This is episode nine, Reflections on GTD: What I Wish I Knew When I Started GTD, Part Two, and therefore the last in our nine-part series on the Getting Things Done (GTD) personal productivity methodology and eponymously-titled book, from the perspective of the ProductivityCast team–as long-term practitioners, critics and observers of GTD.
In this cast, Augusto Pinaud, Francis Wade, Art Gelwicks and I discuss what we wish we knew when we first started or came across Getting Things Done, the book and methodology, as we tried to understand and/or implement it.
This certainly isn’t the last time we’ll talk about GTD, but we had a great time discussing GTD in this series and hope you enjoyed it, too!
(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit https://productivitycast.net/047 for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)
Enjoy! Give us feedback! And, thanks for listening!
If you’d like to discuss this episode, please click here to leave a comment down below (this jumps you to the bottom of the post).
In this Cast | What I Wish I Knew When I Started GTD, Part Two
Show Notes | What I Wish I Knew When I Started GTD, Part Two
Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
GTD Fast audio program
Waze (driving navigation app)
Raw Text Transcript | What I Wish I Knew When I Started GTD, Part Two
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling, productive life? Then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast the weekly show about all things productivity here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:16
Welcome back everybody to productivity cast the weekly show about all things productivity I’m recently Smith I’m joined here with August to pronounce Francis weight in our galaxy. Welcome to the show gentlemen.
Augusto Pinaud 0:28
Francis Wade 0:29
Art Gelwicks 0:30
Morning. Hey guys, how’s everything going,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:32
it’s good to have all of us on the show again this week and and we’re back at it with a continuation of the conversation we were having last week. And to fill you all in. If you haven’t listened to Episode 46, hop on back over there and listen to Episode 46 at productivity cast.net forward slash 046. And you’ll be able to hear the first part of our conversation about what we all wish we knew. When we started GTD, some of us are not GTD practitioners now, but we’ve all been acquainted with the material and have probably attempted to implement it at some level. And these are all things that we wish we had known when we first attempted to go ahead and implement. So I’m going to kick us off here with the first item that I really am thinking about as we continue the conversation from last week. Which is this idea of, of trusting your system. And so David Allen talks about trusting the your system. And and through this concept of trust, you’ll be you’ll be more comfortable with externalising your tasks and projects. And I’m very curious about what you will also have to say about this. Because when I first thought about that, it was a real game changer. For me. I felt very excited about this idea that if I trusted where I was good to put things, then then I was going to I was going to be able to know where I put things. And what I learned was that trusting your system isn’t merely externalising those tasks and projects it really does fundamentally require you to go back to your projects, lists and your task list and work those lists. Right. If you’re not maintaining them, then you very quickly erode the system. It’s not just trusting your system from the fact that you’re trusting yet you’re capturing into it, you must remember that you’re not just capturing. But you have to also be clarifying. You must also be organizing, you have to also be reviewing and doing the work. If you’re not doing each of those stages, then the system can’t be trusted. The tools that you’re capturing into won’t be trusted, because you’re not coming back to your your brain basically says, Well, yes, you’re putting these things in the system. And they’re not getting done. Why should I trust where you’re capturing externally, I’ve got to bring all of that stuff and back into my, into my mind’s eye in order to be able to keep keep going. Because you’re not, you’re not actually getting those things done.
