GTD Reboot

mcogilvie

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Well THAT hits rather close to the bone, @OF user LOL
Particularly at this time of the year, with social media feeds chock full of "self-improvement porn", it is SO much more fun to explore new methods & shiny tools than it is to do a weekly review. :blush: But I would be careful not to group 'tinkering' into the same category as the perpetual search for a new tool or methodology. A forum like this provides tremendous value, and I've benefited many times from more experienced GTD practitioners sharing tips and tricks that have helped me fix a part of my system that was causing friction/resistance. My goal over the holidays will be to remove that 80% 'should' tasks that drag down my GTD system, so I can focus on the remaining, most important work.

@rmjb definitely keep doing the weekly reviews, don't be afraid to either cull from your lists or move stuff to Someday/Maybe, and just for fun, maybe try limiting them to 1 hour. Doing an abbreviated review is far, far better than no review because you couldn't spare a few hours. And set aside some time to check out the existing threads and webinars on horizons of focus, etc. - or post a new thread if you have specific There's lots of good stuff :)
Speaks wisely Jodie does.Too often we mistake friction or resistance for a fundamental weakness in our tools or our methodology. Over the years, I have seen how some of the more visible people in the internet productivity space have moved around in their practices. It reminds me of an old Soviet-era joke from Russia: Religion is like looking for a black cat in a dark room. Socialism is like looking for a black cat in a dark room, but the cat isn’t there. Communism is like looking for a black cat that isn’t there in a dark room, and periodically yelling “I’ve found it, I’ve found it.”

Disclaimer: the joke is not about religion or political philosophies. If the joke did not make you laugh, please see the 1951 book The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer. And yes, I am looking forward to the Rise of Skywalker movie. May the Force be with you throughout the holiday season.
 

TesTeq

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Absolutely.

Just review what you did in the past and look at what was not totally honest. Then strive to change it or move the needle a little bit.
Maybe. In my opinion dishonesty is a very attractive shortcut that is very hard to avoid. It is an addiction that is harder to quit than anything. IMHO dishonesty and fear are the root causes of all other addictions.
What do you think about it @John Forrister @mcogilvie @Longstreet ?
 

mcogilvie

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N
Maybe. In my opinion dishonesty is a very attractive shortcut that is very hard to avoid. It is an addiction that is harder to quit than anything. IMHO dishonesty and fear are the root causes of all other addictions.
What do you think about it @John Forrister @mcogilvie @Longstreet ?
I think that honesty with yourself is fundamental to success with GTD. Capturing all those open loops for the first time is surely confessional. “I’ll get around to it soon” is often wishful thinking at best and sometimes an outright lie. Self-deception is common. GTD begins with saying “This is where I am. This is what’s on my mind” and accepting it.

Fear is certainly a huge problem: fear of failure and fear of success at a personal level, and fear of otherness across the world. I don’t know that fear and dishonesty are addictions in the technical sense, but they are powerful.
 

2097

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The reason people have some part of them that wants to be "off the wagon" is simple. When they do GTD they are overwhelmed by all the things they now "should" do. All the inbox items they need to process, all the NAs they need to actually do, and soooo much to review. When they don't do GTD and just do the random latest&loudest squeakiest wheel --- at least they're not as overwhelmed as they are when they're on GTD.

They feel like every NA item is an open loop and it's still stressing them out even though it's written down. Because they don't trust the system yet to actually get those things done -- and why should they? It hasn't proven itself to them yet.

To stay on the wagon you need to find some way to deal with this.

Here is some advice.

If the review itself is stressful, make a checklist. Note on your that checklist which areas you want to look at every week, and which you can look at more rarely. Here's a start of such a checklist:

  1. Calendar, last week and upcoming week
  2. Inboxes
  3. Project list
  4. Next action lists

At first this might take two or three hours every week and be super painful. But once you get used to the kind of decision-making GTD demands, it'll go down to a few minutes.

If you are overwhelmed, cut down on your projects. You can get rid of projects by throwing them in the trash or putting them on some sort of someday/maybe list or even on a more formal list for yourself (some sorta "waiting for"--- "this is a project I'll start as soon as we're done with moving houses" for example). I have like 570 things in my someday/maybe. No way am I looking at all of those things every week. But the list is sorted so I know that there's nothing in there I actually need to be worried about and I can find whatever I want there.

You want a sweet spot of amount of projects. Too many and nothing gets done (or you get freaked out and fall of the wagon). Too few and you can't take advantage of the whole "I'm in a specific context, I might as well knock out a whole bunch of very similar tasks beloing to a whole bunch of very different projects."

