What was your top challenge, tip, or insight?
Hi Folks. I'm a huge fan of David Allen's ideas, and I love to hear seasoned practitioner's implementation tips around adopting GTD. I wanted to ask you (the smartest bunch of users - yes, flattery!) which you've found most helpful - the ones that weren't obvious from reading the book. We've seen a number of them here, including sub-projects, too many NAs, procrastination, etc. How about it? What was your favorite "aha," insight, or question that most dogged you before you made the system click? Or did you pretty much get it all from the book?
Collection Trick with papers - Free Your Arm
I find this a real useful trick with managing papers when I have a lot of them. When it gets to the point when my papers look like a mail truck exploded in my office I like to make piles of similarly related things. This is particularly useful when doing emergency scanning and you want to separate the priority items from the non-priority items.
What I do is pick up a huge stack and hold them under one forearm and pick from the top and place in designated areas that hold similar items. I wind up walking around and placing stuff here and there like a mailman. The key to all this is that your goal is to get your arm to empty. There is a natural inclination to free up your arm as the weight of pepers get lighter and ligher. In this trick putting them down is stopping the game. Getting to empty is the goal and I do this a lot quicker than if I sit down in front of a stack.
The stacks get consildated and now the piles can get addressed without the concern that you will not be addressing an open loop that could reach the point of no return.
Breaking down @Computer & using Index Cards
Since a lot of my next actions are at the computer, I find it much more efficient to break @computer down into smaller contexts. It allows me to stay in the flow of a tool I've already opened and am signed into. Ones that are good for me are:
@Computer Outlook/Cisco (tool to request conference bridges - often scheduling a meeting and requesting a bridge go hand-in-hand)
@Computer Clarity/SPMS (Project management and timesheet software)
Now that I have shifted to an Index card system for NAs - one index card for each NA list, this also breaks the lists down into a human accessible size. I used to create my NA lists in EXCEL or Word, print them, then use and update manually until I wanted a clean list. I liked the idea of having one piece of paper and not a notebookful. So far index cards satisfy the desire to have one small thing to carry, don't require me to do admin tasks to keep the list updated online, and support the separation of home and work tasks better. I know many folks are implementing the cards by having one action per card. That would be too many cards for me so this is working so far.
more than one is welcome!
Thanks so far everyone. Regarding "just one" - Of course I'd love to hear *all* of them - I thought just asking for one would be more inviting...