How to build a trusted GTD® system? That’s easy!
Collect, Process, Organize, Do, Review…swallow and repeat
There! Now you know everything there’s to know about GTD and you don’t need to read the rest of the post.
…Well expect the how to make it work part.
Perfecting my GTD system (my method + tool) was a long battle wrought with ups and downs. There were times in which I gave up and took long GTD-free vacations. I blamed it on unrealistic expectations, procrastination and disorganization. Of course, I also remember the adrenaline-filled moments of being in control and in charge of my destiny (well, maybe destiny is a strong word, but it’s the last day of the year…cut me some slack).
Taking a magnifying glass and a bit of investigating, I was able to discern what kept me on the productivity wagon and what led me, at times, to take those long non-productive GTD-free holidays. Let me share with you my three nuggets of wisdom. Savor them as you’ll have to wait until next year for additional moments of Zen from yours truly.
1# Be Sensitive… of the Time
Working in a time sensitive environment means that your system needs to include criteria that will help you focus. It has to be part of your workflow. Failing to create a dedicated process that handles time sensitive items will result in dropped balls. Ultimately, your GTD wagon will lose a wheel, and you will walk aimlessly through the desert (with or without a horse with no name).
Prioritizing is a key hurdle that must be overcome to achieve GTD Zen. Our lists fill up quickly; so be sure to be sensitive of the time:
- Make sure your system syncs to your calendars (work, personal, community, etc.)
- Assess and label the estimated time needed for each action.
- Use reminders to help elevate visibility of tasks at the right time.
2# Innovation is the Spice Life
Another factor that is sometimes underestimated is the shiny-toy factor. I used to train quite intensively. Each time I upgraded my gear whether it was new running shows or the latest Dry-Fit shirt, it always boosted my drive.
“Making your GTD application” your own will keep you motivated. As part of your weekly review, you may tweak your system implementation; whether it’s tweaking the app or trying new features to help you improve. Trying something new keeps your system alive! Remember, GTD is fluid; I’ve spoken to countless GTR’ers and have never met two people that practice it the same exact way. The folks that continuously adapt are the ones you can’t push off the wagon.
Innovation serves as glue to our habits because it creates new patterns. Our brain always looks for new patterns to satisfy its action and reward mechanism. If you keep your brain stimulated by innovating, your brain won’t get tired or bored of your system.
3# Systems Sync is better than Sinking Systems
Working on several apps that did not “talk” to each other was a nightmare. How are you expected to work effectively when you need to jump between services, constantly managing apps rather than your work, least of all worry where everything is and if it’s updated. When I want to get things done, I want to go to one place, regardless if its emails, work calendar, personal tasks or community projects. I have one life, not several disconnected lives.
If you fall off the GTD wagon, consider as a corrective action not only how you can improve your understanding of the method but also re-evaluate your tool(s). IQTELL will give you a refreshing approach of syncing everything in one place and flexibility to stimulate your innovation through customizing workflows on its interface.