Augusto Pinaud 3:22
I came from a heavy or bro heavy, unbroken Seven Habits from the Highly Effective People. When I discovered GTD and there was a lot of things that were happening at the time. But one of them was that the role and the job and the responsibilities on the personal side has changed so much that they ABC one two tree wasn’t caught it anymore on I was kind of drowning dot said one. The things that make my transition harder at the beginning was the fact that I trust
so much my ABC, one two tree system, it was broken. And I was on I understood that. And I understood I need a better thing. But But when I read that concept on the book, I wasn’t completely agreement. Because
until you earn that trust, then if you don’t have that trust, you are not going to go back and do all the work that is required to maintain that system. And that applies to getting things done
CABI put it into your arm doesn’t matter. If you don’t trust that that system is complete and functional, you are not going to do the necessary job to maintain it. So it stays functional. And what the sad part is, your system goes from fully update fully functional to broken in really the blink of an eye.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:11
And there’s always going to be some level of of information that you retain in your mind, you know that it’s not, it’s not a complete letting go. It’s it’s the conscious stuff that tugs at you, that goes away, but there’s still an unconscious tug. And and I think that’s okay, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your brain exercising those those memory muscles, so to speak,
Francis Wade 5:37
I think we’ve talked about the organic effect for for our listeners who might not remember or didn’t catch that episode. It’s the subconscious way of remaining, or pinging or conscious mind that there’s something it’s it’s not, it’s likely to forget, or likely to not remember, or, or is part of the system that’s not trusted. So the idea is simple as that when you complete a task, the task disappears from memory, and your subconscious mind no longer holds on to it. But when a task is left incomplete, it keeps sort of sending the signals to your conscious mind. And if anyone has ever woken up in the middle of the night with justice, you know, in a panic that I forgot to do something, and that I remember to send that email to Mr. Smith that I was supposed to send yesterday at the beat the deadline and, and I think I forgot, and that’s all those, the garlic effect. And what it does over time is that it It destroys our peace of mind, because it leads to a feeling of overwhelm, as our subconscious mind goes into overdrive and tries to hold on to all these demands on our time. All these promises and commitments that we’ve made, the good part is that there’s recent research from a couple of guys that you University of Florida, which showed that if you have a trust, essentially, is to put it in the language that we’re talking about today, if you put your tasks in a trusted system, then the guy Nick effect goes away. That’s that was their big fanning. So essentially, it matches what David Allen was saying, in principle is that his he was right and dead on by saying that as as if you can deploy as many tasks as possible to your trusted system and not use memory, you will be doing yourself a great service and avoiding any sense of overwhelm the problem this is a Google said, which can happen in the flesh of an eye. And this is sort of weird David Allen goes a little too far my man is that if you have a huge influx of tasks, new project new baby just bought, the hose car broke down, all of a sudden, you have a lot of tasks demand is and therefore very little free time to manage them with is that you go back to almost as if you are just starting all over again, because of the guy Nick effect kicks right back in just as if you are a beginner who doesn’t even have a task list.
And at that point, you’ve got to either mitigate if it’s a temporary kind of thing, or change your system to match the number of tasks that you’re trying to manage. And that’s the part that David Allen didn’t mention in his book, he just said, Do this part. And this will create a trusted system for you, I think, a lot of work but other people are no seeing and all the work that we’re doing
in my shop shows that that’s not true in the sort of the end all and be all sense that you’ve got to change your tactics depending on the number of tasks that you’ve got to manage. And being flexible. And being aware of this guy, Nick effect is sort of a way to the listen to your subconscious, and then change your tactics accordingly. And that’s that’s that’s the piece that I would add in that he he doesn’t mention,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 9:09
My issue is that at the core of how the garlic effect is implemented in people’s worlds, and how they perceive it. So that if, if you believe that you need to capture have complete capture, and kind of the GTD world you miss the fact that there are still going to be things that tug at your conscious mind. So the unconscious mind is always going to be actively managing things without your conscious minds, awareness. It’s the fact that there’s a garlic effect is saying that too much of those unconscious things creates enough stressors to create distress, you gave the example Francis of of having a baby Well, just because you write down, you know, feed the baby, if you have a newborn child, you’re not going to forget that you have the newborn child. And certainly our unconscious mind isn’t going to let that go, that that project or you know, those series of projects of having a newborn child at home is innately stressful, your your brain is going to continue to manage those things unconsciously or consciously. And that’s, that’s the case with most really passionate, high value highly important things in our lives. And I what the my point in saying that is that if I had known when I started getting things done, that I would be able to, I would need to still put those things on to my projects list. And I did, but that I wouldn’t I, for some reason, I felt like well, I would just wouldn’t think about those things until I came back to my system, right? I would just, it would, they would just go away. And the reality is, is that I trusted my system, I trusted that everything was in there. But those things still together, me and they still tug at me today, you know, like I have several major projects currently going on. And just because they’re all in my system doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about them. And that’s not necessarily a a bad stress experience, it’s just that they are a form of stress,
Francis Wade 11:21
the the bad stress part is deal under the gun, a conflict that there are only about the the tasks that are that you can’t be trusted to do. So they’re, they’re either not in your trusted system or your system is totally trustworthy. So we’re, it believes that there’s a gap in capability is where the, it’s not just a dog in the central a gentle reminder, this is a wake up in the middle of the night, kind of five alarm kind of overwhelming feeling, you know, heart racing palms sweaty for it’s the it’s not the total number of tasks that you are trying to manage, or even the circumstance, it’s whether or not your subconscious believes that some of those tasks are not, you can’t be trusted to manage some of those tasks. In other words, the ones that you’re likely to fall through the cracks. So it’s not, you could have a million tasks. But if there’s one that it doesn’t believe that you’ve captured, it will wake up in the middle of the night. That’s not the volume. It’s the it’s the existence of the ones that it can’t trust you to manage on your own.
