GTD – 1 Year Later

Well, it’s right about a year since my initial GTD kick got under way, and it’s about time for a review.

What Has Worked

  1. Your Brain Is Not A To-Do List: I don’t know how I ever managed to come close to tracking all my responsibilities in my head, at least not without it swelling to the size of a watermelon.
  2. Next-Action Oriented Thinking: Projects are much easier to move along if you know the one, clearly defined, physical action that will cause forward progress. Rather than having things languish in “Well I don’t know what to do next” status, I always know what needs to be done.
  3. The Weekly Review: It took a while to turn this practice into a habit, and I’m still probably not as good with it as I should be. But it has helped immensely in setting goals for the coming week and ensuring that no project sits unnoticed.

What Still Needs Work

  1. Operating At Altitudes Above 10,000 Feet: While I’ve gotten pretty good at organizing my daily tasks and projects, what is still missing is some overall goals for the coming year, the coming decade, my life, etc. The truth is, I have so much to do at what David Allen calls the “Runway Level” that it’s been altogether too easy to ignore this issue.
  2. That (Dreaded?) Someday/Maybe List: To be honest, I don’t even have one at the moment! Yes, I know, I am ashamed. Here I am, trying to be something of a productivity geek, and I don’t have one of the core parts of the GTD system. *Smacks hand* I think this really goes hand in hand with what I’ve said above, in that I’ve gotten lost in the day-to-day management.
  3. GTD In My Life Outside Of Work: Although I have improved since my last post on the subject, it’s still a weak area. I still haven’t quite found the perfect way to integrate these principles in my home life, especially the idea of universal capture. Example: I’m sitting reading a book, and my wife asks me to deal with the kitty litter. Do I stop reading immediately and write it down, or e-mail myself? Or do I just get a wooden box and have her throw things in it, much like an inbox? Anyone have suggestions?

So there it is, my one year review. Instead of being bummed that I haven’t gotten it quite right yet, instead I am excited that there is still improvement to be made! If GTD makes this kind of a difference now, operating at 60-70%, just imagine what it will be like when honed and tuned further.

So how long have you been practicing GTD? What areas do you have down solid, and what ones still need improvement?