD is the first step to a complete workflow or lifestyle. It's a journey that we all take.
 
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ivanjay205

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I will echo the daily and weekly review part. I have a morning routing and evening routine as I call them. First thing in the morning starting at 6:30 and I call it my workday startup and at 5-6 pm my workday shutdown. For me those are critical as I transition to the work day and out of the work day with a preset list of activities in each one. They set me up for a peaceful work day and peaceful evening knowing I have it all covered.
 

Wilson Ng

Registered
Yep, most of my fears and anxieties come because I worry that I missed something and my task manager database is no longer in sync with reality. I don't capture something into my inbox and properly updated my task manager at the end of the day.

The startup routine and shutdown routine are two time blocks that I always make time for every day. My task manager easily falls apart if I don't review it once in the morning and once in the late afternoon/early evening. I get a sense of comfort and security knowing that I documented what I need for tomorrow, next week, and the future.
 

mcogilvie

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I have found that the guidance David Allen provides in the Getting Things Done book plus other materials like the set-up guides is enough to substantially improve one’s life in a way that is sustainable and evolving. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s not as easy as it seems.

I came to GTD after a long, not-too-successful effort with the Franklin planner and briefly the merged Franklin-Covey organization. I am familiar with all of the other ideas which have been mentioned in this thread, and I know others have found some value there. However, a lot of the “time management” material out there is someone saying “This worked for me, I’m sure it will work for you.” Mostly the people saying it believe themselves at the time, but sometimes not. The best advice I can give is to try to do what David Allen says to do. If it’s not working for you, ask yourself why. Keep going.
 

Boomer

Registered
Hello, I have just started using the gtd method. Im looking for some examples how other people use gtd.
I dove into GTD strong about 2 years ago. I had a long flight and simply grabbed a yellow legal pad. I put Next Actions on the first page, a few pages in I put Waiting For, then a few more pages in I put Projects.

I started listing things during a mind sweep then I went through my briefcase and captured everything somewhere. When complete I spent time on the projects pages detailing next actions. I then went back, clarified actions and put projects on my actions list eventually adding a context to each action. I later went and created excel workbooks to track.

When my company moved from Gmail to Outlook I bought the Outlook Guide from David Allen and configured my outlook and tasks which was a game changer for me. As I get an email that I want to add to my Next Actions, I use a Quick Step to create a task with the email as an attachment. I update the subject line as the next action and apply a context (category) and archive the email. I also send things to OneNote as reference and use OneNote for Projects and agendas.
 

hilasagikaufman

Registered
I've found GTD great for the planning part. I had to go to other books for studies on the "doing" part. Things like the pomodoro, Most Important Task, Big Rocks, Time Blocks, habit formation, calendar management, and Eat The Frog helped fill in the gaps that I couldn't find in GTD.

Master the basics of GTD and then find your own workflow. We're all different and our needs will change.

But I'd say that the daily review and weekly review have been the glue that keeps my s**t together. Daily reviews ensures that my projects lists and tasks lists are always up-to-date and plan tomorrow's work. My weekly review helps me to plan for the next week and track progress of my goals.

James Clear's Atomic Habits has helped me with goal planning and create systems/workflows/rituals that improves my life.

GTD is the first step to a complete workflow or lifestyle. It's a journey that we all take.

Hi,
Can you elaborate regarding The books you've read?
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Hi,
Can you elaborate regarding The books you've read?
Pomodoro: Francesco Cirillo- just google him
Most Important Task: goes back to Ivy Lee, but generally unattributed
Big Rocks: Covey’s 7 Habits and First Things First
Time Blocks: most recently Cal Newport
habit formation: Clear’s Atomic Habits and Duhigg’s Power of Habit
calendar management: too much bad advice out there to list
Eat That Frog: Brian Tracy

I’ve read most of these. I couldn’t bring myself to read Tracy‘s stuff. They are all generally compatible with GTD. With the exception of the books about habits, they all attempt to impose a certain perspective on doing. Here it all is in one sentence: Try to develop good habits and routines, give special attention to important things and set aside time to work on them, and take frequent breaks.
 

Wilson Ng

Registered
I've read most of the ones listed in the post above but I'd have to remember off the top of my head the ones that influenced me the most...

Atomic Habits and Power of Habits are high on my list. Much of what I want to achieve is a lifestyle change that requires new habits and routines. These books were very helpful.

Eat that Frog was influential for me as well. This is basically the MIT (Most Important Task) for me.

Master Your Workday Now! by Michael Linenberger is a book that approached much of the GTD basic principles in a different way

The Checklist Manifesto reinforced the need for me to keep checklists for many habits and routines. I go through a checklist to make sure I don't miss or skip something.

Zen-To-Done (ZTD) by Leo Babauta was influential for me in finally getting the hang of GTD. It says to try to adopt GTD practices one at a time. Master one GTD principle before trying to go on to the next principle. Many GTDers fall of the bandwagon because they try to do all the GTD practices all at one time. In the beginning, I can barely juggle 2 balls in the air. Trying to do the weekly review, the capture process, and all the other practices proved difficult. It sounds like it's easy to do when you read the book. But doing all the new practices at one time is difficult. ZTD preaches that you do one habit at a time (capture, clarify, organize, reflect, engage). Trying to do all at one time is difficult.

