So how does GTD work?
This is a really summarized version, but here it is, PowerPoint-style:
- identify all the stuff in your life that isn’t in the right place (close all open loops)
- get rid of the stuff that isn’t yours or you don’t need right now
- create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values
- put your stuff in the right place, consistently
- do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment
- iterate and refactor mercilessly
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.
Also built-in to the system are an ongoing series of reviews, in
which you 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).
It’s actually sort of fun and oddly satisfying.
I work for a University out of my home office and to be frank it (the office) needs a little work. One of the resources I’m using to get it into shape is 43folders.com. Here is a little quick hit on how the whole GTD system works…