Example: Everyone can relate to this: Everyone here has probably felt at some point stressed, overburdened, kind of out of control. Almost everyone has at some point sat down and made a list and felt at least a little bit better . Now, if they had actually analyzed HOW COME? How come you make a list and you feel a little bit better? The world hasn't changed, if you found out why you felt better, you'd figure out why that works, you’d never keep anything in your head the rest of your life. So, GTD takes that to a next level.. The reason it was stressing you in your head is that when it's cluttered in your head, it's in your head and tehre's a part of your psyche that thinks you shoudl be doing that all the time Once you get it out of your head you can look at it and renegotiation and say, oh, not NOW. . But when you put it in a system, Everyone knows it helps to write things down, but many people don't, or even if they do, they don't processe the written stuff properly. There's a lot more reason to write things down NOW than there EVER was. Best practices
“The Art of Stress-Free Productivity”Getting Things Done (GTD) in your job….and your life in general 2012 WLIA Spring Conference Minocqua, WI Presented by Jeff DuMez Brown County GIS Coordinator/Land Information Officer
Presentation OverviewWhat is Getting Things Done (GTD) and why is it sopopular? •It is about a systematic approach to your work •Its not about “gear” (planners, gizmo apps, etc) GTD is a process that’s popular partly because it is “gear-agnostic”; you can use any tool you want (OneNote, Lotus, Excel, Outlook, etc..even paper!)My preferred tool: www.Evernote.comDemonstration of my GTD system within Evernote
ExpectationsHow will you benefit from this presentation?
GTD isn’t so much about becoming a superheroThe GTD process DOES help you:• Work with less stress and a clear mind• Absorb more input / Capture more ideasSystematically process more input and ideas to create•more or better results• Find things back faster (you’ll build your own “personalgoogle” full of YOUR STUFF that can be quickly and easilyrecovered). Especially when used with an awesome toollike Evernote.
Relax. And get things done too.GTD lets you be more strategic and more relaxedwhile dealing with stuff coming at you from manydirections in your job (and life)
What’s different about GTDObviously, management systems, day planners, andother scheduling systems have been around foryears & years…GTD isn’t really a system, but more of a systematicapproach.It fills in gaps left by these other systems.
Systematic ApproachWith GTD you can use your favorite tools (Ganttcharts, Covey Planners, mindmaps, Microsoft Outlook orProject, mobile apps, etc)Keep using these things if you like them.Even plain paper works for GTDThe GTD approach works with many tools
Psychology of the GTD approachIt helps to write things downAlmost everyone has made lists and felt at least alittle bit better….….At first anyway….…..as long as the lists are efficiently managed…
Of course, writing more stuff down can be aburden in itself….
The Transformation of StuffWriting it down is great, but dont create uselessclutter and make things worse!GTD enables you to capture, process and store yournotes with much less frictionEasy to input, smooth to organize, and quick torecover notes and action items.
CalendarsCalendars are an example of a “trusted system”Calendars help you stay relaxedWhy? You get the appointments off of the mind…“OK, where do I have to be today at 11 AM and tomorrow at 6 PMand a week from Thursday at 2 PM and ….”Like most people today, life is complex enough that you havelearned to trust your calendar at least to some degree.
All EncompassingGTD helps you capture ALL things that need to getdone—now, later, someday, big, little orinbetween…And easily manage them.Especially when it hits the fan.
A word on planners/organizersMany people buy a planner & calendar and think,“There!” Ill be organized now”However, techniques on how to use things likeplanners is sorely lacking, so the tool isn’t as effectiveas it could beIt’s like buying GIS software (the tool) but unless youare putting things into it and applying propertechnique, there’s really no point in buying the tool!
