Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Giving GTD a try

I have tried many productivity schemes from time to time but was never able to stick to one to see proper results or life changing habits. I seem to be getting back to my normal self after sometime and the latest seems to just die away. Adding to the list of many things that I have TRIED!

The latest obsession is GTD. I had read about GTD about a year back and then read a few articles about it, mainly from 43Folders.com and other GTD related sites. On the outset it seemed like quite a bit of work, just to maintain and keep practicing it. The work flow seemed like a it required a lot of work in itself. Apart from that, those days I was not so busy. I had a pretty laid back work load and had the freedom to pursue my other interests like coding (read moBlog) as well.

But with the change of careers, I was getting more and more work on my plate. Responsibilities of my role grew pretty much to the point that it became almost unmanageable. And I felt the need for the productivity system pretty badly. I was working across time zones, so my working hours morphed into my family or personal time as well. And I was being pushed to my limits.

Then again I started to think about GTD. Call it synchronicity or whatever you like, I ran into David Allen's book at a department store a couple of weeks back. I read through a few pages, it didn't come across as an interesting read, but I bought the book anyway. And I started reading it leisurely. Now, with my workload I get to spend a very little time reading. I am trying to balance my free time between family time and reading time, so my reading of the book is proceeding very slowly.

So far I have reached the last part of chapter two. While I am sure that the process is proven and works, I am still a bit skeptical about it achieving the desired life that we all want to create for our selves. David Allen is pretty frank about it and he states that he is taking a bottom up approach to getting stuff done. His work flow is more focused towards getting the stuff on your plate done, but does not pay much attention towards qualifying them.

I mean it helps you go faster, but does not give much thought about the direction you are taking. To use Stephen Covey's words it helps you climb the ladder faster, but it does not tell you much about figuring out whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Not much on goal setting either. The logic behind GTD is if you get more stuff done and clear your plate, then you will have a clear mind to think more about the lofty goals. So any goals can be put into a someday list!

Anyway, something is better than nothing and I will give a try to GTD. At least if I can get the things on my plate done, without allowing anything to fall from the cracks that will be a good start!

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