I require a more user-friendly productivity system.

rony2012

Registered
I attempted to use GTD, but I'm at a loss.

I suppose the reason GTD initially resonated with me was that I was already writing down thoughts and notes in a notebook, and gtd expanded on that to create a whole system. Its excessive component count is my beef with it.

Context, location, important tags, reviews, and everything else just take so much effort to manage and overwhelm me that I give up and put it off.

My daily routines are another problem; I establish them, I don't follow them, they fill up my today list and calendar to the point that my once-reliable calendar system is now entirely useless.
 

Oogiem

Registered
Its excessive component count is my beef with it.

Context, location, important tags, reviews, and everything else just take so much effort to manage and overwhelm me that I give up and put it off.

My daily routines are another problem; I establish them, I don't follow them, they fill up my today list and calendar to the point that my once-reliable calendar system is now entirely useless.
Context and location can be a single thing. Tags are not GTD thing it's a potential implementation of GTD. Reviews have to happen or it really doesn't work.

So First off, in whatever tool you are using I would decide that you really want to make this work for you and spend a solid half an hour and go through everthing you have captured in your tool and remove as much of it as you can into someplace else that will become your Someday/Maybe bucket. Focus on the things you can do in the next 7 days and put only those things in your task manager.

Then tackle the calendar. Every single daily routine and checklist shuld IMO NOT be in a task manager initially. Esp. not when you are trying to establish the habit. I am not a fan of paper but I'd seriously consider a printed paper checklist with a box that you can check off. P each one into a plastic page protector sleeve and then use a dry erase marker to check things off. Tape, thumbtack or otherwise put those checklists in the place the series starts. So for example, if you have a morning checklist that starts with making coffee and ends with you sitting at your desk to work (I work from home so adapt to your situation) I'd tape the morning routine checklist to my favorite coffee mug or to my cofffee pot. I'd see it when I need to, and can start checking it off and carry the list with me until I end up at my desk. Then pick up the desk one and start on it. For me that means check my calendar, the weather, then read all my next action lists quickly, just skimming as I decide what to get started on.

Look at your current routines, do you normally read a newspaper or watch TV news or read an online forum or something similar every day? How critical is it really? Can you afford to take that time each day and instead read through your calendar and your GTD list manger for a quickie review of what's important?

Start with a single area or a single project and use GTD to manage it and then expand.

GTD takes time to learn and all of us are still learning no matter how many years we've been using GTD principles to manage our life.

So cut yourself some slack and give yourself time to change the mindset that got you into the place where you felt you needed GTD.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I attempted to use GTD, but I'm at a loss.

I suppose the reason GTD initially resonated with me was that I was already writing down thoughts and notes in a notebook, and gtd expanded on that to create a whole system. Its excessive component count is my beef with it.

Context, location, important tags, reviews, and everything else just take so much effort to manage and overwhelm me that I give up and put it off.

My daily routines are another problem; I establish them, I don't follow them, they fill up my today list and calendar to the point that my once-reliable calendar system is now entirely useless.
Successful use of GTD can be very simple, and generally it’s better to be as simple as possible. You need a calendar, lists and project support material. Just about everyone needs these. People tend to add to GTD based on their previous practices, ideas they have, things they’ve read, and the capabilities of the tools they use. The latter range from fancy paper forms to sophisticated software. The core ideas of GTD fit on a few pages (I like the appendices in the book Ready for Anything) and the lists required might run to tens of pages. My best advice to anyone starting out is to do what David Allen suggests, and not add extra practices until you have more experience.

It’s possible to overwhelm any system with daily routines. Some people want to put brushing their teeth or washing the dishes on a list or in their calendar, but that rarely works well. Some people find checklists helpful for these sorts of things, and others just rely on habit or on what David Allen calls the scuzz factor: you respond to unsatisfactory aspects of your environment. You clean the dishes because you see the mess. Most people do find some value in being reminded of some larger routines. I don’t schedule my weekly review, but I am reminded to do it every weekend. You have to figure out what your threshold is, where reminders are helpful and where they’re not.
 

René Lie

Registered
I second what has been said before here, but simply put: Make sure that you truly understand the methodology before diving into all the bells and whistles of some list manager.

Then, install habits one by one. Myself, when installing a new habit, I put it on a recurring checklist as a reminder until I don't need the reminder anymore.

