New here :) GTD buddies to get better together

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Serenas, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Serenas

    Serenas Registered

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    Hello everyone!

    I've been happy to discover GTD just this year and I've been immersing myself in videos, podcasts, forums and trying to get better at it.
    This forum is amazing and I've found very valuable informations to build my system and it's great to hear about questions and supportive solutions.

    I've been practicing GTD for 9 months now and I'm extremely focused on getting great results.
    I know David talks about at least 2 years to really implement every new habits and I'm thinking that a group of positive friends can be quite motivating and could help us improve faster...
    So, GTD friends, if you would like to chat, exchange advices and give us encouragement we could create a space for that something like a Google hangout or meet via Skype or such maybe once a week.
    And if that already exists please point me in the right directions and give me the details to reach you! :)

    Thanks to all
    ciao
    Serenas
     
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  2. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    I would love to chat with you about GTD! Let's see how we can connect. Cheers!
     
  3. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Good job! 9 months = 39 Weekly Reviews, am I right?
     
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  4. SBH

    SBH Registered

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    I’m new to GTD or at least newly trying to start it up again. I am in the process of setting up a system in my home and office. I have the general reference files set up and corralled then processed at home office. I also did the same at work but what I am finding is I am getting confused when for example I come across a folder I have put together material on for a project that is underway, I ask is it actionable, Yes, takes more than 2 minutes yes, I then get spun up on that ok this is part of an ongoing project, I probably have several actions tied to this, can’t do them now, then what do I do with this folder and do I just put it on a next action list or project (follow up with xyz as a task)? I have created an in box and then 2 boxes one for paper material I want to come back to later and for the above example I am throwing it into a box with a lable on the folder so I quickly know wher it is, I feel like I am missing something or confused about how to handle projects that have actions and how to manage multiple projects, reference material and the difference when processing about what is truly an action or something that is part of a project that has actions within it........sorry if this sounds all over the place.......any thoughts or ideas that could help???
     
  5. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    (Editing to make it clear who I'm responding to.)

    Well, I wouldn't say that the folder itself is actionable, unless the action is "file this".

    The project is actionable. The folder is, I think, project support material for the project.

    If the project already exists in your lists, and already has at least one next action, then I think that there's nothing to do with the folder except, again, perhaps file it.

    If the project doesn't exist in your lists, then I would add it to your lists, add at least one next action, and again file the folder.

    For the paper material you want to come back to later, I see that as a project "Create reference filing system" or, if the system exists, "Catch up with my filing."

    I'll get specific, to have something to point to in case this is a "No, that's not what I mean at all" situation.

    Let's imagine that you're planning your sister's birthday party. For the past week you've had a vague intention of making that a project, and during that week you've thrown, into your In box, some cards for caterers and bakeries, and a PostIt with the title of a book about entertaining, and a recipe that you tore out of a magazine.

    Now it's time for your weekly review. When you pick up the card for Jodie's Bakery, you say, "Oh, right, party." You create a project "Party for Annabel". You enter a Next Action of "brainstorm about party." You create and label a file folder. (You wouldn't necessarily do this for every project, but since you remember throwing more than one thing in the In Box for this project, you do it for this one.) As you're going through your in box, each item relevant to the party goes into the folder. When your review is done, you put that folder and any others that you've created either into your filing system, or in, maybe, a "Current project support material" tray.

    Now that "brainstorm" next action is what will trigger work on the project. The material in the folder may or may not be relevant to that action, but you think that it might be relevant to later actions, and that's why you created the folder.
     
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  6. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I woudn't say it better!
     
  7. Serenas

    Serenas Registered

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    Hi and thanks for the answers :)

    Thanks TesTeq for the question: I really appreciate it, since you made me reflect on my habits quite a lot and on the weekly review in particular.

    I can see that over the last year I've been listening to hours of David Allen podcast and interviews, I've red the book and articles, the forum here and yet I could not implement a regularly the weekly review.
    I hope you are not thinking less of me: I know it's the key to the system and I'm even put that in the calendar on friday to make that a habit but in 9 months I think I have completed maybe 9 weekly reviews, which means once a month and that's a shame!

    The reason why I don't stick with it is this: I start the review and I collect recent imputs, I do a brain dump and those steps feel great. But then I need to start processing and I still have such long back log that the rest of the time I just spend processing the inbox or backlog and than never feel like I'm making real progress or completing the review of lists of projects and actions.
    Maybe there's something I'm missing here or I just need to keep on doing it even if it's half baked, because over time I will figure it out?
    What do you think? Any suggestions, my friends?
     
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  8. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    No, it's not a shame. You're doing much better than the average! Congratulations on completing 9 Monthly Reviews!
    I think collecting too much at the beginning of the Weekly Review is the sign of not collecting enough during a week. Weekly Review is not the time to deal with the backlog. It's the time to decide what to do about it.
     
  9. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    If you are not processing inputs daily then IMO weekly review will be overwhelming. Even in my world, where projects can take years, and most things can be planned out far in advance and many will repeat on a regular schedule I still have to process new inputs for about an hour to hour and a half a day.

    Another trick, process the day before your review and limit the time you spend processing new stuff during review, or switch up the order of things.

