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Practice Getting Things Done (GTD®) for long enough, deliver training about it for long enough, and you get accustomed to a lot of repeating questions/problems – What’s the best tool? Why not just do ‘x’? How do I get my husband/boss/child to do this? … Surely this takes LONGER than what I’m already doing?
Of course, we have the answers to these questions and the practical real-life experience (coupled with the scientific research now in the 2015 re-issue of David’s book) to prove their worth. However, often in my world I’m greeted with people who believe implementing GTD is far too time consuming and unnecessary and question the methods we recommend for taking control of the business of life and the game of work.
In corporate settings this usually comes from the healthy scepticism of “losing a day” to any training that’s taking people away from their busy jobs and preventing them from doing their work (Incidentally – those who do attend our seminars tend to report that they’ve managed to get more of their work done IN the actual seminar, compared to if they have been left to their own devices).
One friend of mine objected to the terminology we use amongst ourselves to describe certain behaviours key to implementation – we use words like “Capture, Clarify, Next Action..” – she argued “well of course it makes sense to write things down, but there’s no need to give it a grandiose name like ‘Capture’” – the truth is we don’t care what you call it, as long as you see the benefits of doing it.
The other source of scepticism is usually from those who’ve been forced by their company to work using a particular tool (think MS Teams, Slack) that was promised to be the solution to all their problems, whereas in fact the tool either didn’t help OR exacerbated their problems.
Anyone from this camp will be pleased to hear that whilst we can – and do – teach in whatever tool your company uses, many participants LOVE that fact that we are tool-agnostic, and that our methodology can easily be incorporated into existing systems or ways of working that you are already finding useful.
Speaking of ways of working; there are those who’ve been getting along fine, but have been forced to adopt a particular method of project management or workflow simply because their boss/company are completely sold on it as a solution. I’ve met more than my fair share of top performers who feel like their workload has doubled, simply because they now have to shoe-horn their existing practices into a new, shiny methodology and evidence their working in order to progress. In our world we have a methodology that has stood the test of time with hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. We start though with the idea: implement what makes sense for YOU.
At a recent training delivery, I was asked about my role recruiting, training and managing 300+ volunteers for a mass COVID vaccination centre in Barking – the enthusiastic enquirer was keen to know if I’d used Gantt charts/Agile/insert methodology here – and equally amazed and dare I say a bit disappointed to hear my reply – “no, just GTD® – Projects and Next Actions appropriately organised and engaged with – that’s it.”
Another friend of mine refuses to believe anyone needs GTD and then at various points shows me his empty inbox (Clarified capture tool), the list on his phone of things he’d like to do when time/money allows (Someday/Maybe) and his refusal to park any task that he can accomplish quickly (2-minute rule) – the fact is that he is pretty much already practicing some of the fundamentals of the Getting Things Done methodology.
These examples are all from people who either can’t believe that a system so simple can be so powerful or can’t believe that people aren’t already exhibiting these behaviours in their everyday life.
Maybe it seems all too simple to you? Or maybe it seems over complicated? Either way, if you’re curious to find out what GTD is really about rather than guessing or assuming… start by getting in touch.