Roughly a year ago, a friend told me that David Allen's book 'Getting Things Done' was the best book on organizing yourself he had ever read. It is important to understand that this advice was coming from a friend who has spent the better part of 20 years trying to get himself organized. I took his advice seriously, but I didn't do anything about it.
At the time, I truly was not happy with my job and had been actively considering a career or job change for the better part of two years. I thought to myself, my problem is not with how organized, or not organized I am, it's about what I'm doing. After searching for so long for a new job and coming up with nothing, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying to read the book.
I was able to get a copy of GTD Fast, an audio seminar of David's GTD system to accompany my reading of the book. The pairing worked beautifully. The seminar breathed life into the book and I connected to it immediately. The ideas Allen gave were fresh to me, no more ABC priority lists, or some of the other nonsense we had been taught before. Actions or tasks split into contexts, questions like "what is the next action?", or "what does doing look like"?. These were all things I could relate to and became very interested in becoming a GTD master.
I got married in September of 2007, and GTD was about a month underway. It was a great time to start GTD as it helped us plan the last bit of details for the wedding and made things easier for when I went away on our honeymoon. Things couldn't have been better.
However, my boss was not as quick to notice the changes that were being implemented since GTD had became my life focus. My consistently clean desk, my files organized, my new found enthusiasm for the job. All of these things seemed to go unrecognized. We sat down and talked about my performance at my mid-year review. I sat there for an hour while he told me that I was performing below standard and he wanted to know what had happened to the person who was hired 5 years ago and always had enthusiasm, spunk and a willingness to put in the late hours. To myself I thought, that guy pales in comparison to the new GTD guy that was sitting across from his desk. I was thinking 'What's wrong with you that you don't see this?" I left the meeting, soldiered on, determined to prove him wrong.
It all went really well for the next 6 months, however without any real recognition from my boss except that I was hot one day and then cold the next. I fell off the GTD bandwagon at the point. I found it so hard to push against the resistance he was . I started to let things slip and became disinterested again. It was at this point I came to the realization that I was no longer in love with the outcome of what I did and that that was why I was starting to slip. Over the past 3 months, I've just slipped into this "no mans land", trying to get back into it but it's a constant battle.
David says if you're not in love with the outcome of what you will do, no organizational system can help you.
Would be interested in hearing people's thoughts.