We write a fair bit about what works in GTD and getting things going when you’re getting things done. Here are 9 ways to screw your system up from gtd.marvelz.com, based on their experiences. It’s not hard to fall into these traps, so keep weary if you’re in it for the long run.
1. Collecting and processing but not doing! I’m not actually getting (enough) things done! I’m keeping track of all the open loops in my life, but somehow I don’t close enough of them.
2. Reviewing infrequently. If you do not update and review your trusted GTD system as often as you need to, you will end up with an incomplete and untrusted system.
3. Playing with your system. If you’re anything like me, you probably also spent quite some time in choosing and perfecting your analog and digital GTD tools.
4. Keeping stuff out of your system. Doing next actions or even whole projects that are not even listed in your GTD system, makes you feel you didn’t accomplish anything during the day because there is no record of it in your GTD system!
5. Using your diary for next actions. It is a common habit for many people to jot down a quick to-do list in their diary for the current or upcoming day.
6. Too many inboxes. I am trying to keep my physical inbox (a simple tray) central in my GTD system. My snail mail, my notes, my bills, all of it goes straight into my in-tray.
7. From tickler to inbox… and back again. I encounter some item in my inbox, realize I don’t really know (or don’t want to know!) what to do with it right now, so I stuff it into my tickler file some days or weeks into the future.
8. No project outcome. A GTD project list is very useful, but can easily become useless if you let it turn into a “dead” list. Don’t put stuff on your project list just to get it out of your mind.
9. Writing about GTD.
Notice any you might be doing? What are some other traps you can fall into that will sabotage your GTD process?