Categories | Community Contributions | Family | Implementation | Inspiration
Hi fellow GTD’ers,
April 9, 2009 was the morning that changed my life. For the 4th time that week, I woke up at 4 am and couldn’t close another eye because of all the things I had to do (recognise this?). But this time I got up and surfed the web for a solution. Pretty fast I ended up with GTD and David Allen. One year later I’m the biggest GTD-fan in Europe (well, in Belgium anyway). The approach David and his team developed, helped me control and overview all the different responsibilities I’m handling. Being a musician in a lot of totally different kinds of music projects, music teacher, project coordinator, husband and father of two wonderful girls (you know, this takes time). A house, a beautiful garden, 3 chickens and a rabbit to maintain. I want to keep in shape–don’t we all–but I love drinking our famous Belgian beers, so this demands some balancing…
Thanks to GTD, I finally got rid of the old kitchen we replaced 4 years ago, but was still in our garage catching dust and spiders, I got to launch very nice projects at school, recorded a CD–I am organised and nothing blows up in my face anymore. In short, this changed my life completely.
Now it seems as though the whole world around me is one big chaotic mess. And if you start paying attention to what people are saying, everybody is struggling with the same organisation problems. That’s why spreading GTD has become a new hobby (…didn’t I have already enough things on my mind? – No, this is fun!) So, as soon as someone complains about all the things he has to do, I tell him: ‘You know, there is a system to manage that.’ – ‘There is?’ (big eyes) Then I show my PDA ‘Well, this contains everything I have to do for the moment.’ And then a giant question mark show up on their faces. So I tell about the wonderful books David wrote. And they get all excited and ready to start.
When we meet again a few months later, I ask about their GTD system. Most of them answer, “Well, that was an interesting book – Did you apply it already?”– ‘Oh, well I have to many things to handle right now, you know,…’ Except one of my colleagues, who had terrible stress-related headaches. He’s getting it, and is flying the corridors of the school. If he gets stuff in: whoosh! Process, Organise, Do, … give me a new one!
I think a lot of people need someone to hold their hand to get started. So this is what I am doing now: when I see my wife with 124 items in her email: honey, let’s clean that up. My kids (6y and 8y) know by now, if they need something to be taken care of, they drop it in my inbox (I get a lot of broken toys in my in basket). Students struggling with workload, I try to give some tips and hints to get their things organised and planned.
Next thing on my plate is getting my wife into real GTD. She already started reading the book but somehow became stuck: ’I’m too busy to read a book’ – ‘Yeah, but this book is great for dealing with busy people.’ – ‘Oh, I don’t have the time.’ So now, I slipped the CD’s of GTD Live into her car, hoping she might listen to them sort of by accident. I’ll let you know how that goes!
Jan lives in Belgium. He says that “GTD got me organised, now I can be chaotic without losing perspective and control.”