The Richard Simmons of Productivity

I ended up not being able to get a seat on the train with a table at all yesterday morning, hence no writing. Then on the way back, I had the table and was putting my own spin on a GTD system. ZenDone isn’t going to work out. They gave me a beta pass for their new site and app. It’s an improvement but it’s not going to work. I indicated that the next step was going to a paper-based system, but I lied. There’s one more option, which is Trello.

This will be my 4th attempt at building a GTD system, and each one has been more successful than the last. The big thing this iteration gives me is the ability to task my employees straight from my system, and we are in constant sync on where each of their tasks are. This was the biggest thing I was missing before.

The full article will be a separate blog post. I’m not 100% finished with the plan, I’m about 85% done, the rest is brainstorming if I’ve left out any tags or contexts. The post will go up after I’ve had a few weeks with the system and made any necessary changes. But I’m really excited for it.

Isn’t that a weird grown-up thing? Being really excited about a project management system? Maybe, maybe not. At the risk of badly paraphrasing David Allen, the work has changed. Fifty years ago, most work had a clearly defined beginning and end. Now a lot of what I do, it’s not obvious when I’ve actually started working on something, and it’s even less clear when I can wash my hands of it. Having a trusted system to track the work is, I think, mandatory to be the most efficient, and all the time put into architecting that system can absolutely pay itself back in less stress and easier use.

In hindsight, having a trusted system would’ve helped me years and years ago. (I’m calling my time in college years and years ago. What is happening?) So often I felt buried because there was so much going on, I felt like I’d just be able to mentally juggle all the stuff I needed to do. A full-on solution like GTD would’ve been ideal, but even just using a basic list or two would’ve helped a lot. That was adolescent pride. Those disorganized days happen to be some of my worst from a mental standpoint. Really bottomed out, full breakdown/shutdown stuff. I think that’s why I’m so eager to build and follow those solutions now. I’ve tried the alternative and it was really miserable.

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