The 5 Absolute Worst Months to Start GTD
David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology is one of – if not the – most highly-touted way you can improve your productivity on multiple levels.
But implementing it isn’t something that you can just “get done”.
GTD can be dififcult for those stuck in their ways and trying to adopt it on their own. Sure, the David Allen Company provides resources that can help you get into it more efficiently and effectively, but it’s still a lot to wrap your head around.
Many people have to adjust their entire way of thinking when they try to use GTD, and that takes a whole lot of time, focus and effort. So choosing when to start GTD is critical.
Rather than offer the best times to start (which I may do in a later post), I’m going to go a different way. I think that by suggesting the worst months to start GTD you might just stand a better chance of committing to a start date, as opposed to waffling on one or trying to start right now.
This month is a bad one to start GTDing because it basically begins the summer season (for those living in the Northern Hemishpere). It’s a time where people want to enjoy their time, and not spend it learning how to best spend their time. Distraction levels are high due to the warm weather and the fact the kids (if applicable) are out of school.
Ask yourself this: Would you rather start to practice “Mind Like Water” or actually “be in the water” during the month of July?
In July, get out of your head…and get to the beach.
This is a month where traveling is a big thing. Spring Break for a lot of students, warmer weather in the tropics for those North Americans seeking refuge from the cold – March doesn’t even like a full month once you factor a vacation in there.
When you’re thinking about getting away at this time of year, it’s best not to think about getting things done at this time of year.
Don’t you have enough to do during this month? Doesn’t everybody that you’ll need to communicate with have enough to do that you’ll have trouble even syncing up with them when you need to – even without GTD as your ally?
The holiday season is stressful enough for many; don’t over-season yourself by tackling the adoption of a productivity system on top of things. You’ve got enough to do in this month without having to learn how to do it better.
Another time of year that seems to slip away just as quickly as it arrived. Summer is over, school is starting up and everyone at the office is hopefully refreshed from a few long weekends over the last couple of months. September is a time best spent getting connected with where you’re at so far in the year as opposed to tweaking how you got there.
The month may leave quickly because of all of the “starting” happening all over the place, but most people seem to take the entire month just to get back into a routine. So settle back into that routine while looking at it for what it is this month. Save the looking at it for what it could be for a month in the future.
This one may sound a bit odd, especially considering that most resolutions are made (and often broken) in January. But think about it. You’ve just come out a holiday season that basically has lasted for all of December (and those in the United States have been in that mode since Thanksgiving) and now you’re asking yourself to commit to putting a system in place to get things done – and you’re asking yourself to do this without any recovery time.
And people wonder why resolutions don’t stick.
January is a better month to spend reflecting on the year that just passed, to prepare yourself for the year ahead and recover from the holiday blitz you’ve just experienced.
The Big Idea
The big idea behind GTD is that it will help you in your quest to get things done. The worst idea is to pick a month where you have less of a chance of completing that quest.
So, during which of the 7 remaining months will you start GTD?
(Photo credit: Close Up Calendar Page with drawing-pin by Shutterstock)
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