Friday, January 23, 2009

A new peace with GTD

I have a problem.

I am currently 20 years old.

I am fortunate to be healthy, live in a Western liberal democracy, and not to have too many pressing concerns on my time.

Despite this I have a number of problems that I've been struggling to articulate for most of my life.

These problems are specified below. If you, the reader, are a prospective employer I exhort you to be aware that I am defining these problems that I might solve them and make myself a better person.

Here they are:

  1. I am passive.
  2. I will default to inaction if there is no clear alternative.
  3. My attention span is short.
  4. I am easily distracted.
  5. I have difficulty organising and optimising my life.
  6. My memory lets me down sometimes.

OK. So now they're out in the open - where do I go from here?

The answer that most readily springs to mind is to adopt the Getting Things Done lifestyle.

A discussion of GTD and it's founder, David Allen, can be found in this article on Wired Magazine.

As ever with the cultish fringe there is a suspiciously religious element to GTD that I'm, wary of. Not to mention the vast variety of tie-in products and money spinning items associated with it.

Fortunately there seem to be no end of easy, cheap implementations of the basic philosophy, including a rather splendid Moleskine-based project described in detail here.

However I have just taken the time to write down all the things I need to do. In no particular order and with no distinction made between their being big or small or important or unimportant.

This simple act has proven to be very cathartic. For the first time in a very long while (in fact, since I was on holiday in the summer) my mind seems calm and at peace.

All those nagging little tasks are still there. But now they are stored elsewhere and I can concentrate on getting things done.

I intend tomorrow to purchase a Moleskine notebook and begin living with GTD.

Watch this space.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Good luck with your venture into Getting Things Done and do keep us posted.

It is always interesting to see how new adopters work through the process and what others can take from those experiences!