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What is the Great GTD Experiment of 2006?

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now i'm intrigued, since you are usually a skeptic and cynic about this stuff.
how about filling us in a little on what you like so much.  and which book of his did you read? one seems older but available everywhere - the other is newer and seems not available yet in the US.

Mark Forster - Do It Tomorrow

what do i like about his approach?

well, i've yet to put everything he says to the test as i don't have any 'real' deadlines to do anything (aren't i lucky). so, i've still got to 'embrace' the rules of the game.

anyway, the things i like about his approach...

don't use to-do lists setting yourself priority tasks - you'll never get around to doing the lowest priority tasks, especially if you just keep adding to the list as you wipe off your done tasks. simple and obvious. instead use a closed-list with a realistic set of tasks that can be done in a day. do all the tasks - doesn't matter what order you do them - just aim to complete them all.

categorise out of control procrastinated tasks/lists as a 'backlog' and separate it away from your daily 'will-do' list. he has recommendations of how to work on this 'backlog' but i'm not explaining everything here.

work on 'batches' of tasks.

new/important projects and tasks should be acted upon first thing each day - before you allow yourself to start inventing other jobs to do.

it helps to work on longer projects by using shorter bursts of activity but on a regular basis - this keeps the project alive.

he also recommends using a method of tricking oneself into getting a task done or, more precisely, into tricking oneself to start a task you seem to keep avoiding. this is done by litterally telling yourself that you aren't really going to do the task but instead you will just perform the very first step of whatever the task may be, eg. don't want to mow the lawn but know you really must - tell yourself you are just going to look in the shed or maybe just clean the lawn mover - you'll often find yourself automatically carrying on with the full task once you've done the pretend start task.

no doubt all of this will sound all too obvious or blindingly simple - and so it should. the book expands on the points i've briefly outlined as well as describing others. i'm sure you'll find similar ideas by other authors on the web and in print. Mark Forster just seems to be someone that has tried the GTD system, realised it didn't work as well as it could and has changed bits of it so that now his version just sounds like common sense, i.e. why would anyone do it any other way.

now, i'm sure that many, or even all, of the self-motivation systems work if you have the discipline to follow them exactly as their rules set out. the problem is that some of these systems are less realistic than others - if you are a super disciplined kind of person then you'll succeed whichever path you follow - if you are not so super, then i think following a system that realises you are always going to be fallible and makes you aware of the limitations you'll encounter is a better one to buy into - GED, or Get EVERYTHING Done by Forster appears to be that system. the crucial thing to be aware of is what the EVERYTHING is for you - of course.

do i think he has the 'complete' system? maybe - for some people. but i'm sure the original version of GTD is perfect for some people. i don't think any system answers everything and i'm sure we'll find many novel and workable suggestions by the people who are going to participate in the DC GTD experiment.

 8) the future's so bright i have to wear shades.

I'll join in too. I bought GTD a while back and got partway through it, but then it sat on my shelf. Time to have another go, and good timing since work and external commitments are both ramping up now.

I really DO hope however this won't devolve into competing "camps". :-P

BTW - In GTD it says early on that even if you don't implement the whole "system", just learning a few of the "tips and tricks" can make a big difference in how much you get done. I've found this to be true, and it's probably true of any other organizing system worth its salt as well. The journey is usually more important than the arrival.

welcome aboard, Jimdoria.

i don't think there will be need to take sides as we'll be sharing our experiences and techniques so there will be overlap between the well defined systems.

perhaps it needs to be stressed that the system that 'works' is the one that becomes just another habit in your life - after a few weeks/months the system ought to be second nature - the most natural way of doing whatever task(s) you are going to do. a system that is too much trouble to even maintain after a few months is obviously going to fail.

but that is why we are here - to find a system that becomes automatic - well, that's what i'm striving for.

I really DO hope however this won't devolve into competing "camps". :-P

BTW - In GTD it says early on that even if you don't implement the whole "system", just learning a few of the "tips and tricks" can make a big difference in how much you get done.
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As Nudone says, different systems may work better for different people.  I think the main idea here is for everyone to make a serious commitment to figuring out a system that works for them, where it is GTD, GED, or some hybrid of your own making.

I think we will want to share ideas from many systems and encourage people to reflect and discuss what works for them, in an effort to get a crash course and tour in various possibilities, the better to help you decide what works best for you.

Your mission is to have a real "system" in place at the end of 3 months, that you actually follow, which will positively effect your productivity and happiness for the rest of your life.

IMPORTANT: Which techniques work best for you is going to be something you are going to have to discover.  But it's your repsonsibility to have on at the end of the 3 months - no excuses that you couldn't find one that "fit your style."  If you can't find an existing system in this 3 months, it's your job to *create* one for yourself within that timeframe that does (and share your insights with others).


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