Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


On the road with David Allen

This week, I was a part of  David Allen's seminar "GTD | The RoadMap" in San Jose, California.  In this session, there were over 140 people - all fellow travelers on the path to higher productivity with less stress. 

After my last post, I got an email a couple from my friend Phil Gerbyshak of "Make It Great!" asking what I thought of it, and what I came away with in terms of the value of the seminar.  I sent him a reply, but thought some of it was worth sharing here.

As you may know, the Getting Things Done books cover specific activities you can engage in to get your life in order, improve productivity, and "get things done."  As an adopter of the methodology, one of the challenges I've faced is making enough of the habits stick to realize ongoing benefits from the GTD process. 

"One of the biggest inhibitors to maintaining GTD is your addiction to stress.  Once the stress is gone, your subconscious sometimes does things to bring it back." 

The focus of this seminar is to ground (or re-ground) you in the basics of GTD, and it builds on this foundation to provide lots of additional color to help you personalize, adapt, and embed the methdology into your own work style.

Prior to the seminar, I was doing a lot of the right things with GTD and have been using it for about 18 months.  Although I have been realizing lots of benefits from this methodology, I felt like there was something missing. 

The seminar helped me realize where some of my gaps are and identify some actions to bring my productivity, focus, and clarity to the next level.  There is also the benefit of meeting others at the seminar that can act as a sort of support group to keep each other's activities 'on the rails' - and maintain a forum to share tips and tricks.

OK, so you've read the books - is the seminar worth attending? Short answer: Yes. 

I think it's a lot like golf - the only way to get better is to keep playing and work on your technique.  If you want to get *way* better, sometimes you need to buy a few sessions with a pro, who can help you fine-tune your game and smooth out the rough spots in your technique.  This seminar is just that - a session with a pro.

David also provides some guidance at the end of the day for making this stick once you get back to the hectic world of work.  No magic bullets, but there are some tricks to help you re-learn habits that are more effective and return to your 'zone' when you fall off the wagon.  This includes some voodoo using a paperclip that shows the power of belief and the impact of negative self-talk.

Over the next few days I'll share some other things I learned during this seminar.  You can also find some interesting perspective on this from Buzz Bruggeman who was in the row ahead of me taking notes on his PC.

Official definition of "GTD"