I’ve been doing GTD fairly consistently for nearly a decade and it’s had an enormously positive impact on my life. But, I’m having a pretty serious problem now that I’m sure many of you have dealt with, and I’m hoping some of you can help advise me.
TLDR; I’m bad at the “doing” phase as there’s a continual line of people who need my involvement in something timely which prevents me from focusing on things on my list.
I’m an entrepreneur and my business is growing rapidly. My time is at a premium and I’m having trouble executing things on my list.
- I’m confident in my ability to collect all my open loops, I process my GTD inbox twice a day, and I review to make sure projects are actionably defined.
- I am a good delegator, and I make liberal use of waiting for and agenda contexts. I’m also good at recognizing what I shouldn’t be doing and delegating those to others.
- I have an amazing team that, generally speaking, dependably executes the things delegated to them with acceptable results. I don’t spend much time chasing people down.
- I have a fantastic executive assistant who handles all of my scheduling, most of my email and lots of other misc. stuff that shows up.
All in all, I think I do a pretty good job of identifying what I should be doing and what others should be doing.
The “doing” phase. My work is collected, planned and reviewed, but doesn’t get done as effectively as it should. I know I’m dropping the ball, and I know what I’m dropping the ball on, but I just can’t find time to sit down and work the list.
I have a hard time focusing on the things I have to do, as the business around me is constantly churning. As we grow, that churn also continues to grow. I find my day naturally being taken up with 5 min conversations to “ask a quick question” or “update me on a situation” for things that require timely feedback. Anything else is dealt with asyncronously at the end of the day.
I’ve tried to fix this myself in a few ways:
- Isolating myself. This works for temporary moments when I have an emergency to go heads down on, but when I peek back up afterwards there’s a line of people waiting for me.
- Delegating more responsibility to my leaders. This is my biggest room for improvement in my own eyes, but I find myself delegating too much responsibility. There are things only I should do, as the owner, that can’t really be delegated in my eyes.
- Coming in earlier. About 6 months ago I started working at 5:30 in order to get some alone time at the beginning of the day. This has worked, but it feels like a band-aid on the situation.
Surely this is a solvable problem as people with much more responsibility are able to handle it. Does anyone have experience with this that can lend me some expertise?
Thanks for your advise,