GTD is more nimbleGTD is flexible, unlike the standard prioritized “to-Do” lists that must be constantly re-prioritized.You can adjust and renegotiate at any moment withGTD
Focus, Context, Time & EnergyGTD also lets you successfully "spin many plates" by:•Accounting for different levels of focus•Accounting for context (work, home, people, etc)•Accounting for time & energy
The basic GTD processBasic Steps: 1. Collect 2. Process 3. Organize 4. Review 5. DoSimple, yes?The nuances of making the practices effective cantake some time to master and habituate though.
Step 1: CollectGet it out of your head. Complete “Mind Sweep”Even the stuff like “ahh, I should.....” that stuff will gnaw atyou---if not conciously, subconciously---unless you get it outof your head.There will be a feeling of relief by doing even this first stepGather the “incompletes” in your life(What’s on your mind at this moment? What’s nagging you,distracting you? Write it down!)
Collection ToolsCollect with anything you like!–Just make sure its simple & easyNothing wrong with paper and white boards to start—Remember, it has to be quick and easy.Note: Your email inbox(es) will help you collect SOME of yourstuff, but likely not everything that should be captured.Your input will be more than just emails. More on handlingemail later…
Collection with EvernoteGetting your “stuff” -into Evernote is super easy(and even fun!)There’s so many ways to easily capture stuff … Notjust from emails, but many other ways.
Step 2: ProcessGoal is to drive your collection bucket(s) to EMPTY•Is it actionable?•Is it trash?•Is it potentially useful as reference?•Might I want to do it someday?2nd stage of getting control is "corralling your stuff"Having your stuff in Evernote makes the process really easy.Process your inbox(es) to empty--regularly.
Step 3: OrganizeThe outer ring of the diagram (handout) shows the 8 discretecategories of reminders and materials that will result fromprocessing all of your “stuff” Together these make up a total system for organizing just about everything that’s on your plate--- --- or could be added to it--- on a daily and weekly basis.
Organized ContainersThese organized items need to be physically contained insome form— for use as “reviewable sets of reminders” orfor reference. Here again during the Organize phase, the Evernote tool shines brightly
Step 4: ReviewMake “Action Choices” based on: •Context – most actions require specific locations (work, home, in the car, with certain people, etc) •Time available is usually another factor •Energy Available is good to manage your state of mind •Priority can be assigned in review(and given the context, time, energy)A review of your system at least once per week is stronglyrecommended (the “Weekly Review”)
Weekly ReviewUse any tools / processes you are comfortable with foryour Weekly Review: – Brainstorming / whiteboarding – Outcome visioning – Mind Mapping – Ghant charts – Whatever works for you…...Just be sure the end results (the resulting "stuff"--(action items, etc) goes into your GTD system!
“Horizons of Focus” help with your Weekly Review / Brainstorming
Step 5: Just Do It!The power of knowing “The Next Action”: •Planned out, clear Next Actions in context •Good examples pulled from context-based lists: @Work-Next Actions: “Call Jim re: Stillwater plat” @Home-Next Actions: “Send Phil a check for the TV” Errands-: “Pick up 8d galvanized nails for the deck project” •Bad examples: (too vague): •“Jim”. •“Taxes”. •“Nails”
Your new “Control Panel”The GTD system is your control panel allowing you tojust get busy DOINGYou will have your clear and concise “Next Action” items infront of you, based on context, energy, and Priority.Your projects, to-do lists, and reference materials will all bein 1 system, well-organized by contextUse Checklists, just like airline pilots do (for goodreason!)Evernote makes this all very easy.
GTD “control panel” benefitsDecreases procrastination by feeding you manageable,complete- able, bite-sized actions to move larger projectsforward.The system allows you to more easily absorbinterruptions and new input while still staying in focusand on track “Mind like water”You will not have to ‘switch gears’ as often •Frequent loss of focus has been proven to lead to stress!
Go with the flow, man …(YOUR flow)…With GTD, you will achieve better “flow”• When ideas or other input hit you, capture them easily without skipping a beat.• Reboot your brain: Mindsweep/brainstorm regularly.• Organize the thoughts & review them later when you have a chance. A little preparation is an investment.
