How to maintain energy level with GTD
I'm a CEO of a company of 200+. I've read David's book and wanted to structure my days to make them more productive. I want to have more energy by the end of the day. Or at least to be not that tired :) Maybe I need a stop point not to make the day 24 hours work.
I would love any advice on:
1. How long should be the working day (4-Hour-Work Week) to maintain the energy?
2. How many meetings is the best to have to maintain the energy?
3. How many meetings David Allen execs have? Can you share a calendar view?
4. Should I block time for processing and unexpected meetings in the day?
Measures within a systematic approach
Welcome to the discussion forum. Disclaimer: I'm not a GTD coach, just the IT guy, with a couple minutes to spare on the weekend...
I see from your post that you've read the book, but I'm not sure if you've started your implementation yet -- GTD is a systematic approach to Getting Things Done.
Looks like you have some immediate goals, that you can enter on your 30K foot Goals Sheet -- structure days more productively; have more energy by end of day.
I wish it were that simple - going into GTD with certain established formula answers to questions regarding how long the work day should be, quantity and length of meetings, etc.
Effective GTD practice requires a personal awareness of: context - where am I? (@work, @home, @phone, etc); energy (am I tired or not?); and time (how much time do I have to work on something?
Given the personal awareness of that triad, now comes the question, "What's the next Action?". The key, for me, is that if I don't have an effective system that is external to my mind, then (by observation) I've found a source of why I'm ineffective or exhausted. I'm ineffective or exhausted because I don't have an answer to that simple question, and my mind will take great joy in "thinking up a bunch of possible answers" and I won't be actually doing anything.
To answer your questions:
1. Measure how many hours are currently in your work day; implement GTD; and then create a goal that has that number minus a percentage that makes sense to you. The more you get things under control, the fewer your work hours may require. But... you may also have to adjust some of your vision or goals, because you maybe taking on too much in the first place and need to adjust.
2. DA would say that having a meeting for the sake of a meeting is a waste of time. I think the answer, for you, is relative to how many projects you can delegate to others so they have meetings you don't need to attend. I don't think the quantity is the measure, it's how much energy you are expending within the meeting -- if everything is "on your mind", which is the antithesis of GTD, then you'll be tired in the meeting, regardless of content.
3. As any company, we have our share of meetings -- both in quantity and focus. The difference is that, based on the collective agenda needs of the participants, the meeting is over either within 15 minutes or up to the allotted time (typically around 90 minutes). What we don't do is creatively make up a bunch of stuff to justify the meeting duration, regardless of agenda content. As a GTD practitioner, I live for "weird time", which is when I go back to my GTD binder and look at next actions (by context) that I can now attend to -- knowing I have 45 minutes of "unscheduled" time to work with -- oh joy!
4. Block time for processing -- definitely. Block time for unexpected meetings? - I don't think that would be possible. You'll find when GTD is fully implemented you'll address the ad hoc interruptions with aplomb. You'll know instantaneously how to address the interruption.
Looking forward to reading more posts from you.
Start with the Mindsweep.
Originally Posted by Opti
TEP is THE handbook for managing energy.
Absolutely second Victoria's recommendation. I am an avid GTD'er but also have gone through The Energy Project and have found a way to incorporate my TEP rituals with GTD. In a previous role, we implemented TEP as a group of 50 and it was simply phenomenal the changes that happened in the group - our energy, focus and productivity went up ... with fewer hours in the office!
Originally Posted by vbampton
And it would be great to hear more about Tony Schwartz and David Allen collaborations. I think I heard an In Conversation (or something similar) once but do share if there's more content on this.