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Posted: Jul 23, 2012
From Topic: limitations of GTD

Posted by Purveyor:
In discussions about GTD, there's rarely any indication of how effective a person is at getting things done.

I think you're right there. GTD seems to be a very personal thing, and its effectiveness is subjective - if it works for 'them/us' then it's effective. If it were the subject of a managment study, I reckon there'd be a wide range of results, varying according to the ability of the user to keep meticulous details and to update them regularly.

To me, this is a bit like discussing how to play golf, but nobody knows each other's handicap.

Yes, what's the benchmark against which to measure it? I don't think there is one - only oneself/one's own opinion. And to start measuring this is like an assessment of productivity, which always threatens more paperwork and perhaps the potential for stress. Thus defeating one of the objects of GTD.

GTD is a skill, and like all skills, it takes conscientious practice to become proficient at it.

Very true. I think proficiency level will be determined by the degree to which practicing GTD makes a satisfying difference to one's organisational skills.

David Allen... ...it's hard to deny that he has accomplished a lot.

I'm sure that he has helped many to alleviate the weight of their stressful lists and procrastinators torment. He certainly captured my attention, and I enjoyed his logical approach to actually coming to terms with the mass of data, information, desires and plans that seem to flood us these day.

I looked up your 'blind men/elephant' reference, not having heard the story - an interesting analogy, though are we all 'blind to the whole concept'? Amusingly, I often use an 'elephant' example when teaching - as in, you can't eat a whole one at once and should take small bites at first until you complete the task. Seems the learning process implies 'blindness' until the whole concept is eventually revealed. Thus awareness and understanding is achieved.

Posted: Jul 23, 2012
From Topic: limitations of GTD

Thanks bcmyers for a clear explanation of how a persons tasks can be broken down into 'immediate next actions' - as per GTD. As an 'educator' myself, I can fully understand your examples - and they can apply to any walks of life, position, status, category, class, wherever we find ourselves. Because it's (GTD) about simplifying the process of task completion and doing it efficiently.

This thread has me coming to the conclusion that the only limitations of GTD are those imposed by the user and his/her pre-conceptions. In my experience it is a very 'free and open' system, applicable to anything. And Toodledo works very well with it using a similar methodology.

Agreed, sifting through lists/data and juggling software is not everyone's cup of tea. (Ask my wife...)

Each to their own.

Posted: Jul 21, 2012
From Topic: limitations of GTD

It was interesting to read gbehrendt's take on GTD. However I have to agree that his appraisal is somewhat flawed. Especially given the evidence not only from bcmyers, but from my own use of GTD/Toodledo. It could be said that GTD is only for 'procrastinators' - but that would be limiting the actual wider effect/value of GTD in my opinion. Also I'm sure in this 'free society' we all enjoy, it's possible to have a dissenting and (positively) critical view of others pre-conceptions about something - particularly if there's evidence to the contrary.