Getting Things Dan
Been listening to David Allen's audiobook 'Getting Things Done Fast', where they recorded one of his seminars on the GTD system. I've tried to tackle and adopt GTD before but haven't been dedicated to it, so 'stuff' creeps back in and I abandon my meticulous (possibly over-engineered and fiddly) OmniFocus setup and go back to having things slip through my mental net.
Re-listening to GTD Fast is helping me to regroup and I'm feeling inspired to take another stab at it very soon.
I have some friends who have been trying to get some measure of control and focus over their personal and professional lives, so I figure I'll share my progress over the next few weeks in going through a mental sweep, processing all of my 'stuff' and consciously deciding What It Is, Where It Goes, and What I'm Going To DO About It.
At it's core, GTD focuses on five steps to build out a system you can trust to track and manage all of your 'open loops': all the stuff that's occupying your mind, consciously or unconsciously that create stress by being stuck in your head (which is a terrible place to track and maintain anything):
- Collect - gather up all of the stuff that's tugging at you, mentally or physically into one of a few trusted inboxes, so you're never stuck with a nagging feeling that you've forgotten something
- Process - take each 'thing' you've collected and determine what it is, if there's a project involved, whether it's reference material, etc.
- Organize - Once you've processed all the 'stuff' and determined if it's worth keeping, if it's a project, etc. you build it out with Next Actions until a project is 'Done' (which is based on your own vision or interpretation of what the completed project looks like)
- Review - This was my big stumbling block in the past. Blocking out time during the week to review all of your open projects, commitments, etc. and manage and renegotiate where you are with all of your projects.
- Do - The easy part. Since (theoretically) you've broken down all of your stuff into concrete, discrete physical Next Actions, you can churn through them readily, anytime anywhere, based on available resources and contexts.
GTD Fast, combined with my ongoing love of Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann's fantastic podcast
Back To Work (ostensibly about productivity and work/life balance, but also hilarious and full of conversations about comics, movies, and Dungeon Master-level descriptions of how to handle public restrooms) I've been very geared up to try to tackle this stuff with a bit more discipline and conscious effort.
With our upcoming move to Orlando and starting a new job, it seems like a prime opportunity to wipe the slate clean and re-think my projects, contexts, and nail down and cross off some of the stuff that's been bouncing around in my noggin.