The decision-making GTD demands is a phrase I used earlier in this post. Going through your inbox and deciding what the heck is this and what do I even want to do with it and how do I even start working towards that goal is for some people a very painful and difficult and challenging thing. And as soon as I started GTD, I realized that "Oh, wow, I've been taking this decision making for granted. I've been asking of my future self to just make these decisions unconsciously and automatically when they are actually sometimes very confusing and difficult. No wonder nothing is being done." This decision-making is something that you kinda needed to do anyway (even if it's just "enh, I'll do nothing with this thing, just stuff it in the attic"). Except now you have a framework that helps you do it explicitly and upfront and give you clarity.

The two values of the context lists. GTD is pretty clear about the value of seeing your grocery list in the grocery store, seeing the calls-to-make list when you have your phone, seeing the emails-to-write list when you're at your keyboard etc or w/e. And these days that value isn't so hot. Most things can be done which is available at most places. But the other value of the context lists, which he barely touch on, is how deciding on which list something goes, when processing, really helped you paint a strong visual picture of the actual concrete physical practical steps of actually doing it. "Open this-or-that-document in this-or-that app and start by actually doing this-or-that."
 

Oogiem

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The two values of the context lists.
There is a 3rd value that dwarfs the others IMO. The value of not switching contexts and wasting time changing your mind-set. That's why even though IalI CAN do many things in many places I don't. I want to do them where I am most effective and I batch jobs in each context to maximize my ability to get similar tasks done easily.
 

2097

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That's kinda what I meant with the first value. You are in the grocery store to buy carrots but you might as well buy tomatoes and potatoes without having to switch and reswitch contexts.

And by the second value I meant having to think "Oh I can't even make this Ratattouille with the stuff I have at home! No wonder it isn't being done! I need to put things on the grocery list!"
 

rmjb

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As mentioned, I'm reading through Making It All Work and I'm at the part where the matrix of control and perspective is being discussed. I decided to take a pause and redo the GTD-Q Assessment to see where I am.
I scored 1 and 1 :(.
It is kind of depressing to be at this for two years and to be down at rock bottom. I thought at least I'd have some sense of control.
 

mcogilvie

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As mentioned, I'm reading through Making It All Work and I'm at the part where the matrix of control and perspective is being discussed. I decided to take a pause and redo the GTD-Q Assessment to see where I am.
I scored 1 and 1 :(.
It is kind of depressing to be at this for two years and to be down at rock bottom. I thought at least I'd have some sense of control.
There are two factors that go into how you answer the questions: what you are doing, and how you feel about what you are doing. For example, I don’t have a lot of 3-5 year goals, and I am completely comfortable with that. I tend to steer my life using my Areas of Focus, which are very stable. I’m not sure how I would have scored 2 years in with GTD- probably pretty badly. If you’re not happy with your life as revealed by the assessment questions, ask the “Why?” question. Why do I feel the way I do? What would better look like?
 

David Parker

GTD Connect
implemented many improvements by adding the layer of 12 week year planning to my existing quarterly review that fits with the farming calendar.
Oogie: As a fellow farmer (in my case it's honeybees) some of my Projects and Next Actions work around the solstices and equinoxes.

I'm intrigued by your use of the 12 week year. What source did you use to guide that? Was it Brian Moran's book or some other guide?

Thanks - and happy Winter Solstice today! Honeybees colonies begin their expansion today, all the way to the Summer Solstice where they peak and them start a gradual decline until the Winter Solstice.
 

Oogiem

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I scored 1 and 1 :(.
It is kind of depressing to be at this for two years and to be down at rock bottom.
Well FWIW I've taken the test over 40 times and I am nearly always in the Visionary-Crazy Maker square with my most frequent score 1 on control and 3 on perspective. Over 80% of the time that is my score. Control has never been a strong suit of mine, part of why I like GTD, it helps me manage my life.

I'm intrigued by your use of the 12 week year. What source did you use to guide that? Was it Brian Moran's book or some other guide?
I got and read the book and I use it as a guideline. I also decided to look at the Personal Retreat Video course that Mike Schmitz developed as it's a more guided set of questions. I combined that with the Covey stuff I was already doing and the idea of the purpose part of GTD and defining areas of focus. I've found that for me focusing in on a smaller subset of stuff is the hardest part. The biggest takeaway from the 12WY is looking at completion within that timeframe. I have so many things that take seasons and years and it can be hard to see progress in those. I am having lots of problems developing meaningful tracking systems for my 12WY goals, especially the leading indicators for success. Most of my things are very hard to track except in hindsight. Where the 12WY falls down IMO is not accounting for the maintenance tasks we all have to do. Things that take time and energy but, at least IMO, don't lead you towards any goal. So I combine a lot fo stuff I've read and gleaned into a system that works for me but is constantly evolving.

Interesting about honeybees and colony expansion. This is breeding season for the sheep so for us it's also the beginning of the shepherding year when we put rams in and plan for next years' lambs.
 
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