Friday, March 13, 2009

David Allen: Making It All Work At The GTD Global Summit

Day two is starting off with a presentation by David Allen on Making It All Work. This will be another live blogging session in an attempt to capture the thoughts as they fly.

Opening video testimonials (Evan Taubenfeld). Well spoken and interesting to see that creative types can embrace GTD too.

Ben Saunders - Polar Explorer & Motivational Speaker gives testimonial about how GTD helped him immensely in his solo explorations.

David now on stage talking about Evan and Ben and how they've embraced GTD.

Fast, concentrated overview of how "Making It All Work" came about.

"I got into this game because of the strategic value of clear space". Background in martial arts helped him understand that when you are jumped by four guys in alley, last thing you need is unprocessed items weighing on your mind.

Analogy of cooking. Starting with clean kitchen allows for infinite possibilities and creativity. Starting with complete and utter mess just means you'll be fighting to survive. Map this back to what you have sitting in your inbox and on your mind. Are you just "stomping cockroaches" or are you open to clear thoughts and

What's new...Massive amount of information coming in at us. In last 72 hours, probably more info coming into us than our parents had in a month, maybe a year.

Basic logic of GTD: Relaxed, focus, in control is optimal. Mind like water is mirroring how water responds appropriately to a more and no less.

Concentration = power

What gets in the way of concentration: Distraction. If your mind has wandered off while sitting here, it's good if you were doing new, expansive, creative thinking. If not, you are wasting cycles. Most people go to things that are weighing on their mind. These are the things that are not being managed.

People don't worry about what they are doing two weeks from Tuesday at 3:15 because they trust their calendar.

Mismanaged commitments = distraction

Your mind's system is like a leaky bucket with a bunch of holes. Your brain is about 7 years old emotionally. "Your mind doesn't have one".

"You have no excuse to have a thought twice...unless you like the thought".

Ability to refocus rapidly is the master skill.

What you need is control and perspective. If you have these, self management is possible and works well.

2x2 matrix: X-axis increasing control, Y-axis increasing perspective

No perspective + no control = victim

Perspective + no control = crazy maker

No perspective + control = micro-manager

Perspective + control = Captain & Commander

5 stages of control and 6 stages of perspective


This model works universally, whether dealing with your teen or in your department.


Capture: Corral things things. Find a place to get all the input. WRITE IT DOWN!
Clarifying: Make decisions on all of the things that have been collected.
Organizing: Get the content of it...the real purpose. Put it where it goes.
Reflecting: Step back and look at that bucket appropriately. Manage that forest on some consistent basis...don't just hug those trees.
Engaging: Doing with clarity. You are always doing, even if you are doing nothing. Making a conscious choice, but you better know what you are not doing before you feel comfortable not doing it.

Purpose/Principles: Why
Vision: What
Goals: Accomplish
Responsibility: Maintain
Projects: Finish
Actions: Do

This is all advanced common sense.

Q&A Time

Wrap up: "You won't know what's on your mind, unless you you get everything off your mind."

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