Why do some resent GTD?
How do you deal with people who resent your productivity and organization? I've made no secret of the system I use and have shown it to several people and encouraged them to use it. I show both an electronic and a paper system, depending on whether or not they're a "paper" or a "digital" person. A manager even shadowed me for three days. I never expected to be told that my system needed to change because "not everyone likes lists or has time to write everything down." I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one. Any suggestions? I'm not about to dump my system.
You cannot force anybody to use GTD.
I think you cannot force anybody to use GTD and I am afraid that you are trying too hard to "encourage" your coworkers. Just show them your extraordinary results.
Originally Posted by m2foster
It wont be the system per se - be mindful of how youre saying things, GTD does breed a form of evangelism. If you're saying "check out this great way of doing things" its easy to forget that an implication can be drawn, i.e. that the other person is doing something wrong or is somehow deficient. Someone with high self-esteem wouldnt think this way, but someone with lower self-esteem might feel threatened.
Also, the advantages of GTD arent self-evident. Its only as you work the system you see the huge advantages & understand the subtleties. Your boss or coworkers may be thinking "other people round here do good work without spending two hours a week writing up lists of things to do". Dont forget that you can still do a good job without GTD - GTD is just a way of maximising productivity, minimising stress and being strategic about it.
Best thing, if people dont go for it, then just let your results do the talking and when they want to know how, let them have it.
What do they really resent?
Yes, just chiming in on the general consensus here... Wondering whether they really resent your organization, or whether they resent your "advice." Most people will only hear any message when they're ready to hear it. So the best thing anyone can do is to model being really organized, and pretty soon the people will be coming to you and ASKING what you're doing that is obviously getting you such great results! In short, you let them come to you - like "The GTD Whisperer"!!
I agree with the other responses, plus, some people distrust organization. They think that it's incompatible with creativity and inspiration and sometimes even incompatible with empathy and being a good person.
One book that has some interesting discussion of this is _It's Hard To Make A Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys_. It's written for people that distrust organization, and it's more about organizing your stuff than your time, but, well, it's interesting.
Thanks for the feedback
Thank you for all the responses.
Allow me to clarify a few details. I wasn't "forcing" anyone to do anything, or even "advising". I showed my system to a few who asked. I saw some adapt a few components and left it at that. I also know that it's possible to be productive without it. I've never said otherwise. I started using GTD only last summer after the volume I was handling became overwhelming. After I set up my initial system I never had to spend hours on a list. I know that GTD isn't for everyone, but they came to me. I don't know exactly what prompted management to send someone to shadow me, but that wasn't my idea either.
I guess a better question for the post would have been, "How do you handle someone who can't find anything wrong with what you do or how you do it, but would rather have mediocrity than a system that she doesn't understand or like?" While I would expect to be asked to change something because it didn't work, I couldn't believe that I was being asked to change something because it worked too well. I never told anyone to start using my system. I have no power to make anyone change anything or do anything.
So a few follow up questions would be, "Would you change it? Could you go back just to get along and be like everyone else?" I like the idea of letting the results speak for themselves, but was wondering if anyone had experienced a situation where great results didn't necessarily translate into something positive.
I am not sure I am understanding correctly.
Management sent someone to shadow how you do things and then told you to change your system?
If not ignore everything i say, but
If yes, I would feel very odd too.
Have they given any reason? Are you plugging less information into some company tracking system? Have they given any indication what you should do instead?
Of course the system could simply be too good. If everyone else is stressed out and drops their open loops they won't like seeing someone who doesn't have their problem. A kind of 'let's suffer together'.
It would be better if they would join in and be productive together instead, but often people simply don't want to change the status quo.
Well - you don't. You don't handle people, you handle situations. I would handle the situation by just being grateful that I found GTD and know how to stay in control and how to get back there when I do get off track. I would then think of all the things I have to worry about and realize someone else’s issue doesn't even make the list. You found GTD when you were ready for it. Trust that will work for them also.
Originally Posted by m2foster
the GTD overhead--which is significant at first, depending on your starting point.
Outcome statements in general and
--if you pressure them to make them too soon, pr concur with you before they have thought it through, they end up resentfu.l
-- at the same time, many people do see the point or fail to remember to revisit the statement of desired outcome.
Some people resent being directly held accountable even although they are ethical and responsible and do deliver--they just need a softer touch and cues that are supportive such as "how far along are you with....", "is there something you want me to take a look at at this point", "we are approaching the 2/28 deadline, do you still think that is realistic".
An incompletely implemented "system" while it may be elevating your productivity can look foolish and neurotic to a person who does not understand what you are doing and that there are stages of change.
Most people are conservative about their tools and methods.
People that change tools and methods readily are often a subtype that is interested in tools and methods to begin with, in an environment in which there are other people whom they admire in various stages, have a coach or are in a crisis or responded to excellent marketing.
People who have been through a cycle of productivity trainings with high hopes followed by disappointments in themselves or the system become allergic to yet another proselytizer.
Maybe someone thinks you are stealing company secrets and/or going to leave and start a competing business.
Some people are not aware of their toxic jealousy and therefore cannot convert it to admiration and respect.
Sometimes people get a negative reaction from a higher up or a colleague for reasons that have little to do with the ostensible and outwardly discussed reason. A relative of mine was forced to go out on permanent physical disability (for a legitate problem that could have been worked around with reduced hours)and all her friends rallied around her as if she was the victim but I think the real reason is she not a collaborator, she responds to people at a concrete level, gabbles and speaks so quickly that people don't understand her, and she is crushed by any feedback, does not initiate to help others unless they are in a crisis, doesn't give people a heads up or reminders about her schedule and is rude about asserting her needs, and never, ever apologizes. I am not suggesting that you are at all like this, but it pays to look at how you might be perceived or misperceived. Although it is a tough economy worldwide, if in addition to your regular job skills you are an ace at self-management and productivity maybe you need a job where that is valued. Maybe a little moon lighting or a second job might help you slide into an environment in which you are able to use your talents and get respect for it.
Last edited by Jamie Elis; 02-25-2010 at 08:17 AM.
What's your ideal outcome for the situation?
Originally Posted by m2foster