Jimmy Guterman's blog

media, technology, management, and the rest of it

Gotta have a system

with one comment

One of the projects I worked on at O’Reilly was a joint report with another company that produced research reports. Among other things, it was a great way to learn how other businesses managed their processes and methodologies. The report came out well, but there’s one thing our prime contact at the other company said that, I hope, will stay with me.

“If we lose our way,” he said, “we always go back to our framework.”

We all want to be agile. But it’s easier to respond to anything if you have a starting point. Having just an adequate framework, I’ve found, might be almost as good as having a great one. Having thought about it for a while, I think simply having a framework is more important than which framework you have. Why look for the perfect system for writing a novel or getting in shape when any of them is probably better than just bumbling in the dark, which is what most of us do most of the time? A framework has to be unusually wrong to hold you back.

That’s new thinking for me. For a long time I didn’t trust explain-it-all systems. Until recently, I made fun of people who adopted GTD with an almost-religious fervor. Yet, after flirting with GTD for more than a year, I’m following it, too, although not with quite the fervor you’d expect of the recently converted. Even if it’s not a perfect system, it is a good system, and I’m starting to believe that’s almost all that matters.

And now, on to my GTD weekly review

Written by guterman

May 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Posted in worklife

One Response

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  1. If you follow GTD with exacting detail you can basically never get anything done. I have found his overall outlook to be helpful as long as you realize you need to adapt this to your own quirks and preferences.

    Charlie Barthold

    May 31, 2008 at 7:47 am

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