Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting Things Done

Hate the idea of a book that prescribes in detail how I should run my life. Hate hearing about boring organisational systems. Clearing in-trays. Clearing inboxes. [Inboxes! Honestly, why would you do this? An inbox is a ready made, automatic filing system!] I'm not interested in systems or clear desks! I'm interested in ideas and people and fun!

But I've decided to read (at least some of) GTD. I'm going to have a paper bag on hand to help with the hyperventilation issues. And I'll blog about it - because what's the point in doing something unpleasant if you don't share it with others?

For the record, I'm actually pretty good at getting things done. Some imagine that people with my personality type and diary aversion live in constant chaos amidst mess and mayhem. I don't. (Well, the mayhem is there.) My house is a clean as many and tidier than most. I've been described as obsessive about washing up and such things. I don't like clutter (though 'the unclutter' website sends me into a panic (like GTD)) and throw away anything that gets on my nerves. I keep appointments (mostly), I'm generally not late, I work and I do quite a few other things as well. So what am I going to get out of GTD? But I'll read it because GTD evangelists tell me I should.


  1. I'll read it with you, if you post a schedule. I bought it a while ago, but haven't got around to reading it...

  2. Precisely! and exactly and all that! I don't use a diary (though I'm thinking about getting better with google calender), my desk is usually rather chaotic (though admittedly I don't do much there, I just keep stuff on it) I am usually early for things (I had a news year's resolution not to be so on time once - because I was sick of waiting for everybody else) and I turn up for stuff more than most (I have been called "little miss reliable") and my inbox is in the thousands. I actually sat down one Saturday to clean it out, half an hour later I was out of my tree and wondered why I'd waste any more time going through it when it has this function called "search" that does nicely if ever I'm looking for something. This should be fun!

  3. Take a deep breath Ali and Simone. GTD might not be for you. Heck. It's not really for me either. I'm not an evangelist. I just borrow some ideas. The thought of even saying "tickler file" makes me feel like a dirty old man. And if I ever have a "mind like water" it'll probably be because I've become a Buddhist.

    But. I am inherently unreliable. I forget to turn up to things. I miss important dates. I stay up til 3am finishing off a sermon because I've mismanaged my time. I get priorities wrong. And bills don't get paid when they should.

    So I need all the help I can get. And GTD helps me a little bit. Although I've never actually read the book. I find it very hard to pick up again once I've put it down.

  4. Ah yes, well I can see the benefits, and every now and then I attack my desk in a frenzy and wish it wall all sparse and organised - but really it's only a desk in my bedroom at home that I do personal things on, so I don't need to "work" there. I do acknowledge that I think my life is simpler than many: I go to work every day, same time, same place, where I work fairly autonomously, and other than press dates which hang on the wall and routine things there's not much else I need to keep track of (or if there is I have reminders in Outlook at work) and I don't have a spouse or kids I am trying to co-ordinate with or organise or get to places, and my church is so organised they send out reminders for any roster you're on, so my capacity to get into a sort of forgetful mayhem are limited.

  5. "Hate the idea of a book that prescribes in detail how I should run my life."

    I hear you saying that you don't want a new master or someone telling you how to do things. Close to the mark? If so, fair enough too. All systems make poor masters.

    Some can be utilised as good servants though.

  6. I've always found anti-GTD to be more scary and aggressive than GTD evangelists. But that's just my experience...