If you are a sports fan, this is a very active time of the year. The World Series… are the Red Sox the next dynasty? Football… who’s better, the Patriots or Colts? Basketball - which team will Kobe play for this season? Hockey season also is starting. Information overload!
So what sports team did I follow this weekend? Me! Let the picture below be my proof that I have defeated my long-time rival… my inbox! A couple of weeks ago I stated that through an iterative initiation, I first started GTD at work, and then later would apply it at home. An emergency appendectomy delayed my plans, but I finally vanquished the opponent that previously owned me.
As tough as it was to not watch my favorite sports on TV in order to go through my inbox, I can now say that I am fully engaged in the Getting Things Done system. However, it’s premature for me to celebrate, since finishing my initiation into GTD was only a milestone and was not my ultimate goal.
To continue with the sports analogy, I did not win the championship but I did win a regular-season game that got me closer to the playoffs. Incorporating GTD into my work habit was an important step in my pursuit of ultimately completing the life goals I have established for myself.
I will fess up: I am a championship-caliber armchair coach (I won multiple fantasy football leagues!), so I know a thing or two about strategy. What I know is that discipline and following simple, yet fundamental rules, will lead to success. David Allen was very clear in his book that the commitments made on the calendar should not be loose commitments but instead be followed through as diligently as possible. As I am getting acclimated into GTD, here are the simple rules I see to make the system work:
- Draw solid boundaries between your commitments. Do not let your work life bleed into your personal life (unless it’s intentional). To be more granular, if you are involved in multiple projects at work, don’t let one project affect your performance in another one - control your projects and don’t let them control you.
- Keep your own promises. Follow through with your commitments - if you put it on your calendar, it is not a wish date for completion, but instead a vow to get it done at that time.
- Reward yourself for getting things done. In other words, make incentives for yourself for doing all the things needed to get it done. Even the most glamorous of jobs have some responsibilities that can be a chore, and at the end of the day, you can put a fun activity on the schedule for yourself as a reward for getting the job done.
Championships do not only exists in athletics, but also in the areas of life that you and I are involved in. Do you want to win the championship at your work? A championship in your finances? In your marriage?
What is the most important championship to you? Know that if you set your goals and follow through with your winning strategy, you too can celebrate a championship.