Getting Things Done - Southwest style

Today I attended the GTD Roadmap seminar in Scottsdal, AZ. This is the second time I've been to the Roadmap, a concentrated one-day dive into David Allen's system for stress-free productivity which long-time readers know I am a passionate advocate of. While at Web 2.0 Expo a couple of weeks back, I got into a discussion about GTD with my buddy Steve Borsch, author of the excellent Connecting the Dots blog, and I convinced him that attending a live seminar might be just the ticket to help him really "get" what GTD is all about.

Today I attended the GTD Roadmap seminar in Scottsdal, AZ. This is the second time I've been to the Roadmap, a concentrated one-day dive into David Allen's system for stress-free productivity which long-time readers know I am a passionate advocate of. While at Web 2.0 Expo a couple of weeks back, I got into a discussion about GTD with my buddy Steve Borsch, author of the excellent Connecting the Dots blog, and I convinced him that attending a live seminar might be just the ticket to help him really "get" what GTD is all about.

I think Steve got quite a bit out of the event and we had a very lively conversation during the breaks with a number of the seminar attendees. I introduced Steve to iGTD which is currently my GTD application of choice on the MacBook (and about which I will blog at greater length soon). We both used the application to complete some of the exercises David took us through during the seminar, an approach I highly enjoyed as I have used the seminar workbook in the past (this is my third GTD seminar since I first became acquainted with Allen's work in 2001). 

While the content was pretty much the same as in the seminar I attended a year ago, there was significantly more interaction with the audience and a number of regular participants in the GTD Forums from the Phoenix area were in attendance which made for some interesting first face-to-face meetings during and after the event.

Every time I'm exposed to this material, I take away a different perspective on the implications and impact GTD can have on my work and my life. There are, as Allen often says, many layers to be peeled from this particular onion. As I've been juggling an interesting mix of devices and attempting to develop a "unified field theory" to keep all my devices in sync, I came to this event with a different perspective than I have in the past and, as a result, came away from the experience with a new set of perceptions and ideas about how to get a better level of control over my commitments.

I have the good fortune to have gotten to know David Allen rather well over the years. He and I record a podcast, GTD Tech, from time to time, which is made available to subscribers to the GTD Connect service his company offers. We've had some engaging conversations about developments in technology that impact the practice of Getting Things Done and I'm cooking up a new topic - Getting Things Done with Web 2.0 tools for us to discuss in our next installment.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of the Roadmap seminars, I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a immersion into a system that, unlike many personal productivity methods, does not promote any particular tools or technology. In my experience, I've known GTD'ers who operate at "black belt productivity" levels using nothing more than a legal pad or stack of 3" x 5" index cards (otherwise known as a Hipster PDA) and others who have attained the same level of proficiency with a plethora of gadgets and software. And, like the martial arts which Allen uses as a constant metaphor in his presentation, attaining black belt is really just the end of the beginning of really mastering the art.