    Or another one, follow along with the guided weekly reviews available on connect. The time limits help you get going and something is better than nothing.
     
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  10. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    @Serenas, based on what I've read here and elsewhere, and also my own personal experience, the weekly review is the hardest GTD habit to establish and stick with. Yesterday I did my first weekly review in about two months, and I've been practicing GTD regularly since 2014. So don't beat yourself up.

    If you're not collecting and processing inputs at least daily (emails, voicemails, paper materials, meeting notes, etc.) then I'd say @TesTeq and @Oogiem are offering sound advice.

    I think it's worth asking if that's the issue. If you are doing the collect and process phases daily, then clearly something else is the problem. The more you can tell us, the better able we'll be to help you.

    As for the "brain dump" (or "mindsweep" as it's called in the book), I can tell you from experience that if you're only doing a full review of your system every few weeks, the mindsweep and resulting processing can take at least an hour. That's because you're letting uncaptured issues pile up in your psyche. If you do the review weekly, the mindsweep/brain dump will take a lot less time simply because there will be a lot less to capture.

    A little tip I've picked up from these forums: you should the mindsweep at least weekly but there's no reason not to do it more often if it will help you. I've found that when things in my life get unusually hectic it helps to pull out a blank sheet of paper and jot down what's rattling my cage until my brain feels quieter.

    Again, don't feel bad for what you haven't accomplished. @TesTeq has it exactly right: celebrate what you have accomplished, and use that as a stepping stone to go further.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  11. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Can you clarify what you mean by the backlog?

    I would definitely suggest that you prioritize a weekly review of your current projects--what you actually worked on this week and are likely to work on next week. If you don't have time for Someday/Maybe or backlog, so be it.

    If your current projects are huge lists, dump the vast majority of them into Someday/Maybe/backlog.

    Instead of demanding that you deal with the backlog as part of your weekly review, you coudl instead make it a project and give it X hours per week, separate from the weekly review.

    But I'm still curious as to what exactly you mean by backlog.
     
  12. Mike Simms

    Mike Simms Registered

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    As some motivation to doing a good weekly review I'd highly recommend the podcast linked below. It contains some very useful breakdowns of some of the weekly review steps: for example it's easy to say "Look back over the last 2 weeks" but the speaker asks you to check for anything "that was scheduled but just didn't happen" - this was an Aha! for me: so that is the kind of thing you are trying to catch when you are looking back.

    I've used it to make my own slightly more granular weekly review outline/procedure/checklist and have that on paper beside me whenever (ahem) I do honestly get down to a weekly review: e.g. before I start: 1. Bring paper bin to desk (because there is always some paper to throw out) 2. Bring wallet to desk (there is often something to order/pay for). Any tricks to reduce the resistance are game!

    https://gettingthingsdone.com/2015/07/podcast-07-guided-gtd-weekly-review/
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  13. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hello Serenas and all; I have been practicing GTD since 2013 but am always learning! You said "I start the review and I collect recent inputs, I do a brain dump and those steps feel great". I do not enjoy the reviews because I have to confront my shortcomings, failures, ect as the 'grow points' are part of it. While this is not fun, going into collect mode is fun. You said your self that afterwards you "feel great". My advice to you is to set aside the time on your calendar to do your review. Once you start it, finish it.

    Also, thanks for starting this thread. A a 'lurker' in this forum for years, I finally started posting today :)
     
  14. Jncraig1313

    Jncraig1313 Registered

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    Hello All, I am brand new to GTD and could really use some buddies through the initial learning curve. I am in the gathering and construction of the system stage. My "inbox" size is more than a little scary.
     
  15. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Jncraig; welcome to the dark side! Process you inbox top to bottom and it won't be scary...it will be empty :)
     
  16. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Welcome! Come on in the water's fine. :)

    The first time you really do a mind sweep when you are getting going the size of the inbox and all you previously unprocessed stuff can be overwhelming.

    My suggestion is to as quickly as possible figure out a good someday/maybe system. While it' snot best practice, triaging the inbox by doing a quick sort of for sure someday/maybe and needs processing can sometimes be helpful to get the stack down to a manageable size. Also, plan on spending at least an hour a day doing nothing but processing current stuff. Hour and a half might be more realistic if you get lots of new things coming at you all the time. I know that seems excessive but it really is important and one of the keys, along with a weekly review, to getting the zen of GTD working for you.
     
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  17. Jncraig1313

    Jncraig1313 Registered

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    Thank you all for the encouragement. I am looking forward to the day the piles are smaller and the inbox (both e-mail and physical) are empty at the end of the day. The someday maybe list seems excessively long. Is this just me or is this normal at the beginning. I think I need to renegotiate some things that I hope to do someday maybe!
     
  18. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    "I'll tell you of my dreaming; dreaming is free" - Blondie
    Your someday maybe list can be as long as your imagination permits. You are not committed to it so dream big :)
     
  19. Jncraig1313

    Jncraig1313 Registered

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    Good to know. I have lots and lots of imagination and dreams. Still have to dig my way out of the inbox...
     
  20. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    "Too long, no Someday/Maybe list is." - Yoda
     

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