We’ve been looking at Getting Things Done for the past week. It is a powerful framework for increasing both the amount and quality of your work.
As with every framework, there are a few things that I find difficult or harder to implement. Wanted to touch on a couple of those items as we're closing this GTD week.
- It is necessary to schedule time to “maintain” your system. I found that this is one of the most difficult things: accepting the fact that you need to reserve time to keep your system in a good shape. Having a clear head is not something that can be fixed with software or tools, you need to reserve time every day and every week to keep everything up to date.
- I find the single inbox really difficult. David Allen says that it is the absolute best to keep your number of inboxes to a minimum. Also, you should have one system to store what you have to do. Currently, I have three of them: I always start with my calendar, after that OmniFocus and finally my mailbox. I don’t spend too much time moving tasks from one to another. I'd rather have one, but I can't see how I would fix that right now.
- I keep scheduling tasks on a date. GTD specifically says that you shouldn’t tie tasks to a date, unless is absolutely has to get done by then. I find this difficult, because if I don’t do that, urgent/not-important things take over. So I'm connecting a due date to all tasks to keep them moving. This also gives some kind of a feeling you’re “done”, a feature that you lack if you’re working on an endless list of tasks and projects without a date.
- It needs a bigger framework for goals around it. Getting Things Done is a great way to work, I really believe that. However, I think it is not complete without a framework for creating, tracking and completing goals. Your goals are the guideline for the projects and tasks you then process in your Getting Things Done framework.
This is a topic that is really close to me, and this week really gave me a fresh view on Getting Things Done and the way I have implemented it. If anything, I hope it gave you some pointers to get a little more structure in your own work as well.