Musician needs help

Gogoriviera

Registered
I am brand new to GTD. I have been going thru book with audible and taking notes- this seems like a very good system but I feel very overwhelmed on how to implement this

I saw a download sheet for $10 - suggests what to buy and have in hand to get started

essentially I am one man band pianist singer guitarist and maintaining all aspects of my career is daunting

I could really use some suggestions about how to get started implementing this system

thank you in advance
 

Cpu_Modern

Registered
Seeing as what you are doing, I'd suggest you start with fleshing out your list (or mindmap or outline or whatever format suits you) of Areas of Focus. (This is denoted as Level 2 in the book.)

In my estimation you will have an easier way of defining your GTD-projects and whatnot later on, if you do this.

Come back here and ask more, more specific stuff.

Nice photograph, btw. That alone tells me you are a pro; just sayin'.
 

Kelly_Adam

Registered
I'll have to leave this in the hands of the more qualified, but in my experience, I tackled one area at a time.
The first thing to do, I think, is to choose a list manager and start building an external brain. It takes a fair bit of trial and error to find a system that works for you. I'm on my third list manager and I'm really happy with it.

While you're working on somewhere to park the everday, you can start exploring your visions and goals and create areas of focus and projects from there. Good luck and let us know how you go with it/
 

John Ismyname

Registered
Hello Gogoriviera; First, welcome aboard! I can empathize with you becuase, decades ago, I was once a semi-pro musician. I still do the occasional
paid gig. You are in the right place as GTD is a great system for one working in the "gig economy"! For your first list manager, consider pen and paper. This is how I started with GTD. There is a "data dump" stage of GTD where your brain says "I don't have to remember to do this task when I am in that place so I will just let it all go"!

Once you have your @ context determined and a running list for each one, it makes it easier to determine what list manager to use. As @Kelly_Adam points out, there is no shame in deciding your exisiting list manager or GTD platform is not the best one for you and moving on. Platform independence is part if GTD!
 

Oogiem

Registered
I could really use some suggestions about how to get started implementing this system
Start by developing the habit of writing down everything you think you need to do, want to do or any other thought that comes across your mind and then REGULARLY process those into some sort of buckets to hold them. One of the quickest and easiest is to have a pad of small size paper, say 3x5 inches or the backs of tear off desktop calendars, something you can and will carry EVERYWHERE. Carry a bunch of them around when you have ideas or thoughts then write them down, 1 thought to each piece of paper. Get several envelopes. Start with one and label it INBOX. Put all your written notes inside it. Daily take all the notes out and sort them into logical groups while deciding what to do with them. Some notes are projects. Some are specific actions and some are things for later. There will be several types of groups as well, a group of items related to a single project, someday/maybe items and then contexts, the place, thing or tool you need to do that particular task. You might want a sheet of paper somewhere with the list of projects. Don't bother to re-write the notes unless you need to clarify them. Just move them into the appropriate envelope. Then when in the right place and time grab an envelope corresponding to that context and pick out a note to work on.

Now if you are like me, that paper implementation will last about 2 days before you run screaming away and pick some sort of digital method. ;) But the key is even I started on paper and even now most of my capture is on paper and then gets processed into my list manager and someday/maybe and reference tools which are digital.

Focus initially on capture, processing and review. Capture as things come up, process daily (usually about 1-2 hours per day for most people) and review weekly.

GTD takes a long time to "get" so start on the path and enjoy the learning.
 

Gogoriviera

Registered
I appreciate everyone’s input - I am wondering about the docs that are in downloads section. There is one that is a colored overview of the system- though maybe it would give me a good overview and a doc for setting things up- what to go out and get to set up system

also I don’t know how specific things need to be in creating lists. Like “ I want to be more proficient on guitar” is very broad. Don’t know if it needs to be more like “ I want to get faster at knowing note names and locations on guitar neck”?

I am only on chapter 3 so far of the book on audible. Do I need to be further along on the book before I try putting this into action?

