GTD Cafe: Inside the Minds of 9 GTD Practitioners

How do GTD'ers think, live and work?  This week I decided to gain some insight from 10 "experts" in the Getting Things Done field of productivity.

Mind Sweep / Merlin Mann

The idea behind the mind-sweep is to identify and gather everything that is making claims on your attention or is likely to affect the larger areas of responsibility in your life — everything that’s quietly burning cycles, stealing focus, and whittling away at your attention — so that you can then decide what (if anything) must be done about each of those things.

Process / Leo Babuata

Letting stuff pile up is procrastinating on making decisions. If you process your inboxes, making quick decisions and putting things where they belong, things don’t pile up. Process your inboxes at least once a day, and more frequently if needed.

After a Vacation / Lisa Hendey

If ever there were a need for the GTD mindset, it's at moments like this.  You've just arrived from a glorious week of fun and you're welcomed home by ten loads of laundry, a week's worth of snail mail, plants that need watering, souvenirs that need putting away, photos that need developing and phone calls that need returning.  And all of this happens before you even step foot into your home office.  If you're extremely lucky, you've arrived home with all of your luggage intact and you're not jet lagged from missed airline connections.

Remembering To-Do's / Craig Huggart

Sometimes significant people (or significant activities) in your life need total and undivided attention. At those times, I feel you need to suspend your practice of capturing todos. The bottom line is that you want to weigh the significance of the todo against the significance of the moment.

Making Appointments with Yourself / Jason Echols

The plate is so full today that I felt the need to make appointments with myself to block off time to get some specific things finished today.

How You Know You're a GTD Disciple / Eric Mack

You know that the "two-minute rule" has nothing to do with the conclusion of football games.

Making Your System Portable  /  Kelly Forrister

If you don't have a way to
sync your lists to a handheld (Palm, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile device)
then print them on a regular basis. Downloading stuff from your brain
only works if you can access the lists you need, when you need them. Having your lists with you will also give you more chances
to take advantage of weird windows of time for adding to your lists as

Wrestling with Context Lists  /  Dwayne Melancon

From day one, I've been good at putting things into these
context-sensitive lists, but I have not been good at using those lists
when I'm in a particular context (for example, I often sit at the
airport where I could make a few calls but I seldom remember to check
my @calls list). As a result, I found I'd fallen into the trap of not
being willing to take things out of my inbox because my mind didn't
trust me to work off the lists and get the items done at the right
time. So, I've gone from an "often empty" inbox to a "sometimes empty"
inbox to a "seldom empty" inbox over the course of time.

Lists and the Weekly Review  /  Rosemary Hohn

I will make it part of the weekly review to print these out. This will
make them more visually accessible than a computer list and more
visually attractive than a hand-written, scribbled up paper version.
Adhesive plastic pockets (for business cards or floppy disks) will be
applied to appropriate index tab dividers to hold these 3×5 print-outs.
I may try printing out two copies, one for the desk planner and one to
carry with index cards in a holder.


At Work, GTD, ProductivityMike StPierre