Newbie: your BEST tip please

LouiseGTD

Registered
I’ve just started.
Please give me your BEST tip for helping me get started and not getting too overwhelmed.

Got the book and making my way through, implementing some bits as I go. Making lists of things and emptying my head of someday/maybe things.

Feeling swamped (but also relieved) at the amount of things I’ve emptied from my brain but seems an uphill battle to get through.

My MAIN challenge in embedding it is that I run my own business and sub-contract to clients remotely (from around the country), where I have to log in to THEIR systems to use their calendar for appointments.

This leaves me with my OWN calendar for my own ‘stuff’ and a CLIENT calendar so I have to duplicate stuff which sucks.

I’m figuring I ’could’ use the client system (Outlook), and make all my own stuff “Private” but when that contract ends, I lose my stuff.

At present I’m not sure what system will suit me best or have the least double ups, so I’m hybrid - using a ‘master’ paper diary for appts and time/date specific but also entering tasks/subtasks in Toodledo as that’s what I’ve used before (but just not efficiently with contexts or subtasks).

I feel like I’ve got a LOT of stuff going on and a LOT of stuff to do.
Is this a ‘normal’ way to start - does it feel easier when you get going?

Your BEST tip for getting started and building a system would be appreciated, especially if you have
Thanks
 

David Parker

GTD Connect
You've made the BEST start by getting the book - assuming it's the revised edition, go to Chapter 15 p 286 The Path to Mastery. It will give you good advice about how to get started and keep going.

My BEST tip is to implement Weekly Reviews.

It's easy to be put off doing this when you feel overwhelmed by what you've collected but it's the BEST way to see that you're making progress. Don't be afraid of asking the question in your Weekly Review - is my system working for me and changing it until it does.

On the question of your calendar - it seems a necessary overhead to have your OWN calendar and adding your CLIENT calendar but consider merging them into one so that you can see your TOTAL commitment (to make sure you don't forget something important!)

It is very easy to feel overwhelmed at the start, but if you've never had a COMPLETE INVENTORY of your stuff before that's not suprising. As soon as you can, start moving stuff that you can't tackle in the next 12 months into a Someday/Maybe list.
 

Oogiem

Registered
Your BEST tip for getting started and building a system would be appreciated,
Now that you have lots of stuff captured my best tip is Someday/Maybe. Use it liberally to weed out what you can't work on now or don't have the bandwidth to do.

And do a weekly review at least weekly,

Sorry 2 tips :)
 

mcogilvie

Registered
While the Weekly Review and Someday/Maybe are hugely helpful, I think the most important thing early on is to get the Five Stages of Workflow internalized as quickly as you can. Get part of your life moving along the workflow diagram, and you will feel tons better.

My advice on calendars is to use your calendar as your one source of truth on appointments, and treat other calendars as admins that are no fun to work with but you have to.
 

TesTeq

Registered
Now that you have lots of stuff captured my best tip is Someday/Maybe. Use it liberally to weed out what you can't work on now or don't have the bandwidth to do.

And do a weekly review at least weekly,

Sorry 2 tips :)
Yes, move as many Projects as you can to Someday/Maybe.
And then move even more Projects to Someday/Maybe.
Clear your Runway to make a good take off!
 

TesTeq

Registered
My MAIN challenge in embedding it is that I run my own business and sub-contract to clients remotely (from around the country), where I have to log in to THEIR systems to use their calendar for appointments.

This leaves me with my OWN calendar for my own ‘stuff’ and a CLIENT calendar so I have to duplicate stuff which sucks.

I’m figuring I ’could’ use the client system (Outlook), and make all my own stuff “Private” but when that contract ends, I lose my stuff.
Can you configure your CLIENT's Outlook to send an email to your business inbox every time you are appointed or make an appointment. Maybe it would solve the problem or at least you would have CLIENT's appointments duplicated in your inbox for processing.
I would never store my private data on any CLIENT's servers.
 

LouiseGTD

Registered
You've made the BEST start by getting the book - assuming it's the revised edition, go to Chapter 15 p 286 The Path to Mastery. It will give you good advice about how to get started and keep going.
Yes, I got the new version and I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts to get me inspired. Thanks for your tips, I can definitely see the review will be helpful.
 

LouiseGTD

Registered
Now that you have lots of stuff captured my best tip is Someday/Maybe. Use it liberally to weed out what you can't work on now or don't have the bandwidth to do.
Thanks, that’s a good tip. I think I’ve got a load of those I can park for now. They are some of the fun things I’d like to get to but the urgent stuff keeps bumping it out. Sad really, I actually DO want to reupholster my chairs.....someday..... but maybe I have to outsource it.
 

