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5 Problems People Face When They DON'T use GTD.


What type of productivity system do you have, and how well does it work for you?

Does it slow you down, or keep you quick and nimble? Is it flexible, or does it fall down at the first sign of change?

Right now, you might be thinking...

"Productivity System? I don't even have a productivity system!"

That's a fairly standard reaction at this point. Well, I've got some news for you...

You DO have a productivity system, although the name might sound a bit grand, when applied to your system.

But here's how I'm defining a productivity system...

It's simply 'the system you use to get anything done.'

If you get anything done, then by definition you have a productivity system. Your current system doesn't have to be complicated - it might be as simple as:

"Each day, I just try to remember what I have to do, and then do it,"

Your current system doesn't even have to work particularly well - in fact it might be better called an anti-productivity system, eg:

"When mail comes in, I just add it to my big pile. Every time I feel like crying, because I know one day I have to sort through it. But the pile keeps getting bigger, and it keeps reminding me that I haven't done what I'm supposed to do"

Alternatively, your system might be at the other end of the scale. You might have a full list of all everything you're accountable for. Your whole life may be carefully scheduled for the next five years. You're on top of things.

This is your productivity system.

Would you agree now that every functional person in our society - including you - DOES have a productivity system? It's simply your personal method for getting anything done.

Maybe your current productivity system is working just great. If that's the case - congratulations - you can stop reading right here.

But there are 5 common problems that productivity systems have...

1- Leaky.
Some things get done, other things get missed. Also known as random, where you do whatever comes into your head when it occurs to you.

2- Overly complex.
You spend too much time planning your work, then continually updating your plan as things change. This leaves little time to actually get things done.

3- One-dimensional.
You're a hero at work, but your home life is mess.

4- Inflexible.
It works fine until something unexpected happens (e.g. your car breaks down) then your whole week is thrown out,

5- Ineffective under stress.
It works fine until things get busy. Then, when you need it most, it deserts you, and you get "snowed under".

Do any of these problems seem familiar to you? If so, then perhaps you need to look around for a different productivity system to use.

One productivity system that has been designed to handle these 5 problems, is GTD, or "Getting Things Done", by David Allen.

GTD is different to many other systems. For example, GTD doesn't use to-do lists.

Why not? Aren't to-do lists proven to increase productivity?

Well, to-do lists are certainly better than not using any system, but they often have problems. People don't do everything on their list. Or they only do the fun things, and avoid the problematic entries on their list.

Another problem with to-do lists is that they are inflexible. If something goes wrong (like the car breaking down), your to-do list doesn't help you to do things while waiting for the mechanic.

GTD gets around these problems, by breaking things up into projects, context sensitive lists, and next-action items for each project.

It's quite simple to learn, and once you've started, you'll find a large load has been lifted from your mind.

To find out more, try using one of the GTD tools available, such as Note Studio.

Submitted by:

Dan Fletcher

Dan Fletcher is a developer at dogMelon. They make NoteStudio, one of the leading Palm GTD tools available. Find out more at: http://www.dogmelon.com.au/ns/GTD.shtml





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