Art Gelwicks 12:33
Okay. And I think you’re hitting the the key point of this. And this is where I get, I’ve been getting a little stuck on this whole trusted system, which is something I jump up and down about all the time. But remember, a system is only good as good as the person executing it. And if you can’t trust yourself to execute within the parameters of your system, you can’t blame the system for failing you. So things like, you know, when we talk about this organic effect. And we talked about keeping open loops in your head, you’re failing your system, it’s not your systems responsibility to get those things out of there, it’s you to utilize that system. So you have to, you have to have confidence in your ability to stick with what you’ve created as a Philadelphia sports fan. There’s this thing with the basketball team called trust the process where for years, a couple years, we just totally tanked the team and then rebuild to try and make a championship level team. We got close to here, but not quite. But it’s trusting the mechanism. It’s not the process that fails, it’s the people executing the process. So when you look at your solution, if you’re looking at GTD, if you’re looking at bullet journaling, or whatever, you have to take a step back and say, Can I trust myself to actually execute this consistently correctly. And in a way that’s going to work for me, if you can’t say that with 100% confidence, or even 99% confidence, you’re just setting yourself up for problems.
Francis Wade 13:58
I think it’s that and the problem won’t happen in the abstract. I think what people do, regardless of whether this GTD or not is set up a system and then they tell themselves This is good, this will work until later that afternoon, when they get 10 emails and three phone calls and things start to fall apart. And the subconscious starts to go crazy. And that’s when they realize that they were selling themselves a bill of goods that they are vastly overestimating the quality of their system. And in practice, it actually doesn’t work at all. That’s Unfortunately, it happens sort of in the on the in the moment when you need it. When you try to get peace of mind when you’re trying to get work done. That’s when your subconscious is at its sort of best in interrupting you. unfortunate. But
Augusto Pinaud 14:52
the problem was, what you described, and I like you seen it a million times is be people assume that because they did a good collection and they got Inbox Zero, okay, I’d before the weekend review and they did proper processing, then they don’t need to touch that until next week. And the reality is they every time you get it not every time you get input, it’s necessarily to recalibrate, and reprocess and reorganize. But a lot of times is on a lot of more often than what people does, you know, a lot of people go and look into, oh, well, but I did, you know, organize and process everything last Friday, yes. But if you have a significant amount of inputs, then you need to do it that day. And sometimes you need to do that three or four times a day, especially, you are in a high input world. And that it’s one thing that again, I could have missed when I read the book, okay. But the impression on the book is all you’re going to do this magic collection process. And then you’re going to do this magic organization process and life will be good. And you have you know, General need, you need to think David on is famous for the sentence. I only think once a week, I’m great for him. I wish I could tell the same. But the reality is, every time I get important inputs on my system. And the problem is, I never know when input comes, who’s going to be important or not, in most cases, okay, that require again, to think about it organized about it, process organization. So you can do and what the book tells you and push it through is just need to do this process once a week. Well, no wonder you break it, there is no way you can leave hi input level, especially at this speed. Most people I see is getting input in a once a week situation or processing situation.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:11
A good so you had talked about the concept of contexts. And I have quite a lot to say about context. So I’m going to I’m going to first have you talk about what you were had thoughts about contexts, and then I can probably weave in my thoughts into yours. And I’m sure that art and Francis have more thoughts as well on context. And since it’s such a big topic, but what were your what were your thoughts about what you wish you knew about contexts when you first started GT,
Augusto Pinaud 17:43
you know, I wish I it was a lot more clear that you could play with your context, and that you could make them work for you later years, David Allen on some of his team did talk about that. But in the beginning, when at least when I read the book, at the beginning context, Sim, this rigid thing that well, this is basically what you have. And even if it wasn’t for me, until I listened to that, getting things done fast, that it was clear to me that, oh, you can work on that. But that was after my initial implementation, you know, getting things done fast, came to me much, you know, months after, after that first implementation. And for for the longest time, it felt it felt like the David Allen team were not acknowledging that problem with context, they were not acknowledging that well, not all the context at work, you know, that online offline didn’t work for everybody. And, and at the same time, I understood that if they will have say, Oh, you can create any context you want, or wish that will have make or create a lot more confusion for people. But I think a lot of people got tied up trying to fit themselves into boxes that simply were not appropriate, where they did not have content for. And that was, what was creating was a lot of confusion and a lot of issues, instead of allowing people to really solve the problem they came that was lack of getting things done,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:44
