ForumsGetting Things Done®Starting over?

Starting over?
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Posted: Mar 01, 2010
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OK, I feel off the wagon...

I need to start up again on GTD, and I'm trying to decide whether it's better to flush everything and start over, or just pick up where I am and work forward.

I'm sure everyone has been there at one time or another. What are the learnings from the experience? What worked when you came back ,and what didn't?

Posted: Mar 01, 2010
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I fall off the wagon regularly! I think it happens to a lot of us as we pick up the system.

When it happens to me, I try to pick up from where I am and polish the rough edges back to proper form. It's too easy to spend all of your time redeveloping the system.

First, I sit down and try to identify WHY I lost my way. Is there a part of my system that's complicated to use? Have I mis-defined some contexts? Am I assigning due dates to things that don't really have them? Do I need to make additional (or fewer) folder distinctions?

For reference, I use folders for rough areas of responsibility: work, chores, freelance projects/volunteering, socializing, finances, personal (non-social) stuff. Originally it was just work/personal/chores, but I found that important categories were getting ignored in the HUGE jumble of personal projects.

Once I've identified why I got lost, I quickly sketch out what tweak can address it. That can be adding or collapsing folders/contexts, re-educating myself on how to use due dates, or simply finding a new routine for clearing my inbox.

From the sketch, I can use custom searches in Toodledo to bring up tasks that are affected by the change, so I don't have to reset EVERYTHING.

Once those structural changes are done, I'll try to book a "weekly review" as soon as possible. I sit down, turn off all my filters, an open the "Folders" or "Goals" view to see all tasks. I work my way down the list, divider by divider, checking in with myself:
* Is this still relevant -- can I just delete it?
* Is it still a next action, or is it more of a "someday" item? (Or the reverse -- should this "someday" be a "next action"?)
* Do I have this assigned to the correct folder/context?
* Have I correctly identified the next action? Is there a step I'm missing that's causing me to procrastinate?
* Does this need a due date or start date?

As new things come to mind, I enter them right away, on the same page.

Inevitably, something will need tweaking again in the future. I'm constantly learning about GTD and constantly learning new things about how I work, so my system needs to grow with that new knowledge. But each time I work through this process, things get a little more efficient.

I hope this is helpful!

Is anyone else having the same problem I have with weekly reviews? They're weekly for a month or so, and then slowly become 1.5 weekly, biweekly, and "whenever" reviews. Any tips for maintaining the weekly reviews for longer stretches?

Posted: Mar 01, 2010
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Thank you! Very helpful.

I definitely can see that I let the weekly review/edit process slide terribly.

Two other things that I wasn't really doing well, or sometimes, at all; 1)scheduling hard time for doing tasks (I document them, prioritize them, give them a deadline, then didn't book time to do them...) and 2)getting things in to the system right away.

A third shortcoming will improve with practics, and that is writing better next actions; subject, object, verb.....

You have helped tremendously, thanks.

Posted: Mar 01, 2010
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I have not fallen off the GTD Wagon yet, but there are times when I have slacked a little, but never more than a few days at at time.

Not saying I can't fall off, but I have not up to this point.

Posted: Mar 01, 2010
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Weekly review: I have this calendared for Fridays at (a certain time). I was in class last Friday/Sat., though, and couldn't do it. I did a partial on Sunday and will get caught up throughout the week and this Friday.

What's important is that I identify and do what's important. I tell myself "progress, not perfection".
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