Categories | Community Contributions | Implementation
A Community Contribution by Aeon J. Skoble, PhD. He’s a Professor of Philosophy at Bridgewater State College.
I know that David Allen is interested in seeing how people in different sorts of professions use GTD, so I offered to share my experiences applying the methodology in a world that’s generally regarded as a different one: academia. I have found that GTD is highly applicable to the academic profession.
I was actually managing adequately before I discovered GTD, but my productivity, while pretty good by institutional standards, was sub-optimal with respect to my own expectations. I wasn’t well-organized, I often had “near misses” with deadlines, and I had a good deal of stress-producing clutter. I literally had 6000+ messages in my Outlook inbox. As the cover of the book hinted, I wanted not only to increase productivity, but to reduce stress. GTD has indeed helped in both aspects: productivity is up, stress is down. Some of the most useful parts have been among the simpler ones, chiefly “capture everything rather than try to keep it in your head” and “don’t confuse your calendar with your to-do list.” I used to drive myself crazy repeatedly by playing this game: I’d realize I hadn’t worked much lately on a particular essay I needed to write, so I’d put “work on that essay” on my calendar for Tuesday morning, then I’d spend Tuesday morning prepping for a class or putting out a fire, and then I’d feel anxious because I didn’t write the essay. If nothing else, I have learned to distinguish calendar from to-do list, and projects from next-actions. That’s as vital for academics as it is for any business executive. [Read more →]