I probably agree in the sense that David Allen gave some fairly specific contexts. And it was just because those were the ones that were most common that he was seeing people implement. And
I really do wish that there was a more exhaustive list of context, so that there so that people could see that there was a greater variety when it comes to context. For me, I, I really do feel the sense that people come to GTD not understanding how their work styles and their workflows work for them. And so then their contexts become difficult to identify, because they don’t know how they work. And that is they don’t know, they don’t know how they work, not how contexts work. They don’t know how the individual person works. And so you need to really do some background work in understanding how you take your typical projects from start to fruition. And then you’ll understand whether or not you need particular types of contexts. So just looking at the the type of work that you do, and then does that efficiency because contexts are about efficiency, right? It’s about grouping like things together to some great extent. So that when you have those resources available to you, whether that be, you know, you’re sitting at your work computer, or you’re sitting at your home computer, those those resources, those faculties are available to you at those times, that you’re able to do those things together. And for for someone like me, I don’t work that way, right, I work in a very project perspective, in a very linear fashion, I don’t work in the typical efficiency of I’m going to make all my phone calls now, because I have my phone. But the reality is, is that I like having access to that list of all the phone calls I need to make in any given day or week, so that I’m able to say, Okay, well, I know when I can make that phone call, and I know what I can make the few phone calls together in that period of time. So I really think it’s a matter of just figuring out if you’re comfortable with the level of administration necessary to create the context, you know, the taxonomy that allows you to then look at a calls list, right? For me, that just means tagging actions, you know, as calls in my task manager, it’s not, it’s not an exorbitant amount of additional detail. But I don’t use that context very often. Because if I’m doing a project, that means yes, I’m going to I’m going to move from maybe sending an email, to making a phone call, to writing a document, to back to making a phone call to logging into a system and updating a system and then coming back to it, and so on, so forth. And that’s going to be the the chain of tasks that I’m doing one after the other, that’s okay, for me, because that’s making progress that’s productive. And making all the phone calls that are on my list all at one time, is not necessarily the most productive use of my time, because I don’t see the the forward progress on a specific project, which if I just did that did the series of four or five tasks to complete it, then it would just be done. And then I wouldn’t have to go back and do more administration. So that that I really wish I understood at the very early stages of GTD, I learned that and since I have learned that about myself, it has been much easier to manage the system, you know, re crafting it in a project based perspective, with the with the ability to look at contexts when necessary.
Art Gelwicks 23:33
Yeah, I have to go along with that. Because to me, one of the things I wish I had thought about early on was the difference between completion and impact. For example, if you look at GTD and you think about context, such as, you know, their original ones, like phone, computer, and things like that, all of those tasks, for all intents and purposes, are considered equal on impact to the overall execution of what you’re doing when they’re applicable to a given context. So if, let’s say, phone calls, so if you go through and you make 10 phone calls, they’re all equal, but they don’t necessarily when you think about your projects, impact those projects. Equally, one may be just a return phone call, one may be a courtesy call one maybe a follow up to get a payment on an invoice. Those are not equal for impact. But yet, there’s no I wouldn’t qualify that as priority, I wouldn’t qualify that as a particular context for them. It’s it’s an aspect that is left out of the entire system, when it comes to truly evaluating the quality. And like I said, the impact of the work that you’re doing, it’s very easy to go through and say, Hey, I did that on that project. And I’ve checked off that box when you realize, if you really navel gaze a little bit, that checking off that box is just making you feel better, it’s not actually moving that project any significant distance forward.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:02
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And that’s part of that’s what that’s the part that really affects me in in seeing things is like, I need to see things being moved forward, I need to see that I need to see my efforts come to fruition in a substantial way,
Art Gelwicks 25:20
I’ll jump in on that I caught myself doing that actually, relatively recently, within about the past year. And it was a culprit of gamification. As I’ve mentioned, to the past, I used to do for my to do tracking, just because I love the tool and the multiple platforms and things like that. But it has the ability to do what’s called a karma score, which keeps track of your successful completions versus your overdue items to give you a running idea that you’re continuing to make progress. However, it’s very easy to gain the system. If you have lots of small recurring tasks that you’re knocking out every day, you see a lot of checkboxes being checked. But the there’s no connection of those to the value of those items being done. I had to actually change how I think about my system and how I’m looking at it to make a value out of that kind of a measure structure. So even though I saw my sketch or my score continuing to go up, it wasn’t I didn’t really feel that, well, it’s going up. But is it really doing anything I mean, it’s like eating cotton candy. It’s nice, but it’s not doing anything.
