IQTELL’s Productivity Blog
The Getting Things Done Diet
* GTD® is a registered trademark of the David Allen Company. IQTELL is not affiliated with the David Allen Company.
Getting things done is just like a balanced, nutritional, and sustainable diet. It helps you feel good and ensures you’re fit to take on both mental and physical challenges with an increased tenacity.
A successful diet is a successful habit, same goes when it comes to productivity, it’s a habit.
When you start a diet, the first things you do is
- Get interested and educate yourself about the topic
- Plan your activities: food shopping, exercising, cooking, etc.
- Introduce those activities into your life in a consistent way to create routines
- Measure results and investigate ways to constantly improve
In the same way, being more productive follows the same game plan:
- Education about productivity methods and tools
- Selecting a productivity method and developing a simple game plan that you can follow
- Using your new method and tool in a consistent way to form a habit
- Constant monitoring and cycles of improvements in your day to day
Your instincts may lead you to think that you can just hop onto the getting things done wagon. However, as with most impulsive decisions, you’ll probably quit a few days or, at best, 1-2 weeks later. Remember, change is not easy, so you need to plan accordingly. Just imagine if getting fit and dieting were easy.
That’s why getting things done needs to be introduced into your life like a successful diet. You need to change the way you think and have an execution and monitoring plan!
Let’s get started.
1# The Getting Things Done Know How
You have already taken the first step. You are starting to educate yourself about productivity. The web is full of resources that can help you plan your next move.
When it comes to education, little is better than none. Don’t tell yourself that you don’t have the time. Part of learning to get things done is to know how to manage your time. That’s why you need to introduce little “learning outbursts” into your schedule…30 minutes per day, adds up to 10,950 minutes per year, 912.5 minutes per month and 3.5 hours per week!!!
After you’ve acquired the knowhow, it’s time to…
2# Create a Plan You Can Follow
The quickest way to failure is to start all guns blazing.
When you outline your first steps, make sure you have many buffers. This will give you much needed room to breathe and ensure that when you fumble (and you probably will), you won’t give up.
Don’t try to introduce everything you learn at once. Plans come with phases for a reason. Phases ensure you don’t progress unless you finished what you were previously working on. This will allow you to progress with clear purpose and a mind unhindered by incomplete actions.
After you drafted a plan, it’s time to acquire some habits…
3# How to Create Habits out of Your Plans
Repeating actions in a constructive way until a habit is formed is nice theory but tad bit problematic when push comes to shove, why? Because it requires an addiction of sorts to a pattern that repeats itself, and patterns that repeat themselves bore us….
That’s why the prizes you get from those recurring actions must motivate you to reproduce said actions again and again. When you’re on a diet, motivation comes when you see the improvement you’ve made in front of the mirror or by experiencing new energies and a feeling that nothing can stop you.
The same applies when it comes to productivity. The results you’ll get from getting things done must serve a purpose that will constantly energize you and strengthen your resolve. This may be a better home life, promotion at work, recognition from friends or the community. We all have something that makes us tick.
Forget the “repeat it for 60 days and you’ll be able to create a habit out of it” saying. You need to combine that with a reward system.
#4 While You’re At It, Make Sure You Don’t Rest On Your Laurels!
If you are seeing success, start planning for new success. It’s time to gain some insights into how to improve.
Increasing productivity, by its very nature, is an evolutionary process. Constantly evaluating your method and toolset will ensure that you are honing your productivity skills. The only way to improve is by regularly reviewing your handy work and setting targets to achieve in the foreseeable and far future. I always expect impossible things from myself. This approach, even when it doesn’t hit the mark, allows me to constantly improve the way I handle projects, work and my life in general.
Pushing more limits = crossing more borders. It’s a simple equation.
So remember, just like a successful diet, being more productive requires education, planning, execution, and improvement.
Until next time.