GTD in Tatters

I haven’t wanted to blog about this because in a lot of ways, it is just downright embarrassing to have to say but it is the truth. Over a year after my first push into using GTD to get my life together, it is not together. It has all fallen apart, my GTD system is in shambles and I’m more or less back at square one. It might even be square zero.

I think I understand my weak point. I did not do the daily reviews and seldom the weekly reviews. Without that happening, I never really had the necessary confidence that my system was leakproof and that things that entered would get handled properly. Putting something in my inbox became a formalized procrastination, because nothing truly ever left it. I did and do carry around my hipster PDA, but now almost out of a weird habit. It’s kind of meaningless because I don’t really use it nowadays. If I were to look at the calendar card, almost certainly neither side of it reflects the current month. I would pull it out and verify, but there is only so much cheese I can eat at the moment.

My email inbox is back over 100 messages. My physical inbox is overrun with mail and weird bits of things. I feel as out of control as I ever have. The last week has been brutally busy from work, leaving me too busy to blog or do much of anything. However I’ve run across a number of topics that I would have blogged if I’d had more time or energy to do it. What were those? I don’t remember. This topic is one, but there have been at least a dozen. This is exactly the sort of thing that the GTD system is for, and I have a need for it and just haven’t been doing it.

I am not making promises to myself or anyone because I can’t predict what the next few days will hold, any more than I would have predicted the last few to be how they were. If it is possible, I’m going to reboot my system this weekend. I will take the time and reprocess my physical inbox to empty and my email inbox to zero. I will more formalize my review process. Daily reviews first thing in the morning just plain aren’t going to happen and if I build a plan around that, it will fail. I need to find a consistent 10 minutes in the evening to do this work and do it every single day. I believe in the system and I believe in me, and I’m willing to try again. If I gave up at everything for which my first attempt was a disaster, I would never do anything.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

5 thoughts on “GTD in Tatters”

  1. I feel as if this happens to most with the GTD system. I understand its core principals but the fundamentals of getting it all together are hard. I broke it down into my own day to day system. Once the goals are reached for that day I turn my interest onto long term projects. It works for the most part and I don’t spend too much time trying to stay organized.

  2. I’ve been trying to keep up with the GTD system for a few months now and I’m in the same boat you are. huge email inbox, projects are still intact for the most part. I’m going to reset and give it another go here when fall rolls around.

  3. I’ve been there myself. About every two to three months I find that one basket or the other has become irrelevant because I had not kept it up to date or I open my daily tickler files and find I hadn’t opened it for two or three days. Right now my in basket(case) is full. My weak point here is the weekly review that does not get done correctly which brings on the chaos after words. Today is my reset day. Good luck and keep the faith.

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