Francis Wade 26:29
Respect the context to add something to, again, what David Allen did was he gave a specific suggestion, but he never pointed back to the original principles, which is why why use contexts or tags, or why add attributes to a task any at all. And that the idea of doing that goes, I don’t know, I think it goes all the way back to Ben Franklin or before. So that’s not a new idea, the part that he could have emphasized, but then does that if you as you add context, you are doing exactly needs to do exactly what he said, which is to make them yours, so that it fits into your system. But because he didn’t explain why you’re using contacts in the context in the first place, it then made people struggle with us at home versus at computer versus, versus another one, which is the ones that he gave what what really needed to happen. I wish I knew when I started GTD was a question at the very beginning, which is what are the context that you need to be at your most productive and you’ve got to figure those out. And here are some guidelines to do that. That’s way more way more powerful than then suggesting here’s a context that you should use, I think it would have empowered people to go past the context that became obsolete, as technology changed, I think the idea of of adding attributes to a task to task tagging is critical and important that will never go away. It’s just that as technology changes our life changes as it does in a the synchronicities across cultures and geographies is that we all need our own, we are on method of conceptualizing or tasks. And that’s the part that that I wish he had said, at the very beginning,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:17
after that allows for ownership, I think and buy in, because if you’re just taking some pre packaged set of contexts, or say tags, and in that sense, then you don’t really get the fact you don’t, you don’t get the the sense that you are in control. And that locus of control over your own system is so important. And there there’s a, there’s a piece there that I that I think about, which is if if you if you if you don’t understand how, as you said, adding attributes to it to a task or project helps you understand things, I’ll give kind of a little bit of a mini explanation, which is that you need to be able to group things together, right? So there’s a question have a taxonomic will approach. And there’s an ontological approach, how do disparate things connect to one another, and that is really related to potentially phases of things, right? So moving a project from one thing to the next, you know, what stage that project is in, or that from one task to another way, what step that is along the path line, you are able to do that, so you’re able to group things so that you can, you can filter things out of view, right, create focus. And then the other side is that you could find things when you need to find them, because you want to say, Okay, well, I only want to see my, the things that I can do at home. That’s a filtering process so that you can, you can see only those things. But the other side to that as well, I only want to see things that I can do right now that have high energy. So I want everything that could potentially be low energy stuff to go away right now, I want to be able to bring those things to the surface. And I that’s a subtle differentiate, you may even see them as the same thing. But the point is, is that we want to be able to find something at some particular point in time, what’s that thing I need to do at that time, oh, look on my calendar, I find that thing the attribute is, of course time. The other side to that is I only want to focus on these types of things right now, or this type of thing right now. And so I want to make everything else go away from that. And so finding and contextualize in your resources is really important there. And if you can understand that, then contexts become much more useful.
Art Gelwicks 30:35
Now, let me show up in here for a second because I want to be clear to anybody who’s listening to this, that we’re not dismissing context, especially we’re not to desist dismissing the structure. And the idea of context, as it was outlined in GTD, there’s a great way to apply this, I’ll use the analogy of how my lovely wife and I decided to go out to dinner. It’s the classic model.
