How to do the Weekly Review

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dox78

Guest
oops.

Wow. And in the future, I will not violate Newbie Rule #15235 which is don't reply to a thread whose last post was 6 months ago.
 
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CosmoGTD

Guest
I missed this thread...which I just scanned...

My viewpoint is this...

1) put intense effort into carefully understanding and implementing GTD the way DA states in his books and programs. He spent a long time working on it, so its smartest to listen to the GTD Police, and try to do it by the book, for at LEAST 6 months.

2) then once you know the rules, THEN you can try to break the rules and customize them.

If a person does not take the time to CAREFULLY implement GTD like DA says, then they can really muck it up, and not even know it.
So, learn the rules before you break them, that's my motto.

Lastly, each persons BRAIN literally learns and operates amazingly differently. Basically our entire education system does not understand this, and does not even comprehend the AMAZING diversity in brain learning styles.
So each person, each mind-brain, is going to find a GTD set-up that works for them, eventually.

So my view is, read the book at least 4x, carefully implement GTD for 6 months or so. THEN, slowly adapt certain parts to your own brain's way of doing things.

This is completely different to just sloppily grabbing a few GTD ideas, and not understanding them, and implementing them poorly, and calling that unique.

As an aside, there is some amazing research going on these days about how literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON'S MIND learns and operates in an idiosyncratic way. They are taking kids who are FAILING, and then by simply customizing the learning process to their own brain, they are getting great marks.
Its up to each of us to figure out how our own mind works best, and trust that. Its an amazing realization when you learn that literally no one on earth learns and operates mentally like you do.
Out society and world is not even capable of recognizing how amazingly diverse each normal person's mind is. The biological diversity of the human mind is mind-boggling.
 

Diane

Registered
It's OK!

I feel like you do about conflict, and I appreciated reading your post.

I reread the book from time to time and don't in the least mind revisiting some of the old threads.
 

TesTeq

Registered
Demanding exercise.

CosmoGTD said:
So my view is, read the book at least 4x, carefully implement GTD for 6 months or so. THEN, slowly adapt certain parts to your own brain's way of doing things.
It can be a very dificult and demanding exercise to do something against your brain for 6 months.
 
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CosmoGTD

Guest
well, DA says it takes at least a YEAR, to start getting the hang of GTD, and he's right. It even takes much longer than that.
Its not possible, in my view, to really try GTD for a few weeks, or even months, without actually trying it.

Of course, people can just ignore what DA has carefully designed, and just do it 'their own way' before they even understand what DA was getting at.
Its their life.

But I have found that its better to CAREFULLY LISTEN to qualified experts in a field, and to carefully do as they instruct, and then you will see what they are talking about. Even if it 'feels weird' its better to carefully follow their instructions, IF this expert is credible and trustworthy.

Its like a good singing teacher, they will tell you to do things you don't want to do for months and even years. But guess what, they know what they are doing, (if they are good) and all of a sudden you can get great results, you would have NEVER gotten yourself, if you just did what felt comfortable.

But if we don't carefully listen to the experts who have credibility, and then TRY what they suggest, properly, for a reasonable period of time, the only person we are hurting is ourself with our own arrogance.

It takes a lot longer than 6 months to break bad habits we may have accumulated for many years. Its much easier to just slip back into our own rigid and arrogant patterns, and then we don't grow or learn.

DA is a smart guy, and has done some good work.
For someone to 'get it' it requires some pretty serious committment and thought over a long period of time, I say over a year even.

But a lot of people want to 'change' something, when they don't even understand it yet.
Hey, its their life.

But that's not the way to be most effective, in my experience.
When I see someone who has some credibility, then I will give them the benefit of the doubt for an extended period of time.
Maybe they can teach me something I don't know.
 

TesTeq

Registered
"when all else fails read the manual"

TesTeq said:
It can be a very dificult and demanding exercise to do something against your brain for 6 months.
I do not say that it is not the best approach but it can be very difficult for many people. There is a common approach "when all else fails read the manual" so people tend to experiment first.