I don’t know that I can spend 1-2 hrs a day on this? As someone suggested

thx to all
 

Gogoriviera

Registered
I'll have to leave this in the hands of the more qualified, but in my experience, I tackled one area at a time.
The first thing to do, I think, is to choose a list manager and start building an external brain. It takes a fair bit of trial and error to find a system that works for you. I'm on my third list manager and I'm really happy with it.

While you're working on somewhere to park the everday, you can start exploring your visions and goals and create areas of focus and projects from there. Good luck and let us know how you go with it/
So what are you using for list manager? Thx!
 

Kelly_Adam

Registered
So what are you using for list manager? Thx!

I use Notion as a list manager

1583099418768.png


This is my week 2- 8 March. At the top are recurring tasts, checkboxes that must be completed every week. Then my Task Manager which, since I've just got to work, is filtered to show OFFICE. I can filter it any way I need to filtering the tags but at the moment I've got a good overview to start from.


I hope this is useful, happy to keep chatting if you think it'd help.

Kelly
 

Oogiem

Registered
also I don’t know how specific things need to be in creating lists. Like “ I want to be more proficient on guitar” is very broad. Don’t know if it needs to be more like “ I want to get faster at knowing note names and locations on guitar neck”?

I am only on chapter 3 so far of the book on audible. Do I need to be further along on the book before I try putting this into action?

I don’t know that I can spend 1-2 hrs a day on this? As someone suggested
I want to be more proficient on guitar is, to me, an Area of Focus. It will then flow into multiple projects. One might be learn note names and locations on guitar neck and actins might be whatever it is your do to make that happen (I have no clue, I don't play guitar :) )

I know that my first read through of the book I got all the way through it before going back to start implementation per the sequence that was suggested starting in Chapter 4. Then the subsequent chapters give you the details for each step of the process.

I also find that the GTD Methodology guides are well worth the $. I have them as physical cards and use them each weekly review and whenever I get stuck processing. Now they are only available as a digital download. What I'd do is buy the PDF for $10.00 and consider laminating the pages for reference.

On the time commitment. I know it sounds horribly inefficient to spend 1-2 hours a day just figuring out what to do. But the fact you are here says what you are doing now isn't working so you are looking for some other way. 1-2 hours a day is for processing your incoming stuff so you can relax and give full attention to what you need to do in an appropriate manner. Think of it like meditation or exercise or eating a healthy balanced diet or any other major life changing task. The benefits are many but it takes time to learn, time to implement the habit and once you do you wish you had done it earlier.

Also keep in mind that it doesn't have to be all at once. I personally process inputs in bursts. I process the notes I made at night first thing in the morning when I can still probably read what I wrote in the dark overnight. That might only take 3-4 minutes or it might take half an hour. It all depends on how much I wrote down. I process email at set times usually for me when I am at medium energy level. I process paper mail at low energy level. I process the other various bits and bobs of stuff usually right after lunch and the goal is email inbox to zero 4 times a week or more, paper inbox cleared to zero at least daily. Other inboxes I also try to clear several times a week at a minimum.

I moved to a digital system for my list management, and most reference as well as my calendar. I use Omnifocus for list management, Apple Calendar for my calendar, Apple Mail as my mail client and DEVONThink for digital reference. What will work for you will depend a lot on your computer ecosystem and how you work. You should like your tools. If you stay on paper then investing in a fancy pen and high quality paper is a good investment if you enjoy working with it. GTD should be fun and enjoyable not drudgery.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I appreciate everyone’s input - I am wondering about the docs that are in downloads section. There is one that is a colored overview of the system- though maybe it would give me a good overview and a doc for setting things up- what to go out and get to set up system

also I don’t know how specific things need to be in creating lists. Like “ I want to be more proficient on guitar” is very broad. Don’t know if it needs to be more like “ I want to get faster at knowing note names and locations on guitar neck”?

I am only on chapter 3 so far of the book on audible. Do I need to be further along on the book before I try putting this into action?

I don’t know that I can spend 1-2 hrs a day on this? As someone suggested

thx to all
A couple of thoughts:

All of the docs Davidco puts out are useful. I learned a lot about GTD from the Outlook Setup Guide when that was the only setup guide. I have never used Outlook.

