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.


GTD and another meaning for "zero peer pressure"

In a couple of weeks, I'll be at David Allen's seminar "GTD | The RoadMap" in San Jose. I'm really looking forward to it, but I feel a bit like people I know who have maid service, but they always clean up before the maid comes over - so nobody will know how messy they really are.

I have started to brush up on the old "Getting Things Done" techniques (some of which have fallen by the wayside for me). What does brushing up mean? I'm doing things like:

  • Purging my reference files to reduce clutter (makes them fresher, and gets the drawer less squinchy so it's easier to get things in and out)

  • Purging all my context lists and getting brutal with the question: "Is this item really 'someday / maybe', or is it actually 'never, get out of denial,' buster?"

  • Reviewing my lists to make sure my 'next actions' are not 'next inactions' pretending to be actionable

  • Blocking time this weekend to do a real weekly review (I totally blew this in July due to all the chaos in my life, and I am feeling the effects in my stuckness)

  • Doing a mind sweep, complete with the triggers in the Getting Things Done book

  • Listening to "Getting Things Done Fast" again [note: this program is no longer available from, but David tells me there are other helpful tools coming soon, and I should stay tuned]

  • Getting "In" to empty, and my email Inbox to zero

That last one is the one that's been taunting me the most lately, since it's just plain in my face all day every day. Since I've been without internet access quite a bit in the last month, the old Inbox stacked up pretty high. I know what I should be doing - I'm just not doing it.

So, this week, I set my self up for discipline by public shaming - a co-worker of mine is also a GTD practicioner, and we've agreed to ridicule each other if our Inboxes are not empty each night (beginning Monday - gotta get a running start for this one). With this new approach, "zero peer pressure" is taking on a new meaning for me.

If you want less vindictive assistance in getting right with GTD, you might want to check out a special typr of virtual book study Rosa is running on Talking Story, as well - great stuff. She calls it "MWA3P" and it merges powerful concepts from her own book "Managing with Aloha," as well as concepts from David Allen and Stephen Covey.

Note: The terms and concept in "Getting Things Done" (aka "GTD") are the killer mojo of David Allen, and he's got rules to keep people from messin' with his flavor - check them out here.