Starting GTD if you can't stop working
Any thoughts on how to get up and running with GTD if at present your schedule doesn't permit any time for the initial stages of Collection and Processing? My company is in the midst of its busiest period of the year and will be for the next 1-2 months. I understand completely the value of pausing to collect, process and set up your buckets...but I won't be able to do that for 4-8 weeks without dire consequences to my business. Yet I must jump in and get started with GTD in some manner because I'm drowning in slips of paper with frantic To-Do lists jotted on both sides and I'm overwhelmed without any clear sense of what to do next. Is it possible to implement GTD in mid-air, so to speak? Your thoughts and practical tips would be very much appreciated.
Possible, but not reliable (at the beginning, at least)
It is possible - after all, collecting and processing "stuff" during the GTD bootstrapping phase is not that different, in principle, from what you do on a regular base, once you've established GTD in your life.
Originally Posted by Janezo
The key difference however is: since you're not dumping everything into a big box at the start, the resulting system (project list, context lists, other lists, reference material, ...) will be incomplete and therefore not reliable. You'll worry about what is already "in" and what may still be "somewhere".
If your projects are both short-lived an numerous, the system will become reliable quickly. Ask yourself whether it's acceptable to you to use GTD and your old system in parallel, for a while and to handle all new stuff in your GTD system only.
Personally, I'd rather suggest that you set aside a few hours and do the initial collecting & processing as it is meant to be. If you're working 24x7, that might be hard, of course. Under pressure of time, make sure you've got all office supplies in place before you start - don't end up with ordered piles of materials with no means to stow them away. If you lack the time to buy them yourself, delegate shopping or order them online.