What Jason Fried thinks about GTD?
"If you have a bookshelf, you have to fill it with books. If you have a Getting-Things-Done-like system, you have to fill it with tasks - so sometimes you create more work for yourself than you actually need." - Jason Fried of 37signals
You can read more here: http://michaelnozbe.com/what-jason-f...inks-about-gtd or download the newest ( #8 ) issue of Productive! Magazine http://www.productivefirm.com/Magazine/ (free PDF or iPad app).
Don't oversystematize and don't overwork the system.
Jason explains that the more he works the system, the less he gets done. He also cautions people not to become too enamored of the system itself. I agree with him.
It's a challenge to follow the principles of GTD without overworking the system--especially in the smartphone era where there are so many ways of implementing GTD systems and other lifehacks. It's so easy for the system to become your master instead of your servant; the moment that happens you are no longer productive (or at least not nearly as productive as you could be).
In the years that I've been a member on this forum I've seen post after post from GTD users new and experienced who are so focused on software and technologies that they lose sight of or never even learn the fundamental habits at the core of GTD. Anyone starting with GTD must remove technology roadblocks while learning the habits. That means using paper for either your entire system or at least the parts that you're not sure how to effectively implement with the technological tools you have until you form the habits.
I've also seen posts from people who actually want their system to tell them what to do, but you can't remove thinking from the Fundamental Thinking Process. No system, however sophisticated, can tell you what you should be doing with your time right now. If you're pursuing the perfect system that will tell you what do do when you press the big red button, stop right now. You'll never reach it. I've been guilty of trying that myself; once I accepted that fact my life and my productivity took a big turn for the better.
Finally, you don't need to keep your lists up to date every minute of every day. You don't need to process your inboxes a dozen times a day, either. If you're spending more than 30-90 minutes a day processing and organizing, you're probably overworking your system. Just make sure you are capturing *everything* outside of your head, processing regularly (every 24-48 hours), reviewing (daily and especially weekly) and spend the rest of your time doing (that includes recreational activities that are not on your action lists or any other worthwhile activities that show up spur of the moment) and your system will serve you and enhance the quality of your life instead of holding you back and generating stress.
A little more context:
"... they become so enamored with the system itself that they actually create more work for themselves because they have this system they want to fill up with things to do."
I agree that this is a risk but for me it is the exact opposite: after I fill up my GTD lists I actually cut down on the things I have committed to, not add more. Without the backstop of the project list I would have a lot more going on (and failing).
Keep the balance between your GTD system maintenance and doing real work.
Great post! Thank you!
Originally Posted by ellobogrande
We should keep the balance between your GTD system maintenance and doing real work.
I second that!
Originally Posted by TesTeq
Great post. I really needed to see this. Thanks.
Originally Posted by ellobogrande
Hmmm. Well, yeah, if you think that bookshelves need to be filled with books, you're going to fill them with books.
If you think GTD needs to be filled with work, you're going to fill it with work.
If you think GTD can be filled with life, you're going to fill it with life. Is there a danger that you'll create more life for yourself than you really need? Sure.
Originally Posted by Roger
I like this thread. In finding the balance between administration and executive action, I am among those who have erred on the side of over-administrating in the past.
Nowadays I am amazed at how much can be accomplished with plain old text files for Project Support. As DA says "all you need to keep track of is lists and folders".