A while back I really got into David Allens GTD method. I read the book. Did a mental sweep as well as a physical sweep of my office and home. Put everything into an inbox, and processed it. I started with paper lists, but couldn’t get the sense of projects and how list items could be on separate lists but fall under a single project. At times I had issues getting the idea of a list as David Allen defined them. For example, develop a new course is not a task, it’s a project. On that project is a task, to write an outline. But that could be a project inside of a project also right? So needless to say, I struggled. I’ve always struggled with productivity. I think it stems from getting my hands into so many different things, and the giving up on the list and trying to do it on my own.
I think it’s good to do self examinations from time to time to see what’s working and what isn’t. For example, I took a break from omnifocus for a while and tried to do reminders in iOS. After a bit of self examination I realized that using reminders failed miserably when it came to managing the tasks of a project, but it was awesome when it came to a shopping list. I’ve done this multiple times, but always end up going back to omnifocus. So what have I learned? I have to constantly be looking at my methods and adjusting them if need be.
Happy Wife, Happy Life?
I’ve noticed too that my wife is happy when I’m doing well on GTD also. Not only does my productivity at work improve, but all those little things that need to get done around the house are suddenly done. When I fall off the GTD wagon I always fail to determine the two minute tasks and just get them done. So yes, there’s another motivating factor to stick to the program. Still, I always struggle after a bit of time. Once again I learned a bit about myself here. I tend to get bored, and I have to keep on myself about sticking to a method that’s working.
Motivating myself is not always the easiest thing to do. It’s not impossible, but I have to focus, think about what needs done big picture, and then think about the end result and what that means to me. I’ve had to say no to some projects because of that. I know that if the end result is not significant in my head it’s going to suffer in the long run, and I can’t do that to a client. So I say no, and I’m okay with that. What I’ve learned is that the best way to motivate myself is to only work on the projects that excite me and make me happy to work on.
Shout Out To Those Who Keep Me On Track
I would like to mention two podcasts that keep me on track for the most part. The first is Homework on the 5by5 network with Aaron Mahnke and Dave Caolo. These guys have helped me immensely in keeping it together as a self-employed business owner. The second is the Mac Power Users with David Sparks and Katie Floyd. With their discussions of Omnifocus it sparks my interest in the apps capabilities time and again. It’s like a reminder that pops into my Overcast app each week. There are others, but these are the ones I most often turn to. Thanks guys!
I know. This self reflection and rambling about my productivity or lack thereof doesn’t read well for a blog post. But for me it’s just been a moment to say that I want to provide a great place for students to learn, readers to glean some beneficial tips and ideas, and for me to deliver something meaningful to the community that I’m a part of. If at any time you, as a student and a reader see a lack in delivery on my part, feel free to send me a not to get back on the GTD wagon. My wife will thank you, and of course, I’ll appreciate it as well.