GTD - Getting too Detailed


Hello All,
I am hoping that someone out there is able to help with a little bit of reflection on not only the weekly review but on coming to "granular" in the details in regards to GTD. I have been working with GTD for some time but still consider myself somewhat of a beginner. Being stuck at home through all of this pandemic has given me time to re read David's book as well as some of his other books and I am becoming revitalized in the GTD process. I've always been a person is prided myself in dotting my I's and crossing my T's however along with the freedom that GTD produces i often times find myself wanting to continually "sharp in the pencil". I have found that this can stifle stifle the GTD method and as well, promote walking down the road of " perfection". I keep a in my head that a quote "perfect as the enemy of good" and I try to rein myself in but when getting wins with GTD process it fosters a continual desire for more " wins" which then further exacerbates the desire for " clean edges" in all regards.. Which intellectually I know is impossible but emotionally hard to let go of. I am hoping that this makes sense and I am wondering if anyone else has had experience with this and how they keep a perspective and balance in not becoming so detailed within the GTD process that the process itself can become something that in turn dulls the GTD process in its entirety. Thanks for listening and I appreciate any contributions anyone could make.


I can totally relate. Been doing GTD for forever and have gotten on and off the wagon a million times. Doing better now with it than I ever have. I am able to see the pitfalls of various perfectionistic things i've done with GTD. To keep it short, a terrible thing to do in GTD is to take a one time situation and turn it into a rule that applies to every task, note etc in your system. More times than not, you will find that it adds more strain to other areas rather than helps them. Many fancy apps are notorious for encouraging this. You think you'll save time using their fancy date features but NOPE you won't! I've tended to simplify the tools I use as I've gotten more experienced because I realized that the philosophy of making the system as simple as possible but no simpler will get your farther in GTD than any cool feature in any app or any extra detail thing you think you need. Those things are always what has blown up my system. My personality is prone to want to put things on cruise control. What I've learned is that these cruise control features and ideas mask the fact that your reality is always changing and that the review process trumps any little automation or cool detail you can add to your system.


First of all you have to give yourself time to process internally that you are doing GTD. Then you have to realise that a GTD system is probably touching on a variety of internal things. Things inside of you begin to move and this manifests in "tinkering" with the system. This can be due to a lack of a proper outlet for a given internal process. There is also the fact that tinkering is always the path of least resistance.