I'm agree with the concept of avoiding putting out fires and the value routines. I am able to focus on new and more challenging projects because I'm not continuously putting out fires, which may vary but always end up being pretty much the same thing. It doesn't mean they don't happen anymore, they just have been minimized by at least 80 or 90%.
Maybe one of the best things about a solid GTD practice is the ability to respond to fires when they happen without too much impact on the rest of your life....and, of course, eliminating self-created fires due to losing things, forgetting things, and severe procrastination.
I am the Party
If those were the only parts of GTD you kept, some things could be jettisoned: Horizons of Focus and Weekly Review are probably the big ones.
I don't know how practical it would be to run that sort of system. If you get it up and running, let us know how it works out.
I've been a "GTD Lite" follower for some time now, and the parts described above are pretty much it. I never got around to implementing the weekly review or the horizons of focus, though I can definately see the benefit of adding these parts to my system.
But having not been a hard-core GTDer for some time now, I can tell you that even following just parts of the system can make a huge difference in your life. As long as it works for you and you've got a system that's easy to use, you'll see the benefits as I have.
For me, the contextual action lists have had the most significant impact in my workflow. My non-project action lists and daily calendar are all on paper, which I use daily and carry with me in a small 8.5"x5.5" binder that is divided by section. For larger projects, especially those having many moving parts to them, I often use OneNote to stay on top of things, as well as a physical filing system for all my reference materials.
I may implement other parts of the GTD system down the road.
Some of the religious followers of GTD will tell you that you have to implement the entire system's methodology as it is designed to be followed, that you gotta do it "the GTD way" or it's a no-go. I don't listen to them. Neither should anyone else.
Never feel you shouldn't do GTD because you can't follow the ENTIRE system -- so you then give up on it altogether. Start with the elements of the system your gut tells you can help improve your workflow, and do those parts. In time these components will become second nature to you.
That said, there's room for improvement in my own "GTD Lite" implementation. But still, I can't ignore the many positive effects brought on by having implemented only a partial system.
Two thumbs up for GTD Lite here!
FYI, David Allen Co have emailed me asking me not to use the term GTD Lite because GTD is a registered trademark. I've change d the title of the article accordingly.