You might have a lifetime goal (or whatever you want to call it) of enjoying music throughout your life. This might lead you to a two-year goal of learning to play any scale in any position. (I would be more likely to have a goal of learning a few Jazz standards well.) This would give rise to a project to find material to teach you scales. Sticking to a criterion for projects of having a desired outcome achievable within a year will help move some things to a higher level.

Chapters 1-3 present the core of the system, and later chapters elaborate. Go ahead and start what you are comfortable doing.

GTD does not have overhead, or at least not much. Most of the ”extra“ time comes from doing things you should be doing, but weren’t.
 

Oogiem

Registered
GTD does not have overhead, or at least not much. Most of the ”extra“ time comes from doing things you should be doing, but weren’t.
That is an excellent point! I really like that explanation, may I steal borrow that in future when explain processing time? ;)
 

mcogilvie

Registered
That is an excellent point! I really like that explanation, may I steal borrow that in future when explain processing time? ;)
I would be honored. But GTD is a bit like folk music, part of a common heritage born out of shared experiences.
 

Gogoriviera

Registered
I use Notion as a list manager

View attachment 623


This is my week 2- 8 March. At the top are recurring tasts, checkboxes that must be completed every week. Then my Task Manager which, since I've just got to work, is filtered to show OFFICE. I can filter it any way I need to filtering the tags but at the moment I've got a good overview to start from.


I hope this is useful, happy to keep chatting if you think it'd help.

Kelly
That looks great- just not quite sure how to get started- I did look at the site-

Thx- sorry for taking awhile to get back
 

TesTeq

Registered
GTD does not have overhead, or at least not much. Most of the ”extra“ time comes from doing things you should be doing, but weren’t.
It seems that @Oogiem loves this quote but I don't understand the logic.
If somebody wasn't doing something and he still lives and is not in jail why does he think he should be doing it? Shouldn't he just let it go?
 

Jared Caron

GTD enthusiast and amateur coach
I am brand new to GTD. I have been going thru book with audible and taking notes- this seems like a very good system but I feel very overwhelmed on how to implement this

I saw a download sheet for $10 - suggests what to buy and have in hand to get started

essentially I am one man band pianist singer guitarist and maintaining all aspects of my career is daunting

I could really use some suggestions about how to get started implementing this system

thank you in advance
Hey there, and first of all welcome to a great community!

As a fellow musician, I can understand your challenge here. A couple of thoughts after reading this thread.

  1. Keep reading and following the advice in the book. There is a detailed plan for implementation in section 2 of the book. Just follow that to get started
    1. The list of supplies/tools to get started is in the book - I would suggest just buying the book as it is like $15 on amazon and has way more than the $10 download. David even said he wrote the book as a "field manual" for the methodology. Even after years of GTD practice, I still refer to the book when I'm troubleshooting something in my system.
  2. Expect to read the book a second (and third) time. There is so much packed in that little book that you will not truly be able to understand and implement (like "areas of focus") until you have some of the basics down. Everyone I know who is successful with this is constantly tinkering with their system and improving it over time. Its a journey, not a destination.
  3. After you finish the book, Join GTD connect. Short of shelling out for coaching, it is the best value in terms of accessing "next level" content to help you master the art (though coaching is also well worth the investment).
    1. There is a great webinar for connect members about GTD and creative professions that I expect would help you out.
    2. Connect will also keep you in contact with active practitioners of GTD, which can be valuable peer support that's otherwise hard to find.
  4. Don't worry about the 1-2 hours a day. Just follow the advice in the book. You will find that you hit this by default if you do what David recommends. The trick is to not let your schedule get so packed that you can't find 1-2 (cumulative) hours throughout the day to deal with new stuff showing up. Having a regular weekly review allows you to prevent this kind of schedule jam.
For a bit of specific advice about the guitar "project."

As mentioned before "getting better at guitar" is a lifelong endeavor, and is never checked off as "done." This is a component of the system called Areas of Focus which basically involves roles you play and maintenance in your life.

