Jodie E Francis
What do you do for work?
I work for a federal government department as the information management lead for our branch’s national scientific collections housed in Ottawa, and we are in the process of moving our collections to a more modern facility.
Where do you live?
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
How did you hear about GTD?
I discovered GTD almost 6 years ago when my director at the time put me on a large complex file and told me I’d better “find a system” to manage my tasks and email inbox.
How long have you been practicing GTD?
Almost 6 years. Several times, I have gone looking for a ‘simpler’ system but I keep coming back to GTD.
How has GTD made a difference in your work and life?
At work, our team is small and the work is complex. GTD helps me manage my commitments and follow up on things I am waiting for, so nothing falls through the cracks. At home, it means our children get to school, appointments and activities prepared and on time, we plan for family vacations, and attend local exhibits and festivals that strike our interest. Before GTD, the months and years just drifted past and we would miss opportunities. Although not a GTD practitioner himself, my husband is supportive, and we have consciously built a life that is in line with our higher horizon values and goals.
What areas of GTD are you doing really well (or at least better than you used to)?
Calendar management, Inbox processing, Waiting For, and Tickler.
What areas of GTD would you like to get even better at doing?
Mind Sweeps and Weekly Reviews. I still resist writing things down because I feel I will need to action it. I need to keep reviewing and culling my long lists, reminding myself that just because I have captured it, does not mean I need to ‘do it’. I regularly fall off the wagon, and it is always because I have begun to feel overwhelmed by the length of my lists and stopped doing Weekly Reviews.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out with GTD?
Maintain a beginner’s mind. There is no “perfect” way to do GTD, just like there is no “perfect” GTD tool or “perfect” yoga practice. Start with the book, learn from experienced practitioners like those on GTD Connect, and commit to using GTD for at least a month. Then give yourself permission to begin to adapt your practice so it serves your unique needs. Oh, and do your Weekly Reviews! Really. Just do them — you will not succeed without them, and the effort is completely worth it.