GTD in a TeamAUTHOR: Vinay Patankar
"You can do anything, but you can't do everything." ~ David Allen
Getting things done is usually seen as an individual process and it’s easy to picture the young, intelligent entrepreneur developing systems in their life to facilitate completing tasks in their day to day life whilst growing their business to the highest level.
However, it is not as easy to imagine a group of people working together as a team using the principles of GTD in their everyday life, especially with the complexity of each individual personality and lifestyle being taken into account.
You might be surprised then, to learn that GTD in a team environment can have some pretty astonishing results and the benefits gained on an individual basis can be multiplied across a team. Here’s why we think this is:
1. Harmony of principles
A standard team of individuals will generally have a mish-mash of different techniques for managing their workflow which might not facilitate the highest levels of productivity holistically. Contrastingly a team using GTD will automatically understand the processes the others in the team are using to organise their workflow and they will interact with each other in a way that makes GTD as easy as possible for everyone.
2. Consistency of language
Working in a team of people who all understand the same language, the same abbreviations and references to certain principles can certainly serve to improve the overall interaction of the team. In short – it simply helps if your fellow team members know what on Earth you are referring to.
3. Higher levels of focus
On a more general level, team members will all be working to more or less the same level of focus. They are all trying to optimize productivity, minimize distraction and eliminate inefficient or unproductive habits of procrastination that can slow progress and inhibit higher levels of thought. Areas of distraction in a larger company, for example the email inbox, can be limited by putting GTD principles in place across the team.
4. Constructive Individuality
Although a team may be following the same principles, members tend to stick to their preferred ways of implementing the principles, whether using pen and paper, or free software such as Trello, Remember The Milk and Process Street which all help to organize and manage workflow processes and tasks on a day to day level. Again, this helps to allow each member to implement in the way that works best for them as opposed to being forced to use software that they find constrictive or unintuitive.