[I typed this and was asked to log in --again-- before posting and it disappeared, so hey... here's a rebuild.]
Ok, I'm going to admit it right now:
I will not have the luxury of putting everything on hold in order to begin my process. There's simply no way; if we're talking about work alone, too many people depend on what I'm doing all day long. I've recently begun the job I'm at, and cannot stop the presses. (In some cases, literally!)
That said, while it's not ideal, I'll have to address it at some point, and it will simply have to be done in a modular fashion; a filing cabinet here, a drawer there.
While people are recommending reading through the book first, I still have to get my project management system working a little better, and have taken some steps toward implementing an overall process with greater efficiency. Here are a few things I'm doing "in the mean time", at work - it probably doesn't all fit in the exact GTD model, but it's already helping.
1) Trashing stuff. I've "inherited" not only the stuff that came with my office - reference materials, old publications, two LARGE filing cabinets full of stuff dating back to 1994 and older.. plus, another office which I've been working on, which was full of all this type of stuff, plus furniture, office supplies, software, product samples, and a bunch of random stuff. It was a dumping ground of sorts, and now that I'm cleaning it out (and making great progress) a bunch of people are asking if they can store stuff in there
2) Keeping a maximum of five current project folders in my desk rack. (Unless I'm referring to one or performing a quick action.) I have 86 active projects.
3) Applying the "two-minute rule" to email.
4) Emailing instead of walking/conversing. Someone usually stops me in the hallway when I'm walking around. People like to chat. I do, but not when I'm trying to get something done. That said, I like walking around... feels like exercise or something.
5) FileMaker. Ok, this is a big one. I use FileMaker to track my projects. Without getting too specific, I've modified my database so that multiple entries can be associated with the same project (rather than simply keeping lots of project notes in a single record) and have added the abilities to identify entries as a PROJECT or an ACTION, as well as identifying an ACTION as the NEXT ACTION.
This is all sortable, so if I have a project with 15 actions, I can identify any of the actions as NEXT ACTION (or multiple entries if I have toss-ups) .
Combined with other fields such as Due Date and Priority, this gets pretty powerful.
I can also sort ALL projects and bring all NEXT ACTIONS to the top for review.
Anyway, there was some other stuff, but I don't remember what it was now...