Teaching your other half to GTD?

Mike Simms

Registered
There is a UK TV reality show where men teach their wives to drive - and all the arguments and frustration that that sometimes produces - basically ending up showing us that maybe that it's best if a professional teacher does the teaching. Showing us that when you have an intense relationship with someone then maybe you're not the best person to waltz in and 'fix their life' for them.

And so it is with GTD. My other half hears me talking / reading about GTD, going around with little notebooks, suggesting that lists get made at certain times, but she's still in a place where lists=>thoughts of work=>stress=>resistance=>LATER! Oh, and did I mention the 300+ emails a day that she gets.

I've being doing GTD since the kids came along nearly 10 years ago and I can't imagine applying to that number of inputs. How to encourage someone to make the "is this actionable" decision and never mind the "is this an action or a project" A typical e-mail creates an action but there is often not enough information to finish the action so therefore it technically is a project.

So after that here there are 2 questions here:

Have any of you successfully encouraged you life partners to GTD? How? Any 'Aha' moments along the way?

Do you have any tips for managing many microgranular inputs?

Thanks.
 

GTDUser

Registered
if you take GTD serious then this is something to clarify on the first date.

Jokes aside,
First of all, your other half is successful in life. Trying to convince her to improve, as helpful as it may be, is not the right motivation.
I'd expect it to be generally difficult to introduce someone into GTD. I'd always recommend it to anyone, but i wouldn't see it as a solution for everyone. We all started GTD because of something we wanted to achieve.

> Do you have any tips for managing many microgranular inputs?

Not sure i understand the context here. Is this referring to hundreds of emails that are for the most part small projects?
 
I can relate. Any suggestions on convincing your spouse to implement and process an inbox? Me:: “Honey where can I put this where you’ll see it and be reminded to take care of it?” Wife “oh just put it on my keyboard..” (unprocessed item ends up in stack of papers in office corner .. or on fridge .. or overstuffed desk drawer until I gently remind her about it… ). Same challenge with digital. She needs to declare email bankruptcy Happily married 21 years. She’s a successful mortgage industry professional. No idea how she does it without a system akin to GTD. She amazes me :)
 

Bohemia

Registered
I'm married to a hard-working mechanic that can fix anything but doesn't have an organized bone in his body. Like I give him a box to put receipts in that he keeps in his truck but he still loses receipts. I have no illusion that he'll ever GTD. BUT I did rope him in to a GTD routine regarding home projects, that I lead/organize and he just has to show up and participate. We're serial renovators, so I was successful in making a list of projects, breaking down next actions on each, parking some in someday/maybe, etc. We then do a weekly review, just on that subset of our mutual life, and made plans for what we'd be hitting on the weekend. It works reasonably well.

But he still won't use our shared ToDo folders, he prefers to make lists with a sharpie on a piece of cardboard. "Because I won't lose it."
 

mcogilvie

Registered
@Bohemia He's right. Cardboard does not require internet, battery and stable operating system. But unfortunately cardboard lacks a teamwork functionality... ;)
You need to meet or exceed the hardware requirements to enable full team functionality. You need a big piece of cardboard and several markers of different colors. Also scissors if you want each team member to have mobile access to their list entries.
 

DKPhoto

Registered
I’m trying the one step at a time stealth approach.
Mrs Doug is a nurse and sometimes at home she’ll remember something she meant to have done in one of the various departments (not life threatening!), so i’ve suggested it might be a good idea to have a list of things to do in each department.
The look i got was the “that seems quite sensible but I’m not going to tell you” look.
 

Murray

Registered
I’m trying the one step at a time stealth approach.
Mrs Doug is a nurse and sometimes at home she’ll remember something she meant to have done in one of the various departments (not life threatening!), so i’ve suggested it might be a good idea to have a list of things to do in each department.
The look i got was the “that seems quite sensible but I’m not going to tell you” look.
Stealth approach, love it. And your description of her 'look', ha!
 

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kelstarrising

Kelly Forrister | GTD® Coach
Start with part of the meal versus the whole buffet. Such as one of these:
  • Agenda lists for each other
  • Home inboxes for each person in the family
  • Asking "What's the next action and who wants to own it?"
  • Doing a walking Mind Sweep around the house to see what has your attention
  • Creating a Someday/Maybe lists for stuff you want to do, buy, fix, visit, etc.
  • etc.
 

moseylissa

Registered
No one changes until the pain of staying the same gets too high. It's a psychological principle I've seen demonstrated over and over and over again.

So, therefore, I operate on the hope that people will be attracted to how make things happen rather than attempting to compel them to do what works for me.
 

rbngp

Registered
No one changes until the pain of staying the same gets too high. It's a psychological principle I've seen demonstrated over and over and over again.

So, therefore, I operate on the hope that people will be attracted to how make things happen rather than attempting to compel them to do what works for me.
Fully agree. Problem is when the pain gets high for you, as you have to manage your pains and hers... Honey, where did I put...?, Will you look this for me...?

I think I've come to a point where I just try to handle it as another important part of my system (up to a limit).

Yes, I've found it challenging to get my spouse to do GTD. ;)

But seriously, over the years I've heard that it's effective to model relaxed productivity, so that others will ask, "What's your secret? How do you do it?"
Pinpointing the curiosity factor, I guess...

(...) The look i got was the “that seems quite sensible but I’m not going to tell you” look.

Never confess any weakness-point
 
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