And in my opinion the GTD book is not the best possible GTD implementation manual. It is a general methodology description while some people may need detailed instructions (that's the place where DavidCo makes money on coaching). Sally McGhee's book "Take Back Your Life! Special Edition. Using Microsoft Outlook to Get Organized and Stay Organized" is much more "manual-like" but written for Microsoft Outlook users only.
 
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tuqqer

Guest
CosmoGTD said:
But a lot of people want to 'change' something, when they don't even understand it yet.
Hey, its their life.
But that's not the way to be most effective, in my experience.
Doing something exactly as an expert tells you to do, and finding that it works, can be one of the natural outcomes of learning. But in my experience, at 50, that's often not the case, and it is most certainly not a requirement.

In the simple case of GTD, the lights didn't go on for me—and the frustration did not go away—until I finally gave up the concept of contexts, with the exception of @life. And that particular change from the book's methodology happened in a blinding flash one morning last December, about 14 months into GTD. My system all fell into place over the next week, which included finding a way to make Entourage work as the sole application for my approach (allowing me to dump my exhaustive search and trial of 20+ other programs).

In the case of a larger context, listening to the elders word-for-word is often exactly where things go wacky. Their best guess becomes others' unthinking dogma.

My own customized GTD system works so well, and gives me so much daily pleasure now, that I want to yell from the rooftops: "tweak it, man, tweak it! Make it work for YOU!" Find your way to mind-like-water however you can.
 

kewms

Registered
They say that martial arts cannot be taught, they can only be discovered.

No matter how good your teacher is, he is not you. He doesn't have your body, your mind, your life experiences. He can help you avoid blind alleys and pursue productive paths, but in the end you have to walk the path yourself, and your path won't be the same as anyone else's.

And a competent martial arts teacher knows each of his students far better than DA knows any of his students, except maybe for his employees.

Sticking with an organizing system that is clearly not working for 6 months sounds like a great way to dig the rest of your life into a deep hole, and DA isn't going to sitting at your next annual review.

If your system isn't working, don't worry about dogma, fix it.

Actually doing that is of course easier said than done. Knowing that the system is broken isn't the same as knowing how to fix it. Many of the posts I've seen here involve people complaining that GTD doesn't work when they are actually ignoring some key component. For example, someone who complains that their project list is unmanageable but hasn't realized that they need to renegotiate the commitments on the list.

But if after a few weeks you are more overwhelmed rather than less, you don't need to struggle along for 6 months to realize something is wrong.

Katherine
 
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CosmoGTD

Guest
Well, martial arts is an interesting example.
Which person can teach themselves marital arts, and not follow the directions set forth by the expert? How would it work if the client got tired of doing backrolls as instructed for months, and instead wants to break boards and wrestle?
They will never get anywhere.

Another example is CBT.
Many people totally mess it up, and then don't understand why its 'not working' for them.
The problem is that they have not been properly trained, and are not doing it correctly. They are trying to 'change' something they do not even understand yet.

The point I am making is that some folks don't even know what a Context is, and they want to change it!
They might not even know what a GTD Project is, and they don't like it, and change it!

All I am saying is that for something like GTD, its better to give it some TIME, trust DA a bit, and really try to figure it out, and do it his way for a long while.
You see people 'changing' GTD, and they have barely read the book yet.
It takes a long time to get the hang of GTD.
And yes, I think a person should commit to doing a weekly review, for at least 6 months, to see how its working. And to do the WR properly.

So people can do whatever they want, I don't care either way.
But its a serious error, in my experience, to not listen carefully to what someone like DA is saying about his system.
The only person they are hurting is their own effectiveness.

Its a very simple idea.
Before you can break the rules, you have to master the rules.
Once you are a blackbelt, then you can take some liberties.
But when a person is wearing a white belt, they don't start 'changing' Karate because it feels unfamiliar to them.
If they do, they will never advance.
 

