Friday, March 9, 2007

A GTD Simplicity Reminder

A couple weeks back I started to get caught in the trap of focusing on the system instead of focusing on getting things done. In reality, except for David Allen and a select few other people whose job it is to talk about the system and present tweaks for the system, most people are not recognized or rewarded based on how clever or pretty their GTD systems are, but rather on how much they get done. I remembered Merlin's great little podcast titled It's Just a Cup over on 43 folders. He also has perhaps an even more amusing one titled The Perfect Apostrophe with a similar theme. Their memories made me snap out of it...

I decided to simplify the system and focusing on doing and it has been absolutely splendid. I've stopped forcing myself to use my $99 Palm Z22 (but for those that are away from their computers often when they need to look at task list, I still think it's a great affordable item). I've stopped tweaking and customizing my GTD view in Outlook Tasks. I've stopped browsing through Evernote note templates. I've even cut down my productivity blog browsing (sick, I know). I'm also focusing on the more important tasks more, which is a bit contradictory to what David emphasizes in the Do chapter of Getting Things Done, but I'll write about that later. I'm now keeping current work/school related projects and tasks in a single note in Evernote and working off of that solely (again, just for work related tasks, but those are the ones that are messy and need to be viewed as projects and tracked extra carefully; that is, I'll forgive myself if I come back from the grocery store without the dijon). A nice benefit is that I can see all notes I make about the task instantly in a nice big picture. It's been working beautifully and only serves to deepen my simplicity conviction! The Evernote screen shot is below. Projects are blue so i can scan easily, tasks are listed chronologically down the page. The very next task is in bold. Completed tasks get unbolded. That's it. It's awesome. Focus on the doing, forget about the system, chances are what you have works. I bet, then, that your mind will be clearer!

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