Over the years, many people have reached out to us asking how they can share the GTD techniques with kids and young adults. This letter below is from a GTD’er who got value from the article one of our senior staff wrote about his experience using GTD’s Natural Planning Model (p.54 of the GTD book) with his son entering college.
I was doing my daily review this morning, which always includes a daily discipline of ‘read something’. I ran across your article about the Natural Planning Model and College applications. I thought I’d share a story.
About a month ago, I took a young man away for a weekend retreat to because he was feeling great pressure from his family to decide ‘where to go to college.’ He is 17. We spent the first day and a half doing various exercises to help him tap into the 50,000 foot stuff that most people never consider. Midway through the retreat, I shared the Horizons of Focus model with him in totality. It was the first of several epiphanies that he experienced over the weekend. “Where did you get this stuff, Mark? It is great!” And then I handed him his own copy of GTD. Anyway, we never touched the ‘where should i go to college’ question until about an hour before the retreat was over. By spending time at 50,000 feet (which involved significant delving into his backstory, strengths, habits, hobbies, dreams, ambitions, etc), we were finally able to envision (40,000) life in 5-years (post college), goals for the next year (30,000), specific projects (10,000 within his areas of focus (20,000 – student, son, and friend, in particular), and next actions (runway) to get him moving.
I’m sure you understand from your own life how liberating and empowering it felt to this young man when he was able to connect his runway (like “study for my physics test” and “go online and get an application for community college”) to his 50,000 Purpose For Being On The Planet. Wow.
Be encouraged that the advice you are giving on Coach’s corner is being read and appreciated. Have a stree-free day.
Here to serve,
In our experience, the best way to share GTD is to share what works for you. If you look back on your life before GTD, what’s different and better now? What are you doing and experiencing differently? People will resonate with that. Then you can tell them how long your lists are…