Thursday, 27 May 2010

Making the most of your energy

Yesterday I was incredibly productive and managed to clear over 20 items from my list in a surprisingly short space of time. I found myself in “flow” with my work, taking small task after small task and getting it done, then satisfyingly crossing it off from my list. This has not happened for some time, as my head has been occupied with personal matters that I found hard to dismiss.

In the evening I looked back on what I had achieved with a sense of relief that my @Office list has decreased in size, and a sense of satisfaction. 20 items sounds like a lot, but I had a very large number of 5-10minute tasks that had shot my list up in size. I was lucky enough to feel an energy burst and be able to channel it to clear the list by nearly a third.

Had I tried to do this last week when my energy was very low it would have been impossible. My GTD system gave me a purpose and direction for my heightened energy state. Last week my system reassured me that nothing was urgent enough to be forced into doing it with little or no energy.

I love the fact that GTD addresses the issue of energy and does not expect you to be on top form every minute of every day. David Allen’s four-criteria model of context, time available, energy available, then priority takes account of the human factor and is sympathetic to our energy levels ahead of priority. Although there will be some days where despite energy levels, hard work has to be done, GTD helps me to get the maximum done that I can with the energy that I have. By using the weekly review, I try not to let deadlines creep up on me to the extent that I have no choice but to do them at low energy times.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Leading an informal GTD session

I led my first informal session on Monday this week with a group of 10 people. I was delighted that there was so much interest in the session and ended up with 16 people on the waiting list so I hope to run it again in due course, if the funds for books are available.

I was nervous, and I think I may have spoken a little too quickly, but surprised myself rather and really enjoyed the session. A number of things became clear while teaching:

- I still have a lot to learn! Given that I only been practicing GTD for about 10 months this is a bit of a given. However, it was good to really focus on the both the basics and the nitty-gritty as people who were seeing this for the first time asked questions about it.

- GTD is something that a lot of us do already to a greater or lesser extent. A good number of the people in the group were nodding their heads at certain points. I could see that some of the things that we talked about were already being done, but were not part of the full system, or were perhaps more erratically used. Much of GTD is common sense put into a system that reminds you to keep using those tools.

I hope that I am able to continue to introduce people to the concept and that we may be able to form a group to support our local GTDers.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Getting back to basics

It's been an incredibly interesting process preparing for the informal workshop that I will be leading tomorrow. I have gone back through the basic concepts and almost rediscovered them for myself, as well as for the people that will be attending. I have often seen people remark on how helpful it can be to re-read David's book and I can now see why. Not only that, coming at the concepts from a different perspective, that of a tutor, has prompted me to look for different ways of explaining things and explore the concepts even more deeply to be ready with answers, suggestions or places to go for further information.

I feel nervous, but also quite excited at the prospect of taking the workshop and inviting my colleagues into the world of GTD!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Spreading the word

I’ve volunteered to run an informal workshop on GTD for colleagues at work. I must be crazy! I’ve never really done anything of this nature before but, despite that, I feel that I will enjoy trying to explain GTD and the key concepts to people that know little or nothing about it. I keep thinking back to the interest and excitement that I had when I first read the book, implemented the ideas and started to reap the benefits. I feel that if I could pass on even a small amount of the enthusiasm and interest that I have and help even one person to feel more in control then it will be very worthwhile.

I have been thinking about what points I should put into the 1-1½ hour session and have come up with the following so far:
• Two minute rule
• The four Ds: Do, Defer, Delegate, Delete
• @Waiting-For
• The zero inbox

These are the items that spring to mind most readily when I consider what could be covered in a short space of time, with maximum benefit to the participants. In an ideal world, I would want all of the group to implement everything the book suggests(!), but when this isn’t possible getting started with a few concepts may well get them to look deeper further along the line. I’ll be developing my ideas on how to handle the session over the next couple of weeks and hope to put thoughts here as I go.