Monday, October 31, 2005

Gotta-Gotta Get that GTD

There is a truism which states that you will invariably have most of your best ideas when you least expect them: in the shower, walking your dog in the park, you know the type of scenarios. Basically everywhere except the time and the place that would be optimally convenient. As I spend my time thinking about, and generating ideas for, my client’s branding and design requirements, I have found this truism particularly apt. My friends who work in other creative disciplines would no doubt agree.

That I now find myself increasingly having to address this is one of the unforeseen consequences I have to live with since the arrival of ‘The Boy’ (to borrow a phrase from Homer J. Simpson). It has only now become truly apparent to me how much of my project and career-related thinking I have always been processing offline in my free time. Issues and challenges that were utterly defeating me on, say Tuesday afternoon, I would often efficiently resolve on Wednesday morning after more-or-less unconsciously working them through the previous evening. Alas no more, my evenings are now completely consumed by Ethan-related activities (and no complaints about that).

Consequently, I find myself now having to address means of maximising the hours I can assign to my career and of making every minute count. Given that I believe that I already have some of the accepted personal productivity basics in place after working for fifteen. What I need is something that will help me to move everything up to the next level. Researching this online, it seems that there is a lot of renewed talk in the blogosphere about ‘Getting Things Done’ or GTD – the personal productivity system du-jour for today’s time-poor knowledge worker. It is also obvious, from looking at Lifehacker, 43Folders and their ilk, that I am not quite as organised as I like to think I am.

The Guardian also seems to be on a definite mini-GTD trip at the moment, with Ben Hammersy’s recent interview with David Allen and last week’s Tech piece on successfully implementing the system.

GTD seems well-worth a try, so I have bought the book. I am only as far as chapter two so far (those busy evenings, remember), and I have not fully re-organised myself yet. But let’s see how it goes. Maybe I will be a super-optimised individual, with a ‘mind-like-water’ before I know it.

One niggling aspect is that GTD (online at least) seems to be at risk of evolving into a ‘Cult Of GTD’, along the lines of the ‘Cult Of Mac’. I do not have an intention of becoming a GTD Evangelist, hassling all of my friends to get with the programme.

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