Best of luck!
 

schmeggahead

Registered
Its excessive component count is my beef with it.
Do what's useful
It comes back to David saying "Do the parts that are useful for you."

The 2 minute rule (if it takes less than 2 minutes and you can do it now, do it if you're ever going to do it.) can be a good start.

GTD as a toolbox
I think of GTD as a toolbox. There are "excessive components" because you won't efficiently cut off that tree limb with a hammer. I don't use very many of the tools at one time. I didn't use a lot of the tools for a while.

When I am processing In, I only do the what is it? is it actionable? What's the next action? write that down and then organize it in a separate activity because I need to change toolsets to organize.

Efficiently handling backlog can be key
If you are like me with 60 years of not deciding what stuff is, you have a house, cars, and offices full of stuff that in an ideal world would be processed. If you try to do anything but shovel lots into Someday/Maybe lists, your system will be so overloaded, it probably won't function.

Make sure you can do it if you have the flu
There is another thing I'm reminded of hearing David comment on (talking about tagging the project on next actions): if you decide to do it, make sure you can do it if you have the flu & have low energy levels.

I think of it more as: every time I choose to use a tool from the toolbox of GTD, I am committing to cleaning and maintaining it on a regular basis. Every good tool owner knows, you have to clean the tool after you use it and sometimes multiple times while using it.

Know what you aren't doing so you can focus on what you are doing
GTD is about generating focus, doing so by clearing the decks in low effort, efficient ways. If what you just did in the GTD practice didn't contribute to your focus, you might need to hone that skill, or maybe you don't have the problem that tool was meant to solve.

Use the other guy's energy, or in this case the world's energy
Last thought: David likens GTD to a martial art: efficiency of movement, energy, and recovery are important. If you fight momentum that is already there, you will lose. Redirecting the momentum to help you can be a key.

Clayton

Remember that capture is about speed and facility; clarify is about precision and completeness. - Jared Caron
 

gtdstudente

Registered
Do what's useful
It comes back to David saying "Do the parts that are useful for you."

The 2 minute rule (if it takes less than 2 minutes and you can do it now, do it if you're ever going to do it.) can be a good start.

GTD as a toolbox
I think of GTD as a toolbox. There are "excessive components" because you won't efficiently cut off that tree limb with a hammer. I don't use very many of the tools at one time. I didn't use a lot of the tools for a while.

When I am processing In, I only do the what is it? is it actionable? What's the next action? write that down and then organize it in a separate activity because I need to change toolsets to organize.

Efficiently handling backlog can be key
If you are like me with 60 years of not deciding what stuff is, you have a house, cars, and offices full of stuff that in an ideal world would be processed. If you try to do anything but shovel lots into Someday/Maybe lists, your system will be so overloaded, it probably won't function.

Make sure you can do it if you have the flu
There is another thing I'm reminded of hearing David comment on (talking about tagging the project on next actions): if you decide to do it, make sure you can do it if you have the flu & have low energy levels.

I think of it more as: every time I choose to use a tool from the toolbox of GTD, I am committing to cleaning and maintaining it on a regular basis. Every good tool owner knows, you have to clean the tool after you use it and sometimes multiple times while using it.

Know what you aren't doing so you can focus on what you are doing
GTD is about generating focus, doing so by clearing the decks in low effort, efficient ways. If what you just did in the GTD practice didn't contribute to your focus, you might need to hone that skill, or maybe you don't have the problem that tool was meant to solve.

Use the other guy's energy, or in this case the world's energy
Last thought: David likens GTD to a martial art: efficiency of movement, energy, and recovery are important. If you fight momentum that is already there, you will lose. Redirecting the momentum to help you can be a key.

Clayton

Remember that capture is about speed and facility; clarify is about precision and completeness. - Jared Caron
Great GTD reminder list . . . thank you!
 

Jchap6797

Registered
Rony2012 - I really like what was shared. I do combine GTD with another system (Full Focus System), but the principles are the same. I think you can do everything you need to with the GTD system and following some of the most fundamental parts. Additionally, focus on one part at a time and master it, then move to the next. Additionally, maybe get some accountability with a friend to make certain you are at least doing some of the basics. I am in no way promoting another system, and not asking people to go elsewhere. If mentioning the other system is an issue, then I suspect this will get removed.
 
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