Getting Things Done


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Getting Things Done

  1. 1. An introduction to GTD ‘Getting Things Done’ Wali Memon Wali Memon 1
  2. 2. Agenda• What is GTD ‘Getting things done’?• Why are we stressed?• To become silent water• Some thoughts about the brain and the consequences of‘loose ends’•Mastering the workflow• Workflow diagram• Manage your own projects (vertical dimension)• Various ways of implementation• References Wali Memon 2
  3. 3. What is GTD ‘Getting things done’?• It’s an Action Management Method – we do not Manage Projects orTasks – we manage actions!• A Time Management System• Complements our inefficient “Mental Reminder System” – clean up allloose end• All about horizontal and vertical organization Wali Memon 3
  4. 4. Why are we stressed?• Perception of having ‘Too much to handle and not the time to get it alldone’ - Take on too many commitments - Having too many ideas - Too much involvement - Changing jobs with ever changing KnowHow to grasp• Too many distractions – no appropriate focus possible• Too high values – focus on primary outcomes and values does not easeour lives• Ineffective personal organizational systems creating hugesubconscious resistance – loose ends Wali Memon 4
  5. 5. To become silent water• Deal effectively with internal commits: How many incompletes or open loops are pulling your attention? There are much more than you think• Basic requirements in Managing Commitments: First: Clear your mind by emptying it! Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind where you come back to regularly and sort through! Second: Clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it. Third: Once you‘ve decided on all the actions you need to take, you mustkeep reminders of them organized in a system you review regularly Wali Memon 5
  6. 6. Some thoughts about the brain and the consequences of‘loose ends’?• Why is our mind not so smart? Do you have a flashlight somewhere with dead batteries in it? When does your mind tend to remind you that you need new batteries? When you notice the dead ones! That‘s not very smart. If your mind had any innate intelligence, it would remind you about those dead batteries only when you passed live ones in a store!• Why do you think of stuff you can‘t make progress on? Between the time you woke up today and now, did you think of anything you needed to do that you still haven‘t done? It‘s a waste of time and energy to keep thinking about something that you make no progress on.• Stuff are open loops – Anything you have allowed into your psychological orphysical world that doesn‘t belong where it is and for which no outcome andnext action has been defined!• Stuff has to be transformed in actionable items in a wider system. Wali Memon 6
  7. 7. Managing Action• The key to manage your “stuff” is managing your actions• Horizontal and Vertical Action Management –Horizontal control maintains coherence across all the activities in which you are in involved. –Vertical control, in contrast, manages thinking up and down the track of individual topics and projects.• The major change: Getting it all out of your head! –The short-term-memory part of your mind – the part that tends to hold all of the incomplete, undecided, and unorganized “stuff” - is overloaded with Stuff. Stuff works like myriads of little monitors popping up arbitrarily and distracting your focus. Furthermore, if you have loaded much stuff there will always be conflict as you only can fulfill one task at a time.• This produces ongoing stress – stress that is ubiquitous like gravity Wali Memon 7
  8. 8. Mastering the workflow (1)We (1) collect things that command our attention; (2) process what theymean and what to do about them; and (3) organize the results, which we (4)review as options for what we choose to (5) do.With (5) it is important to choose according to the following criteria: What can I do? What can I do in the time i have? What do I have the energy to do? Wali Memon 8
  9. 9. Workflow diagram Wali Memon 9
  10. 10. Managing your own projects (vertical dimension)• The horizontal focus is all you’ll need in most situations, most of the time. Sometimes, however, you may need greater rigor and focus to get a project under control, to identify a solution, or to ensure that all the right steps have been determined. This is where vertical focus comes in. - Can be low tec (back of the envelope planning)• Natural planning - Defining purpose and principles - Outcome visioning - Organizing - Identifying next actions• Level concept: Get inspiration by switching between the horizons of focus Wali Memon 10
  11. 11. Various ways of implementation• Pure binary implementation – based on various applications - Everything has to be in electronic form - Reference stuff has to be scanned - No physical experience• Mixed implementation – paper and electronic representation (no redundany) - Best of breed - Some things don’t fit electronic (I like my notes) - More personal Wali Memon 11
  12. 12. Alternatives to Getting things done• There are alternative systems to GTD – the base principles somehow pup up aswell: – Zen to Done is a simplified implementation to GTD: ztd – Get everything done: GED – More productive now (a GTD plagiate): moreproductivenow• Be aware that the method does not solve your intrinsic problems it just makesyou more productive.• To become silent water there is more to do than just get organized! Wali Memon 12
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