27 August 2007

GTD Overlord

How much does it suck to work for someone who is a GTD follower? Although I am not fully organized à la GTD, I am trying to incrementally move in that direction. And as much as it is a huge help to me to get a handle on my near-unmanageable set of work and home responsibilities that comes with being an academic and a parent, it is no fun to be, for example, married to a GTD-fan. Always being judged for working inefficiently, never successful in passing off excuses of not having time for this or that chore, constantly finding David Allen's book packed in your carry-on bag on your business trips.

As tough as it is to be the spouse of a GTD follower, imagine what it is like to work for one. Now, amplify this by whatever factor to reflect my extended bossiness for being an academic. Unfortunately for my research assistants, it is my job to show them how to do their job. This means that my thus-far subtle encouragement to read one thing or another on organization, scheduling, and getting your work tools together is only the beginning.

Since that hasn't worked, and like any graduate students, mine are falling behind in their self-imposed targets, I am about to put the hammer down and require them to read some books and some blogs*, and then build a system for their work. I figure that paying them to spend a few hours understanding workplace efficiency will pay off with more work in the long run. It's worth a try, anyway.

I recognize that this might be considered invasive, and that people are quite attached to their routines, even (especially?) when they are not working. However, the more time I spend getting things done, the less patience I have for people not getting things done on time. I'm hoping that it will be the sort of thing they'll thank me for later. Or at least they bond with each other through griping about their common enemy.

*Is it just me, or do grad students give you a strange look when you tell them to read a blog?