Interlocking GTD, MacKenzie, Tracy etc.
I am re-reading GTD at the moment. It is a richly rewarding experience. I had retained some of the cornerstones of GTD after my first reading two years ago, but I also had some serious deficiencies. (See “Collect” to “Do” in Real Time? Thread). Now I feel as if I am attending a personal refresher tutorial with DA.
Since first reading GTD I have read The Time Trap by Alec MacKenzie, Take Control by Michael Janke and also some of Brian Tracy’s books. Combined with my earlier reading of Anthony Robbins and Tom (“you ARE you projects!") Peters, they seemed to express a gung-ho approach to getting things done that pulled a different way to GTD. But GTD seems so all-encompassing that I was sure there must be some way in which the two outlooks dovetail.
Sure enough, it all clicked on page 48 of GTD where DA says: “you have more to do that you can possibly so. You just need to feel good about your choices”.
If my week ahead appears to be 65% uncommitted, and 35% committed, then I can aim to get substantial amounts accomplished in one or more significant projects. How do I decide which project to tackle first? I think Tracy is best at helping the decision process by the way he helps us to see ourselves from a boss or customer’s point of view. Do the thing that matters most to your most important customer, for example.
Having used Tracy to decide what to do first, then use MacKenzie to fuel your determination not to get sidetracked. Use Tracy or Janke to help you determine how much you are going to pack into a day or a week.
The thing is, these writers do not contradict GTD in any way. In fact, if you have all of your projects recorded in your trusted GTD system, you will be even more secure in your decision to wholly focus on a particular project for a large part of the day. GTD, properly applied, will keep track of all the new stuff that arises.
No matter how fired up you are in your commitment to get your most important task done, You will still have to attend to the day-specific commitments that already were in place, and also day specific commitments that arise as the week progresses. If you generate mail, you will still have to read and sign it. You had still better clear you in-trays two or three times as the day goes on.
So, when it comes to getting the best out of the bigger blocks of discretionary time, we can enhance the quality of the decisions we make by referring to other complementary writers.
(As I write this I can feel a question arising: if I have a guaranteed uninterrupted afternoon at my desk, should I, perhaps, clear everything on my @computer list? My gut feeling is that I should try to identify the most valuable commitment on my work projects list, and blast ahead on it until I come to a point where I cannot proceed any further e.g. a meeting or an archived file is needed, which I will not see for another two days. At that point, I should switch to the second most valuable project.)
A bit long-winded, but I’m determined to make these great writers inter-lock into one powerful system.