The trick for turning that into a project would be to decide if there is a specific outcome you are working toward which would move you forward in mastery of the instrument, for example:

Learn Travis picking technique OR Become proficient at minor pentatonic scales (if you wanted to be even more specific Play minor pentatonic scales in 1/8note patterns at180 bpm on the whole guitar neck)

If you don't know the exact outcome, but you have a vague idea you want to be "better." You might put Look into ways to improve guitar playing, until you settle on a new method to master (which would then replace the "look into" project).

An example of a music project from my current list is :

Learn a new cover setlist for performances (the song titles are in "project support")
 

Gardener

Registered
It seems that @Oogiem loves this quote but I don't understand the logic.
If somebody wasn't doing something and he still lives and is not in jail why does he think he should be doing it? Shouldn't he just let it go?
Well, there are countless things that you can survive not-doing for a very long time, but should still do because you'll be better off. Exercise. Brushing your teeth. Doing your brain work when your brain is most agile and your brainless work when it isn't. Doing your dishes once a day instead of once a week. (This one inspired by Dana K. White's "dish math"--one day's dishes takes fifteen minutes, three days' dishes takes three hours.) And in the case of this forum, organizing and processing your work.

At least, that's how I'm interpreting it.
 

TesTeq

Registered
  1. Keep reading and following the advice in the book. There is a detailed plan for implementation in section 2 of the book. Just follow that to get started
    1. The list of supplies/tools to get started is in the book - I would suggest just buying the book as it is like $15 on amazon and has way more than the $10 download. David even said he wrote the book as a "field manual" for the methodology. Even after years of GTD practice, I still refer to the book when I'm troubleshooting something in my system.
I agree with the "buy and read the GTD book first" but not INSTEAD! IMHO DavidCo implementation guides are perfect companions for the book. And one can also buy "The GTD Workbook" or "GTD for Teens" that are even more "field manuals" than the original GTD book. @Gogoriviera
 

TesTeq

Registered
Well, there are countless things that you can survive not-doing for a very long time, but should still do because you'll be better off. Exercise. Brushing your teeth. Doing your brain work when your brain is most agile and your brainless work when it isn't. Doing your dishes once a day instead of once a week. (This one inspired by Dana K. White's "dish math"--one day's dishes takes fifteen minutes, three days' dishes takes three hours.) And in the case of this forum, organizing and processing your work.

At least, that's how I'm interpreting it.
Do you think that GTD can be a habit building tool? I don't think so. It can help, for sure, but making lists isn't very motivational.
"Dish math"? My dish standard operating procedure is "do the dishes just after the meal". It works! No lists and no recurring Next Actions are needed! ;)
 

Oogiem

Registered
It seems that @Oogiem loves this quote but I don't understand the logic.
If somebody wasn't doing something and he still lives and is not in jail why does he think he should be doing it? Shouldn't he just let it go?
If there are no consequences of "letting go" then maybe. But in general people who are starting with GTD are overwhelmened, not doing what they need to do or want to do and are looking for a way out. In that sence one of hte ways out is to know what you want to do and to make sure you have given yourself space tocreate. That means a regular way to handle all the inputs you get each day, a way to manage what you can and will work on and a way to review so that you knwo you are on the path that will result in your long term success, however you define it.

In that sense, the 1-2 hours processing a day that seems to be a pretty good assesment fo how to keep up in this day and age are things you SHOULD be doing but aren't. So those tasks are not really overhead when you start doing them. It's just work you kept putting off until it was an overwhelming mess. Like @Gardener says, you can get away with not doing routines for a long time but eventually the consequences will catch up to you.
 

Gardener

Registered
Do you think that GTD can be a habit building tool? I don't think so. It can help, for sure, but making lists isn't very motivational.
"Dish math"? My dish standard operating procedure is "do the dishes just after the meal". It works! No lists and no recurring Next Actions are needed! ;)
That's the conclusion of dish math--do them daily. It's called "dish math" because skipping them results in a disproportionately larger amount of work, a fact that is not always intuitively obvious.

If that weren't your habit, then I think that a project designed to make it into a habit could be managed in GTD, yep.

(I'm slightly confused about the motivational part?)
 
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