She’s not sure what she wants, but she has a really good idea of what she doesn’t want. So we go through the drill of I say, hey, do you want to go out to dinner? Sure. Like, where do you want to go? I’m not sure you want Chinese? Now, I don’t want Chinese Do you want pizza? No, I don’t want pizza. And we go through that back and forth, back and forth. Until finally I say, look, I have no idea what you want. So if you think about that with context, and you look at something like GTD, and you look at their examples of context, you don’t have to say, yes, those are the ones I want, look at them for the ones you don’t want, look for the ones that aren’t applicable, and take those out, use it as a starting place. Because I think the four of us, when we look at this kind of a structure, we’re looking at it from a long time of analyzing these types of systems. And it’s easy for us to start with a clean palette, you know, a clean slate of potential category of context, just start blowing and create them on the fly based on relative context. Well, for somebody who’s new to this, that’s not going to be easy, they don’t, there’s no starting place. So use it as that list and strike things out and allow those to spur what the potential context could be that are relevant to you.
Augusto Pinaud 32:11
You know, the challenge now that I see, you know, from when the book was returned, even from the last version 2015 is that really, we are honest, 90% of our task will feed off on what I jokingly call anywhere between devices and internet availability everywhere, you know, really, we can almost work anywhere, we may not be able to, because corporations don’t give you the access or those kinds of things. But he’s really now where can do not work more than where can you accomplish anything that I think add another layer of complexity to all this context things for most people, you know, when when getting sing song came, cell phones were a luxury, you know, today, everybody has one regardless how much, you know, unusable a lot better than and depend mom them that what they necessarily want to admit. So, so it’s getting challenging and challenging to see those clear distinctions. At least when you talk about context,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:13
I’ve actually adopted as came actually from you and Cousteau, which is the idea of using what’s the best way to interact with certain types of modalities and different types of tasks on the right device. It’s just, I’m not, I’m not going to be my best to answer certain types of emails. So I’m just similar to you. I still have email on my phone, I have to, because I’m a road warrior. That’s just the reality of my life. And I and I know that you advocate for people really taking their emails off their phone, and basically doing that on their either iPad, or desktop computers or laptops. I haven’t gone to that level. But what I have done is I’ve decided that there are certain I’ve certain clients and colleagues who write emails that are long, I mean, they’re just like, involved, you know what I mean, it’s not, it’s not bad that they’re long, it’s just that when I’m on my mobile phone, and I have to pan six or seven times to be able to scroll six or seven, seven pages worth of email to be able to read and get context, I know that that’s not the right place for me to be dealing with that, that becomes an app desktop, so that I know, to snooze, it doesn’t become an actual item in my list. But I just see it tagged in my head is that because I know that I cannot deal with that email in that sense. And so my email application actually has the function to be able to say, snooze this email until I’m at my desktop, it actually will make the email disappear and reappear when I go and open up the email application on my desktop. So I have, you know, the ability to really see the email and sit down with it. And that has been a huge game changer, because there are days when I’ll have Little Italy, good 48 hours when I’m not at my desk, not sitting down in front of my laptop. And I’ve only had my phone on me. And I can just literally just send those emails to desktop, and they’ll just stay in the queue and come back so that, you know, I sit down after work, travel, and they all now appear, and I can deal with them appropriately. And, you know, I’m not shooting off potentially an email that lacks substance just because I’m trying to respond being reactionary as opposed to truly sitting down and substantively responding to it
Augusto Pinaud 35:32
agree with you, if I were a road warrior? No, my email will be on my phone. The problem is, I’m not a road warrior anymore. When I was a road warrior many years ago with get email on you’re not, I’m choking before, you know, their blackberries came into work. Okay, I figured it out how to connect my Palm Pilot so I could get an email on the go. Because that was and I understand that involve a lot of weakness on the process. I get it. It’s a lot more simpler today. But it but that’s, you know, with anything in the productivity, you need to understand what is your reality, your reality is, you are a road warrior, this then jets, if you go from home to their office on one or two meetings, most likely, you can survive fine without checking your email on your phone, and then do it on the device where you are going to really do something about it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:29
