Culture & Competency

Hold on Leo … I Know You Want to become the "Next" David, But You Can't Do It This Way …

I generally like what Leo at Zen Habits has to say, but I think he’s flipped a bit with calling David Allen’s GTD setup “complicated”. He’s taken the list of 8 things that David uses to get things done, and says that it’s “complicated” in comparison with his 4 things.

Three points:

  • David travels a lot … thus a briefcase (#6), plastic travel folders (#7), and a cell phone (#3) are critical. Leo obviously doesn’t travel all that much, so such things are not needed. That single statement pretty much nullifies what Leo wrote.
  • Well duh!, all of Leo’s points at the end about “simplifying your system and tools” look like they’ve been lifted from the Getting Things Done book or one of David’s seminars. David says all that … what exactly is Leo contributing here?
  • David’s got a business to run … with many people and projects. Thus … have more to do, have more to organize. So he’s got more stuff by implication. What’s the big deal.

Net-net: the beauty of the GTD system is its tool-independence … you take the key ideas that you find helpful to your work and apply them with whatever tools and tooling makes you feel good and productive, and for whatever lifestyle or business-style you have. For David, it’s 8 things. For Leo, it’s 4. I encourage Leo that if he wants to make a contribution to the theory and practice of GTD, that he focuses on areas of deep contribution (eg, effective use of GTD within a team situation), not surface-level things that are quickly dismissed.

Categories: Culture & Competency