Starting Over With Getting Things Done
Starting Over With Getting Things Done

Starting Over With Getting Things Done

11/25/2015 by Justin Edelstein
Getting started (and restarted) with Getting Things Done® (GTD® ) is a commitment to yourself to ensure that your life will become less cluttered and allow for a stress-free, productive lifestyle.

My story around restarting with GTD after a lot of stops and starts. Here is a high level list of 5 things that I have done recently to get started “again” and why it has stuck this time.

Refresher on Resources Available

For some people this would mean re-reading Getting Things Done (the book). There is a new version out now so it might not be a bad idea to give it another read. I personally like to watch and listen to things and talk to people who follow the methodology. What got me really cooking again was having a chat with my GTD mentor and coach who gave me a stern kick in the rear and generally chatted with me about the added benefits of the methodology. We didn’t talk “x’s & o’s” rather we talked about making the most out of my time and not feeling like I am letting things slip.

Watch More Videos & Consume Online Resources

I know, a lot like the first paragraph but without the personal touch. I really learn a lot better by watching things and then incorporating them. I like to watch the Inbox Zero talk that Merlin Mann gave at Google over and over. It reminds me every time I watch why I do things the way that I have chosen to do them. It also gives me a good sense of feeling “right” about the choices I’ve made in terms of starting over with GTD. There are lots and lots of videos that are constantly being posted to the GTD group in the Salesforce Success Community - I’d suggest heading over there and participating and watching for new stuff popping up all the time.

Commitment to Self and Others

I have committed to myself that I would follow processes and procedures to ensure that I reduce stress in life. Once I made that commitment to myself, I made sure that I wouldn’t let myself down. Start small and build from there. To me, the smallest thing I could do was commit that I would do my Weekly Review every week, no matter what. I went so far as to put it into a year-long goal for myself and the last step in my weekly review every week is to go in and mark off another week where I’ve completed my weekly review. I’ve also made sure that a part of my weekly review is visible to other people. You’ll always know when I do my weekly review because the first step is to tweet that I’m doing it. Keep it simple at the start and stick to two most core concepts - capture and weekly review. I made sure that I started capturing all tasks religiously and reviewing them on a regular basis. These things alone have made me much more productive.

Choose a System

Select a comfortable tool to facilitate the process and make sure that it is able to capture and review everything that gets thrown at you. Some other key concepts for your toolset is to make sure that they are all accessible across multiple platforms and devices. Capturing should be ubiquitous and you want to make sure that you can do it wherever, whenever, and however you need to at any given moment. You also want to make sure that you can easily understand and utilize the tool that you select. I use OmniFocus on my iOS and OSX devices. Admittedly the tool itself isn’t the most intuitive but luckily for me I have a good GTD coach who has helped me get better at utilizing the tool to achieve my goals of practicing GTD which ultimately leads to a less stressful and more productive lifestyle.

Join the group on the Salesforce Success Community

Did you even know that there was a GTD group within the Salesforce Success Community? Well, I guess I let the cat out of the bag a few paragraphs above, but in all seriousness this is a great group to communicate and collaborate around GTD and add in some Salesforce fun as well. It has great content and resources to watch and learn from and is a great way to find a new David Allen interview or podcast.

After restarting and recharging over the last five or six months I can truly feel the change in my life. It has made handling tasks much easier and less stressful and has allowed me to actually add more to my plate without letting smaller things slip by. For anyone who has tried GTD and slipped, I suggest giving it another shot. Remember to start small and ease into it. GTD is a journey to stress free productivity that will likely take a lifetime to master.

Please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @JustEdelstein.