When I approached GTD, I fundamentally thought that there was a one right way for me to be productive. But I never took into account the fact that my roles would change over the course of my life. I mean, I had a job and I worked that worked at that job. And for some reason, I thought that I would just be in that job for the rest of my life. I would I literally thought I would die. Not to be morbid, but I thought I would die in the chair that I was working in. And I think the way the world is moving is to the fact that we’re consistently changing roles throughout our lives are having multiple careers even. But even then, you change companies, you change departments, things do change. And maybe it’s just because of that time of my life. I just didn’t think about it. And now I really focus on this with almost everyone that I talked to, which is that as your life changes, so to must your system, you really need to kick the tires, you need to look at the way in which you’re operating at every major life change to see whether or not it still fits you. And I really wish I knew that about GTD at the time that that I needed to look at my system and say, Okay, well, yeah, I structured my projects. And next actions this way, when I when when this was the way I worked, but now that’s funded, mentally changed. So that needs to change, the system needs to be completely changed. And that means may be changing tools that may require the restructuring, you know, reorganizing the way in which you track tasks, it may require different verbs like I have a set of verbs that I use for most of my next actions. And I try to be very consistent with those because then I can search for those types of things. I can filter based on those words. Well, big change roles means that now the types of work that you do or different or maybe there’s new types of work that you do those those verbs, those actions need to now be added. And I like I like transitive verbs. So you know, that is a verb that does action to something. So I like to email bill call Sally. Like, I like I like to see myself doing an action on an object and not that there aren’t contemplate are those kinds of things that just seem less doable in my mind’s eye all so I try to keep those kind of in line with GTD, although I do have some,
Francis Wade 39:05
I think I mentioned in the last last episode that I had to recover mess of from GTD in a way because I was using another system I thought there was something wrong with it. That picked up GTD thinking it was a solution, tried it for long enough to realize it, it made things worse in my situation, and went back to the old system that I was using, I modified it from there. And it’s not a problem of the old system, or of GTD, it’s exactly what you said is that I didn’t know how to customize my habits, practices, the apps I was using, I didn’t know how to customize that ecosystem. And even know that I could really and I needed to be really sensitive to what was happening in my life and make changes accordingly. I wish when I had ready to do it, I just said that in the beginning of well, say, Listen, this is a set of static patterns set of of very useful behaviors and thinking however, you the bigger picture is that this won’t last you for the rest of your career, or the rest of your life. Or for time immemorial, there will be a time when this tool becomes obsolete. And there will be a time when maybe before that when you will outgrow it that you need something different. So the bigger picture is that you this is a potential stop on the way to your final destination. But it’s not the final destination. And as you read each chapter, think of it as a possible solution. But the bigger picture is that you’re teaching yourself how to make a change from wherever you are, know, to wherever you want to be. And this is just one stop on the way if that message were there, I would have cleared up a whole lot of confusion for me.
Art Gelwicks 40:57
Yeah, when I think about these types of systems. Now, GTD not just exclusive to this, we have to think about it in the context of like car navigation systems and things like ways if you have a system, you’ve planned out a path, and that path is not adaptable to changing conditions, the odds are pretty good, you’re going to have a problem at some point, you have to decide that they’re going to be times that your system is going to come back and say recalculating. And if it doesn’t, you’re going to get lost. But if you’re you are introducing the opportunities to look for a better path. Look for a shorter route, look for a way around a traffic jam that has introduced itself into your career in your life. Your system can then help you through that what you should be looking at. We talked about the trusted system, it’s not so much a trust on will the system work for you? But is your system a trusted partner in your daily life? Is it going to help you through the times when you can’t help yourself? That’s a lot to ask. But it’s in my mind, it’s the goal that you want to strive for.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 42:12
Well, said art. And I think that’s a really great point for us to close out this episode of productivity cast. So to our our listeners, do you have a question or comment about this cast or something we discussed, if you’re listening from anywhere other than the podcast website, you can go ahead over to it at productivity cast.net forward slash 047, which is the episode number and they’re on the page as a comment section at the bottom, you can feel free to leave a comment or question there. You can also go to forward slash contact and shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to answer questions there on productivity cast.net forward slash 047, there are the show notes. So any of the tools or articles we talked about, and so on, so forth are there links to them are provided there. So if you’re, you’re really sitting in one of the apps and you see the list of the show notes, but they’re not clickable, just head over to productivity cast.net and you will find the clickable links to those things thanks to a goose, Joe Francis and art for joining me here on this cast. And if you are listening in iTunes or Stitcher, Google Play Music or whatever, feel free to leave a rating and review that really helps us grow our personal productivity community. And we all appreciate the kudos. So thank you. That closes out this episode of productivity. Cast the weekly show about all things productivity, here’s your productive life.
Voiceover Artist 43:31
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast. The weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto PInaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Note: GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. This is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by the David Allen Company.