LouiseGTD

Registered
Can you configure your CLIENT's Outlook to send an email to your business inbox every time you are appointed or make an appointment. Maybe it would solve the problem or at least you would have CLIENT's appointments duplicated in your inbox for processing.
I would never store my private data on any CLIENT's servers.
Thanks TesTeq, yes the forced client Outlook is a read jam for me. I HAVE to log in and see what candidates have been booked in for me to meet with etc, and whatever I choose to do, I will have to duplicate these bookings somewhere. My choice is to duplicate outside (yes, definitely safer) or inside (not wise). The tip for forwarding an appt is good, if I use my own personal Outlook it should be seemless-ish. Thanks again,
 

LouiseGTD

Registered
Thanks mcogilvie, that diagram is REALLY helpful actually. It’s been good to help me to get organised and actually give something an action. My other problem (which I’m trying hard to overcome) is categorising some things then charging off and doing them now that I know what to do rather than completing the sorting process. hahaha. I’ll get there and I just need to do sit tight and sort my stuff.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
Please give me your BEST tip for helping me get started and not getting too overwhelmed.
For most people, the sense of overwhelm is there before they start with GTD. After they get stuff out of their head they may lament the long lists. But the stuff was their before it was on a list, just not objectified and organized. My advice is to be patient with yourself, because you may go through "good grief!" before you get to "what a relief!"
 

thomasbk

Registered
When you feel the most overwhelmed, that's when you need a weekly review the most. Your instinct may be to tackle specific work, but your mind is thinking about what isn't getting done and worrying about it. Completing a review allows your mind to rest in the knowledge that you've made a deliberate choice to work on something and are fine with that decision as opposed to jumping on whatever is screaming the loudest for your attention.
 

PeterByrom

Registered
I don’t know whether you’re allowed to do this from a security point of view, but can you look into having your clients calendar feed out as an overlay into your personal calendar? My work is based in office 365, and I’ve been able to sync that calendar to my ICal by using the “subscribe” function. That way, I can choose on ICal whether to turn on/off the view that includes my work appointments, and thus have the option of seeing everything in a single view.

So that could be a project or a someday maybe: “Investigate syncing client calendars to master calendar”?

everybody here is right though about the weekly review. It’s when you get to spend 1-2 hours a week being a Field Marshall instead of a Private!

and if ever you feel overwhelm by looking at the number of projects and actions on your lists, consider the alternative of trying to keep all that in your head (!!!!) That’s where most people on the planet are putting those details. Everybody is keeping lists of their commitments, whether they like it or not. The real question is: where are you keeping them, and is it the best place? By having all your actionable and non actionable items out of your head, you get the freedom to write them down once, and then let go until you need to be reminded or review them. The alternative of keeping them in your head means that your brain is constantly writing and re-writing and re-writing them as it spins in short term memory.

So you’re on the right track!
 

ivanjay205

Registered
I find the best tip is to be mindful of your discipline. Do not allow your email and 3rd party inputs to start controlling your time again. If you stick to the minute (ish) rule it keeps you highly focused and highly responsive. People ask me to do things all the time and they have gotten used to the answer of “sure thing, it is on my list based on my schedule.” Now getting on my “list” is the goal vs getting me to do things. I also have gotten used to saying it is on my list but just an fyi this is a low priority for me so it may take awhile for me to get back to you (hint hint you are going on my someday list lol)
 

TamaraM

Registered
Welcome! I'm fairly new to GTD Connect, but have done GTD for a long time. My best tip is that it will be imperfect. Do it anyway. Your weekly reviews will feel incomplete. You'll feel like your system isn't quite right. You're going to fall off the wagon. Pick yourself up and do it again. It's in the DOING that the improvements come.
 

Jared Caron

GTD enthusiast and amateur coach
Thanks TesTeq, yes the forced client Outlook is a read jam for me. I HAVE to log in and see what candidates have been booked in for me to meet with etc, and whatever I choose to do, I will have to duplicate these bookings somewhere. My choice is to duplicate outside (yes, definitely safer) or inside (not wise). The tip for forwarding an appt is good, if I use my own personal Outlook it should be seemless-ish. Thanks again,
I would definitely recommend tinkering with your calendar system until it works. The calendar is a critical part of GTD and, personally, working off of mutliple calendars would make my head explode. Whether that means forwarding or setting up a syncing system, you need a single trusted place for your day/time-specific commitments.
 

LouiseGTD

Registered
Thanks John, I’ve captured such a ridiculously long list things I’m not really relieved just yet as the list is huge, but I am amazed at how much energy I was expending holding (or trying to hold) that much stuff in my head. I’m steadily sorting through it but have just had to park a load of it as I’ve got two weeks of really pressing meetings and subsequent preparation coming up so I can only really schedule and prepare for that right now and I’ll come back to this list again, or likely add more to it after the next week or so.
 
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