GTD (3)

Stuff is the problem

What is stuff?  All those things that are left unfinished, half through through, embarked on then dropped;
Things that need fixing, replacing, maintaining, tidying, finding . . .
Projects you may or may not do.  Books and papers. . . .   (you get the idea)
Adapted from the 43 Folders blog:

So how does GTD work?

  1. identify all the stuff in your life that isn’t in the right place (close all open loops)
  2. get rid of the stuff that isn’t yours or you don’t need right now
  3. create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values
  4. put your stuff in the right place, consistently
  5. do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment
  6. review projects mercilessly:
    periodically re-examine your now-organized stuff from various levels of granularity to make sure your vertical focus (individual projects and their tasks) is working in concert with your horizontal focus (side to side scanning of all incoming channels for new stuff)

So, basically, you make your stuff into real, actionable items or things you can just get rid of. Everything you keep has a clear reason for being in your life at any given moment—both now and well into the future. This gives you an amazing kind of confidence that a) nothing gets lost and b) you always understand what’s on or off your plate.

Several jargon terms:

  • Open loops.  What is in your mind and is unresolved. The first step in getting sorted is to get all your open loops in one place.
  • Next action.  For each project, decide on the next action.  Group these in contexts.  Separate out rigorously the planning and the doing.

Creating the ‘right place’ is one challenge.  The blogs are full of comment son the system.  Web based?  Paper/electronic?  Hipster PDA?  Electronic PDA?  Memory stick based?

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