Thursday, November 3, 2011

What To Do When You Fall Off The GTD Bandwagon

I'm not sure who decided that when you quit or get out of the habit of GTD that you "fall off the bandwagon" but I know it happens to a lot of people over time - myself included. Just like anything else, our interest and motivation level ebbs and flows over time and it's no different than with our work habits. The key to dealing with the situation is to not beat yourself up about it and just get started again. I always say get started with collecting again. And by collection, I mean all of the paper you have laying around. Getting things picked up. It's the easiest way to start getting momentum.

When I first started with GTD, I carried the book every where. I read it any chance I got. I surfed the web looking for any kind of edge I could get to help me set up the best possible GTD set up I could get. Once I did that, the newness of the what I had learned wore off a little bit and I didn't carry the same kind of enthusiasm that I once did for it.

So when the time came and I fell of the bandwagon, I didn't worry about it too much because I had one unique advantage going for me than when I did when I was pre-GTD. That was that I had a system set up and ready to go. All of my inboxes were there. All of my lists. My calendar. All of the buckets that weren't there before were all there now. When my personal habits broke down, I knew exactly what to do I just wasn't doing it.

My GTD system is just like a manufacturing company. When I fall off the bandwagon, it's like the power was shut off the assembly line and no parts get put together. What I do to get it rolling again is turn on the power.

The power in this case is momentum that the collection activity generates.

You see GTD collection is easy. You just gather stuff up.

The reason that I start here is because cleaning everything up and getting things into my gtd inboxes gets me moving. There are no hard decisions involved at this stage.

Decisions are friction that stall me in the GTD processing phase. But they seem easier to make when my head is clear and my workspace is organized.

If you have fell off the bandwagon, follow this advice to get yourself moving again.

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Michael Kuhn

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