Getting my Yellow Belt

Getting Things Done isn’t just about lists, or 20 simple steps to make your life amazing  GTD is a set of tools and methodology that can be used by anyone to bring some control back to their lives. 

When you implement GTD you develop an  awareness of what is going on in your life, and the demands that are being made of your time. The number of these demands are what leads David Allen to compare GTD to a martial art, as you are constantly in combat with all of them. 

Extended this metaphor there is the concept of GTD mastery or being a black belt in GTD. this is how I earned my yellow belt. 

I’d been asked to take on a new role which would be a challenge, very visible, and the ability to have a very positive impact.

My immediate first thought wasn’t an instant emotional yes, nor was it nagging self doubt, and it certainly wasn’t no way. My first thought was to my open projects, and the effect this could have on them.

I knew what I had coming up (through regular weekly reviews), what was likely to occur, and also what I still had left to do. With that knowledge I was able to give a rational ‘yes I’m interested’ response, with the next action being ‘we will need to discuss how this could work, and what would be expected’. 

I was then able to take this into my GTD system (omnifocus) as an explicit project, and assign some tasks to it. These were:

  • Review job role.
  • Search for press releases relating to the role. 
  • Identify areas where more clarity is required 
  • Produce rough plan of how role could work 

Having this project in omnifocus will ensure that it is considered at each weekly review and tasks from other projects are considered in this context. 

The result is that I am fully prepared for the next conversations around the role, and I already have a good sense of my capacity for it. 

This significant new input naturally got pulled into my GTD practice without resistance, and then handled in a accordance with GTD principles. 

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