The idea is to find the parts that work for you. Take a book and list any action items you want to take. Each month, there is always something that needs addressing. I'm so busy during Holiday Shopping retail season (Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day) that some things like Time Blocking won't work. I can use it during off-peak times but it works well when I have more control over my schedule.

List down your needs and identify a practice that can possibly address it. Realize that Life changes every week, month, and year. Drop some practices that worked for a period of time and adopt another practice. Try it for a month. If it sticks, it stays. If it doesn't stick, document it in a single notebook or text file. This reminds you why you dropped a practice. Or put a tickler date on it to revisit it at another date in the future.

You'll go through the month and year seeing certain needs that demands attention. Document that as "something I want to address."

In my personal experience, I had to address:
1. Habits
2. Capturing
3. Organizing projects, habits, and routines
4. Calendar management - time blocking, MITs
5. Daily planning
6. Weekly planning
7. Monthly planning
8. Annual goal planning
9. Big Rock management
10. Managing my time between Big Rock projects and administrative/maintenance work

One day, I might get around to the higher GTD horizons such as Vision and Purpose but I'm not there yet. I don't have a desire to address it right now. I'm working on my monthly and annual goal planning at the moment. When I get this mastered, I'll considering going up the next horizons.

What are your needs? Your current situation will tell you what you need to address. Take each challenge one at a time and experiment. See what works for you. Create your own "GTD book" of practices that worked for you and what didn't work. Revise it, append it as needed. It is a living, breathing document that will change.

Your GTD system should be flexible enough to utilize in any task manager app with minimal changes. It's the system that matters. The tools (digital and analog) can be picked up to adapt to your needs.
 
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TesTeq

Registered
Zen-To-Done (ZTD) by Leo Babauta was influential for me in finally getting the hang of GTD. It says to try to adopt GTD practices one at a time. Master one GTD principle before trying to go on to the next principle. Many GTDers fall of the bandwagon because they try to do all the GTD practices all at one time. In the beginning, I can barely juggle 2 balls in the air. Trying to do the weekly review, the capture process, and all the other practices proved difficult. It sounds like it's easy to do when you read the book. But doing all the new practices at one time is difficult. ZTD preaches that you do one habit at a time (capture, clarify, organize, reflect, engage). Trying to do all at one time is difficult.
One cannot implement only one step of the GTD workflow. You cannot pump the water into the clogged pipe and expect that it won't explode! @mcogilvie
 

Wilson Ng

Registered
The idea is to focus on mastering one part. One can't simply learn to do calculus without getting through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division first.

Many have fallen off the GTD bandwagon multiple times because they were trying to master too many things. It takes time to master it all. Sure, we can be juggling the other GTD steps. But we also have realize that baby steps is also an option towards mastery. Do everything but emphasize the habit of mastering one aspect until it becomes habit. The others will soon follow.
 
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Oogiem

Registered
Can you elaborate regarding The books you've read?
I'll toss 12 Week Year into the mix. In my GTD system I was already doing more in depth quarterly reviews due to the nature of farming work and the 12WY slotted in nicely to jelp me focus on how much I can actually get done in each quarter and how to measure it. My long lists are actually slightly shorter now, typically between 100-130 active projects vs 200-250 and I've seen a slight uptick in completed projects. However my Someday/Maybe list had ballooned up to something like 1500 items on it. Fortunately reviews of that list are more limited now as I've figured out a way to reduce how often I have toread the entire list but also review the subsets more frequently.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
One cannot implement only one step of the GTD workflow. You cannot pump the water into the clogged pipe and expect that it won't explode! @mcogilvie
I think that’s right. But you can do a not-so-great job on one aspect while working on another. David Allen has claimed that GTD encompasses the minimal set of behaviors needed to be effective and get things done. Additions to the doing phase may be helpful sometimes. That‘s what MIT, Big Rocks, Linenberger’s classification by urgency, time blocking and others are: principles and algorithms to tell you what to do next. Sometime these may be helpful for some people. I’ve tried them all and moved on. The truth is that you can start anywhere. You don’t have to decide it’s a sort-by-due date day or a sort-by-priority Pomodoro morning. Just start.
 

TesTeq

Registered
I think that’s right. But you can do a not-so-great job on one aspect while working on another. David Allen has claimed that GTD encompasses the minimal set of behaviors needed to be effective and get things done. Additions to the doing phase may be helpful sometimes. That‘s what MIT, Big Rocks, Linenberger’s classification by urgency, time blocking and others are: principles and algorithms to tell you what to do next. Sometime these may be helpful for some people. I’ve tried them all and moved on. The truth is that you can start anywhere. You don’t have to decide it’s a sort-by-due date day or a sort-by-priority Pomodoro morning. Just start.
Yes, I agree. My point is that mastering the Capture step only (without Clarifying, Organizing and Engaging) is worthless. You end up with a pile of captured meaningless stuff.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Yes, I agree. My point is that mastering the Capture step only (without Clarifying, Organizing and Engaging) is worthless. You end up with a pile of captured meaningless stuff.
As David Allen says, some people have nothing well organized, while others have nothing, well organized. ;)
 