TesTeq

Registered
Read GTD book once again.

kewms said:
But if after a few weeks you are more overwhelmed rather than less, you don't need to struggle along for 6 months to realize something is wrong.
And that's the moment to read the GTD book once again (or maybe the RFA book too) to make sure that your implementation does not ignore any key components. If the implementation is OK and you do the Weekly Review weekly and it does not work for you then try to identify the source of problems and modify your GTD system. 6 months = 26 Weekly Reviews and 183 days of pain when something is wrong.
 

kewms

Registered
CosmoGTD said:
Well, martial arts is an interesting example.
Which person can teach themselves marital arts, and not follow the directions set forth by the expert? How would it work if the client got tired of doing backrolls as instructed for months, and instead wants to break boards and wrestle?
They will never get anywhere.
Actually, it can be quite helpful to try something a bit advanced in order to see where all the endless practice of basics is headed. Otherwise, the basics can degrade into simple calisthenics. Bruise your knuckles trying to break a board, and maybe you'll think about focus and form a bit more.

Nor did I say that it is possible to teach yourself martial arts. Discovery and self-teaching are not the same thing. You cannot teach something that you do not already know, but you can discover quite a bit through open-minded experimentation. (But see my previous post about the value of a teacher in helping you avoid useless or dangerous experiments.)

Also, as I've said elsewhere, productivity is not rocket science, and for most of us it is a means to an end, not an end itself. I'm not interested in the perfect productivity system. Once I have a system that's good enough, I'd rather spend time doing, not organizing.

Katherine
 
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sonia_simone

Guest
I fall on the side of using the system as fully as possible without making yourself insane about it. I reread GTD every few months and find little bits that I had overlooked, and I find that helpful. I personally would not find it helpful to turn GTD into a religion that demanded specific carved-upon-stone-tablet rites. Nor do I feel that's particularly in the spirit of the book.

It can definitely be an interesting exercise to try to follow GTD in every detail. It's just not an exercise that's going to work for me. I can appreciate the passion that goes into the recommendation, but it's not something I would pick up right now.

If "the answer" was always just RTFM, go back to the book and follow it more perfectly, then would there be any point in forums?

I would like to thank the person who woke the thread back up! Definitely interesting stuff.
 
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CosmoGTD

Guest
man, it sure is hard to communicate a very simple idea.

There are people who are not doing the @Contexts properly, who are not defining NA's properly, who are not dealing with GTD Projects as described, who don't use the Calendar like DA suggests, who don't do a Weekly Review, who don't do more than half of what GTD is.

If that is the case, then that is not even GTD anymore.

I am just saying, DO the actual GTD processes as put forward by DA, and see how it works in practice.
You cannot do this in a weekend, or even a few weeks.
Like DA says, it takes about a year to get the hang of it.

Or, just pick a few ideas out of the book, do them in a way different than what DA describes, and call it GTD, and then wonder why it doesn't work, and why the person them moves onto the NEXT system next month.

DA has said very clearly, if you don't have an airtight system that works, it ain't gonna work.
Anyway, I am done with this.
Its a very basic idea. Do what DA has laid out as carefully as possible, as it is a tested system. Very basic idea.
 

TesTeq

Registered
False assumption.

CosmoGTD said:
Or, just pick a few ideas out of the book, do them in a way different than what DA describes, and call it GTD, and then wonder why it doesn't work, and why the person them moves onto the NEXT system next month.
It is a false assumption that this approach (picking a few ideas) will not work for some people. Do you have any statistical data to confirm that?
 

hth

Registered
Step by step implementation

I second cosmoGTDs suggestion to implement DAs GTD for some time and only later tweak it. I think in principle this is the best way.
But ... in real life I myself didnt do it this way. I first implemented my archive in DAs way, the context lists and the inbox. This gave me a boost in performance and I stuck with that. Only later, when I began to struggle without regular weekly reviews and a clean inbox I implemented GTD more complete.

Yours
Alexander
 
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