Reduce the drag• Do the action items in the proper context and in bite- sized chunks• Go ahead and spin some more plates….While keeping focus and control.• Find stuff back much more easily where & when you need it
Evernote as a GTD toolEvernote benefits •Easy to use •Free (for most features) •Works on ANY device or operating system Desktop: •Windows, Mac, any web browser Mobile: •Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, etc •Any cell phone •Text or email messages in •Call into voice transcription services like Jott (converts to text, includes the original voice msg)
More Evernote benefits•Synchronizes between machines (regardless of OS)•Theres a local copy of your notes (for off-network use)•Use tags for time, energy, anything•Virtually unlimited storage (with paid account-- $5/mo. or$45 / yr)•Encryption is possible•Can export out: Core value of Evernote is that this is theCUSTOMERs memories and notes, were free to take themout at any time. Not proprietory.
Evernote as a processing tool for all GTD phases •Its easy to input, process, review and organize •Simply drag & drop items around between “notebooks” •Use Check boxes (check lists) •Automatically tags date & location •Automatically indexes your notes so you have ready- reference material
Evernote as a GTD Reference SystemEasily retrieve anything, anywhere – Most people use Evernote simply for this – Search capabilities are awesome – Finds text even within images (photos, screen shots, etc) – Finds words within documents such as Word or PDF Here’s where HUGE efficiencies can be gained.
A note on projects…Most people like to have an “all-in-one” project plan, Ganttchart, etc.Thats fine, but you need to pull out “Next Actions”organized by context in a better control panelGTD fills the gap between planning and actionLarge plans break down when youre busy DOING For example: You wont go through a large project plan to find "buy nails" or "call Fred". Too unweildy.Instead, pull out the Next Actions and put in your context lists
Is GTD too complicated?GTD might itself seem overwhelming but need not be thatcomplexIt is scaleable. Basic practices is all you really needThe beauty of GTD is that you can take the few basicprinciples and set them up however you wantNobodys GTD system is exactly the sameIn a complex occupation like ours, GTD works beautifully ifproperly implemented
Just right“Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler” ~Albert Einstein
Is GTD too much organizing… …and not enough DOING?"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree Id spend six sharpeningmy axe“ ~Abraham LincolnGenerals, NFL players, and others who know the power of aclear mind to help them just DO in the heat of action havepraised GTD because they know productivity is directlyproportional to our ability to relax.
Staying on trackOnce you get into this, its relief, not extra work.Doing GTD becomes easier than NOT doing it.
Making a habit of it• Get rid of ‘brain scuzz’. It becomes a habit, for literally the same reason you brush your teeth.• Even after catching on to the principles of GTD, it may some time to really make it work for you.• Don’t fret, read the book—listen to the podcasts, etc.• You’ll want to customize your system
What’s on your mind?Usually the reason something is “on your mind” isthat you want it to be different than it currently isEven “non-stressful” things can add stress……simply because you’re trying to remember toomany things at once.Take a second and write it down. If you’ve got moretime and the thoughts are flowing, keep going!
Clarify the outcomeFor each thing, be sure to clarify exactly what theintended outcome is.What needs to happen for you to check this off as“Done”?
What’s the very next step?What’s the next action required to move thesituation forward?Would you pick up the phone and make a call? Goto your computer and write an email? Talk face toface with someone? Go to a specific location?
OrganizeCapture the “project” (if more than a couple steps areneeded)Put the “Next Actions” in your “context” lists (eg @Work or@Home or Errands).Usually, it is unlikely you’ll be able to just DO everything forall projects right then and there.You likely have MANY projects going on all at once – withthis system, you’ll be have reminders of the outcome andaction required in a system you trust.
DoWhen you’re at work, or at home, or wherever mostappropriate to Get It Done, go to the “control panel”, findthose context lists you’ve made, and get things done.