GTD in unlikely locales--a B&N Starbucks!
I've been working with the GTD methodolgy ever since my first job out of college in 2004--my boss was a huge GTD fan and nabbed copies of the original book for everyone in the office. Needing a way to understand the work world as a fresh college grad, I glommed on to a method that made a lot of sense.
Sometimes I'm better at implementing a full system than others, but the GTD principles underlie a lot of the way I work in all my different arenas. Lately, though, I've found myself in a new and challenging situation...the Barnes and Noble where I work part time (I'm a grad student) is understaffed, and I often find myself not only in my least favorite job in the store--cafe barista--but also working alone.
Today I pulled a 5.5-hour shift. The cafe manager, while available for back up, needed as much time as possible to work on hiring new people, so he asked me to only call him if it was an emergency.
So what did I do? I considered it an exercise in the ready state. "How fast can you get back to 'ready'?" Working in a cafe alone over the lunch hour is a constant "about to get jumped" situation. Although my Next Action lists in this situation are simple enough I can keep them in my head, I still thought about it in terms of contexts--@oven @bakery case @coffee, @dishwashing sink, etc. I find myself thinking in that way--"Okay. I'm in the coffee context. What's next? Oh, right. Refill the basket and be ready to brew a new urn. Okay, now I'm @bakery case. What now? Right. Remove this empty plate, and add 'Look for thawed brownies' to the @back_Fridge context."
It was kind of a transcendent experience. I never called for back-up once. The store manager wandered over when I was about a half-hour away from the end of my shift and went, "Okay, so how bad is it?" I went, "The bakery case is handled, there's a new pot of coffee ready to go, and I'm current on dishes."
She was flabbergasted.
Even though GTD is commonly associated with office executives, one of the stories David tells is about how he learned about the importance of review while working at a filling station. I'm curious to know if others have had experience implementing GTD in really unlikely situations.