Hi everyone. Delighted to be online w/Fast Co. folks. Happy to take a stab at whatever you'd like to ask...David
Mistakes are only silly when they happen a second time. Otherwise, it's just course-correction. Perfectionism will be a great source of procrastination; so the trick is to focus simply on the task at hand, which you can do well. It's negative fantasies about the future that get in your way. The more you build in regular reviews of all your interests and commitments, the more comfortable you'll become staying focused on one at a time.
I review my action lists when I need to relieve any doubt about what I'm doing, and need to assure myself I'm not missing anything more critical. Sometimes that's at least once a day, but more often it's every few days. Depends on the cycle of how fast things are moving in my world that particular week.
Calendars should only hold time-specific and day-specific commitments and actions. The other "to do" lists need to be accessible for review whenever you have discretionary time. Doesn't matter where you keep either, as long as they are accessible whenever you need them to orient yourself.
Yes. Project should stay open, on your list, until it's put to bed; and of course the Waiting For's need to stay there until you have what you need.
We don't really know yet the scope of the app, because we're still in deep research mode. Ultimately it will integrate across all platforms and hardware; but that's a big job. It will come in stages.
No projection of timelines yet. Still lots of work to be done in terms of scope. Never wise to predict in software, as you may know...!
Obviously you need external triggers and parameters (most of us do, by the way). You need to look for ways to create your own "external" triggers. A complete list of your own projects and very specific next actions on each makes it easier to motivate your engagement in the actions - if you play any games at all, use the "mark it off" kind of win that making a move in a game gives you.
You need at least one next action on each project, along with any "parallel" actions (i.e. can be done indepedently of each other). Any possible future actions, if you want or need to capture those, should be incorporated in your project plans or support materials. You don't want next actions on reminder lists that can't be done in the moment.
There are a few on our list... but given some other major projects in the works right now, the heat's not real high underneath them yet.
As I mentioned, we're still working on scoping the range of the worlds we'll be addressing. Early versions will probably focus more on the mobile/pc/iOS application sets; but even that's not a promise.
Hey, there are worse ways to procrastinate! I'd first examine whether the fiddling is a fun hobby or, as you suggest, a way to avoid something more important. Only coaching is to pay attention to what really has your attention; and if you're appropriately engaged with that, and just want to fiddle in the same context as working in your garden... what the heck.
I have probably a dozen things on a Vision list; but I also have numerous "treasure maps" I've collected that represent style and future fantasy pictures...hard to count those (pic is worth a thousand words!)
Foremost is to keep your head as empty as possible of all the possible would's/could's/should's banging around in there. Write it all down. Get it out in front of you...that's the first and primary ingredient to building the right "maps" you need to review to feel comfortable about what you're not doing.
If people around you "get" GTD, open offices can be very cool. If they don't, it can really suck. People will tend to jump you instead of communicating through the systems. But the less people around you manage themselves, the more critical it will be that you manage your own ten acres...so you're clear what's your mess vs. what's their's. The more focused you are, though, the more people will feel uncomfortable jumping into your space.
Move it to Someday/Maybe, so it doesn't infect your more real stuff. Good questions, always: What's the value of doing it? What's the risk if I don't?
No firm plans yet, other than a slow-moving project to get a book together for parents and caring adults about how to use daily teaching moments to have kids embody GTD thinking before they have to confront the real world. We're still in data-gathering stage, with some potential pilot programs with high schools on a back burner.
In my experience meditation can help you LEAVE your mental processes behind (or below), but when you're back in the day to day world, dealing appropriately with what's ON your mind is the only solution.
If there's a way to keep from doing them at all, that'd be my first choice (again, what's the risk if I don't do this?) If it's still a have-to, then build the habit of doing them first. Then you can make snacking on email or social media a reward instead of an avoidance.
Anything you can do in one sitting I'd call a next action itself. Being more discrete would waste your time. "Finish pro forma" or "Finalize taxes" works as a next action for me, as long as I know for sure I have all the requisite components to get it done.
If it's brainstorming about a specific project, then definitely make "draft ideas re:whatever" a real and specific at-computer or at-office or at-home action. If you just want some blue sky thinking time, yes, it would be wise to carve that out. I seldom get blue sky thinking done without a reasonably firm intention to create or discover something. Also, in this case, function often follows form. Put yourself into a creative thinking environment, like a conference room with a whiteboard, or whatever brainstorming software might be fun to use, just in and of itself.
I don't do anything consistently other than wake up (and sometimes that's in doubt!) Generally, coffee, reading headlines and weather, and some soft reflection time before I hit the road running...
You may need to raise up to some upper levels of self-assessment, such as your vision, purpose, ideal scene, long-term goals, and determine if the way you engaged toward and with them is adequate for you right now. You may find it is; in which case just enjoy all those fanciful someday/maybe's and potentials. Trust when one reaches some critical mass, you'll just wake up feeling like doing it; or, get so sick and tired of being sick and tired, you just jump in and tackle it for the hell of it.
If you really get the GTD methods, multitasking can be highly productive; but that means you have ways to keep placeholders for incomplete loops, easily at hand and accessible and conscious. If you start something, have to go to something else, but don't trust you have a marker for the first thing, where you left off, in someplace you trust you'll look soon enough, multitasking can kill you.
You're welcome. Re: financial planning... best to just start with some sort of map; and maybe do two or three; and see which one gives you a better sense of control and direction. Many times things like that I just have to get started with something, and then the better process will emerge. Don't overthink it. Like writing a book: best way to start is write a crappy first draft.
Best ones for me are scibbled notes on my notepad, that I just tear off and throw back in my own in-basket. Sometimes I'll print a draft of an email and do the same thing. Nothing beats my physical in-tray, since it gets emptied every 24-48 hours, so any trigger I throw in there allows me to forget about whatever it was about.
Not required, but highly useful. There are many layers to the onion of GTD, and the more you integrate ahead of time, the more you'll pick up from there and take it further. But, again, not critical...
Delighted to have spent time with all of you. Good questions. Keep your fires lit! Thanks to Fast Company, and all the best....David
Thanks for joining us, everyone! Your questions were great. Apologies for all the questions we didn't get to -- Mr. Allen stayed online later than we had planned, to get to as many as he could!
We'd love to hear from you in the comments, re: Q&As you'd like us to host in the future. Guests? Topics?