Longstreet

Professor of microbiology and infectious diseases
I think that’s right. But you can do a not-so-great job on one aspect while working on another. David Allen has claimed that GTD encompasses the minimal set of behaviors needed to be effective and get things done. Additions to the doing phase may be helpful sometimes. That‘s what MIT, Big Rocks, Linenberger’s classification by urgency, time blocking and others are: principles and algorithms to tell you what to do next. Sometime these may be helpful for some people. I’ve tried them all and moved on. The truth is that you can start anywhere. You don’t have to decide it’s a sort-by-due date day or a sort-by-priority Pomodoro morning. Just start.
The truth is plain and simple. GTD rocks! We have a tendency to over-complicate things. The principles and practices of GTD have been tested and proven. Stay with these principles and practices.
 

Wilson Ng

Registered
Yes, I agree. My point is that mastering the Capture step only (without Clarifying, Organizing and Engaging) is worthless. You end up with a pile of captured meaningless stuff.
Sorry, maybe my post came out differently. I didn't want to say ignore all others. I meant to say put more of our energy into one habit and master that but not at the expense of ignoring others.

This stems from the idea of MIT or the Big Rocks. I have multiple projects running concurrently. Today, I schedule a time block to work on my advertising campaign. I know I have a currently active project with the H.R. department. I can check up on that but I'll prioritize the advertising campaign today. I can work on the H.R. issue in two days after I complete the advertising project first. I can possibly work on two simultaneous projects if the focus level is low. But if it requires more brainpower/focus, I'm more likely to focus on one project. Some chefs can make 5 separate dishes simultaneously. My preferred limit is to work on 2-3 dishes simultaneously. Making the salad, waiting for the stew to simmer, and preparing the ingredients for roast beef can be done simultaneously but doing my 1040 taxes requires my complete attention and I don't want to switch gears to work on a court case with the lawyer at the same time.

Capturing is one step to master. We have to master the idea of capturing. This is a habit that can be mastered. I've had the experience of doing the capture first and then go straight into organizing stuff and then attempting a weekly review. I might ignore the capture habit and not really set that in stone as a habit. I needed to do a better job of capturing into fewer inboxes - mainly my smartphone (task manager and Drafts app dictation) and a stack of 3x5 index cards I keep in my wallet. Previously, I had notes on the whiteboard, various Post-It notes, and random notebooks. It was a mess and it was one habit I wanted to perfect. I was doing the organizing and reflecting parts but not wholeheartedly as a beginner. My Weekly Review was another habit that I would sometimes do but ignore in my early GTD travels. It wasn't until much later when I customized my weekly review with a personalized checklist that fits me.

The point was I was trying to adopt all the GTD habits at once as a GTD newbie and failed miserably. Zen-To-Done asked me to focus on each GTD practice and make it a habit. Adopting the capturing process was a faster process for me. Adopting a weekly review took longer. Then adopting a daily review as a shutdown routine was another habit that I had to tackle a little later. I would do all of the GTD practices sporadically in the beginning but it was like an engine that wasn't performing smoothly. I wanted to get to the point where it became a habit and something I actually looked forward to. The weekly review was the culprit for me. I couldn't imagine myself spending 3 hours on a Sunday to get through that process. Adopting a daily shutdown review helped with splitting those 3 hours into smaller daily chunks that were more digestible.
 

pgarth

Registered
Hello, I have just started using the gtd method. Im looking for some examples how other people use gtd.
The analogy that has worked for me is that GTD is an "external trusted system, placed outside of my head". That means I'm now free, with a clear mind, to look at my calendar and be reminded me of the hard-edged items that need attention that day or day and time. The trusted system also includes what I pre-determined (when I entered the item) to be associated with either a context (physical location) and a tagged area of focus (based on the 20K foot of Horizons of Focus.

In a nutshell, you know you've achieved a level of trust, when you look at one of your lists (eg @computer) and there is an item that your inner voice says, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that..."

Question I have is: "Why did you start using the GTD Systematic Approach?"
 

ivanjay205

Registered
Not to pile on here and I understand why the comment is made about master one step before going on to the next but one of the things that I think is so wonderful about GTD is that it is designed to break. David Allen mentions he knows and expects you will fall off the bandwagon. That is why the weekly review (and some people like me do a mini review daily) is so important.

Just yesterday for example a few meetings ran late and my family had tickets to a drive in movie last night. So I could not empty my inbox, clear my captured items, organize my day as I typically do. I left a bit frazzled and disorganized because I literally shut the laptop and ran out with the family.

This morning I could come back to it, review my calendar, my next actions, get to inbox zero, and reset my day. Now I am at peace for the day and able to move forward with what I am aiming to achieve.

I have coached a few people in my office to adopt the system and my personal believe is the only you thing you need to master is the ability to fully let the GTD system manage how you approach your day and stay true to it (dont let those thoughts sit in your mind uncollected) and master the weekly review. The rest really does fall into place with some minor personal tweaks.

Or just get a very strict platform like FacileThings which pushes you through the system as it is designed to be.
 
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