Press "Enter" to skip to content

Getting Things Done – again

Just a quick note on my experience thus far with iGTD … seems like I’m getting lots of the little things done, and agonizing over the bigger ones, as usual. Mike linked to a good review of the problems with GTD and a smart way to look at your list:

“When you put a thing on your to-do list, you are making a committment to do it,” he says to me. “Meaning you aren’t going to do some other things.” He pauses. “So you have to choose between those things. Now, why do you have to choose?”

I think about this for a second. “Because your time is limited?” I venture hopefully.


Right. And while some things you really must get done, others … you can keep dreaming about.


  1. Chris Hughes Chris Hughes 2007-05-30

    I abandoned it after I realized I was becoming much better at getting the little details done, and using that to ignore the big stuff that needed doing. (Also, a massive job arrived out of the blue, which made all my goals and targets redundant) Perhaps I was doing it wrong, but I concluded the natural biological stress sensation worked better for me – block out and forget the little jobs – worry about the big ones. Stress is good – it makes you do stuff.
    Actually, re-reading that, I sound very discouraging. Keep it up – I was doing it wrong, and should probably re-read the book.
    I was also aggressively anti-tech in my implementation of GTD – because usually I am more keen on the cool gizmo than actually using it as a tool. More balance was needed, probably.

  2. Hugh Hugh 2007-05-30

    yes i usually think that new project management tools just allow me to develop new ways to behave in exactly the same way wrt work. i’ve tried a number of things… this one’s going OK tho.

  3. mtl3p mtl3p 2007-05-30

    I’m glad you liked that one, Hugh. I definitely think that I’ll remember it. The next time a good idea pops into a conversation, just remind yourself “i’m going to die” and then say no.


  4. Boris Anthony Boris Anthony 2007-05-31

    Ahaha, I love it. I’d offer up some neat buddhist caption, but I’m too hungover.
    I will say though that GTD and it’s ilk are by, and for, the obsessive little squirrels who, because they *juuuust* couldn’t quite fit into corporate office cubicles find themselves freelancing and realize they *juuuust* can’t quite get the swing of freedom.

    And yes, the first step to freedom is accepting death. :)

  5. Hugh Hugh 2007-05-31

    also: for people who want to be better at getting things done.

    I am a list-maker, and iGTD is a nicely-organized keeper of lists.

    whether or not that will make any long-term difference to my life, I’ll have to report back in 6 months or so.

  6. Josh Josh 2007-06-01

    I use GTD Tiddly Wiki. It has worked well.

    So as not to focus on the tiny things, I prioritize my tasks. And I eat the frogs first instead of dealing with the flies. Judicial use of the @next tag helps when searching.

    Eat that frog!

  7. Hugh Hugh 2007-06-01

    have added @next. look out world.

  8. Josh Josh 2007-06-02


  9. mir mir 2007-06-04

    I once tried a 42 folders trick. The deal was to write *all* your priorities on file cards and then figure out which were to do now _ those you bound and carried with you at all times, like Boris’s aptly described squirrel. The others you prioritized into different piles. Each night you thematically searched your piles moving the little cards around into new piles. Think trading cards for neurotics.

    I realized that basically systems thinking doesn’t work for me, when I noticed I would keep the cards with me so I could relax, but never read them, then occasionally I would pull them out of my bag go through them and be pleasantly shocked by the ones I had managed to “complete” and then throw the completed tasks into an empty hanging plant basket. My plan was to make a lovely mobile out of them, but that was a low priority task so eventually I trashed them.

    There were a bunch on the wall at the library too. I actually used those ones though. Until the program started and all hell broke loose ;)

    Basically IMHO, if you’re busy you should be working, organization should take up less then 5% of your time, any more than that and it’s procrastination so you might as well go for a drink or read a good book.

    I however, am in Europe on a jaunt and busy for me now means buying and mailing postcards, other than that I am basically a peice of lint on the continents face.

  10. Hugh Hugh 2007-06-05

    yeah i think these management systems can’t do much unless you are already inclined to be anal about getting things done, in which case you likely don’t need systems like this.

    in the end, there is very little difference between iGTD and my written-in-red-ink, lists in my notebook. except that iGTD sits on my computer, which encourages me to use my computer more than I already do, which, really, isn’t so great.

    still… it’s mildly positive so far.

Comments are closed.