Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Organising my personal life

I just read a really great article by Augusto Pinaud on GTD Times, entitled "When you feel like you are losing control & lacking perspective."

It resonated with me particularly as I have really struggled with implementing my GTD system at home. At work I have found implementation has fitted well into my professional life and made an enormous difference to the way I organise myself and keep track of my commitments. However, I have found rather a barrier in my home implementation. I have tried to bring my ideas home and in some areas it has worked (for example, I no longer have an large pile of paperwork cascading across the dining table), but the sense of ease that I have with my professional work (most of the time) has been hard to come by at home.

The fact that Augusto also found it difficult to bring GTD into his personal life has allowed me to be less hard on myself and given me a spur to work at it more. Let the journey continue!

Friday, 16 April 2010

The joy of being able to ignore your lists

I spent a very enjoyable Easter break ignoring my lists and enjoying the freedom that this gives. This may sound strange to those who are less familiar with GTD, but the lists are not a “task-master”. They are a way to make sure that you know what is on your plate and therefore what you are choosing to ignore at a given time. It is liberating to know that everything is there when you are ready to look at it, allowing your mind to concentrate entirely on enjoying a break, rather than having a niggling feeling that there is something that you’ve forgotten.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Learning to trust your system

There’s a really interesting yo-yo effect as you try to master GTD skills. As a new GTDer, when I first implemented the tools there was a feeling of real elation knowing what I had to do was catalogued and ready to tackle. No more worrying that something incredibly important has slipped through the cracks, or worse, is waiting to blow up when it is most inconvenient. To quote David Allen “organise your work when it shows up, rather than when it blows up”. But it really takes time to learn to trust your system. I find it really hard not to hold onto things in my head, even though I know that I have written them down in a place that I check everyday. I think it may be my brain that is resisting delegating the task of remembering to the system (despite the fact that the system does a much better job!) It is often said that people don’t like delegating tasks as they are worried that it won’t be done well enough, or it will be done better… in this case it may well be the latter.

Trusting the system is something I am working almost as hard on as working the tools.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Outcome thinking

I recently attended a GTD Mastering Workflow Seminar in London, run by Next Action Associates. There was a lot of really interesting and useful stuff discussed, but one thing that has particularly resonated with me is outcome thinking for projects. Previously, my project list was just a list of things that were on my plate and had next actions associated with them. I have slowly been revisiting these and adding a sentence to describe “what done looks like”. This has been surprisingly motivating and helpful, and in some areas, has inspired me to get on with a next action that was feeling a bit stuck.

Visualising the outcome that you are looking for seems to give a real incentive to get to that point and see it done in reality.