Campus London (by Google) arrived a while ago but I never really got round to checking it out, despite my best intentions (and the fact that it’s close to my favourite London coffee place).
I signed up for a talk ages ago and forgot what it was about until I turned up to hear David Allen, author of Getting Things Done in a series called ‘Campus by the book’. Quite pleased I did now – there’s a certain something to going in to a talk with no expectations.
I’d been aware of the Getting Things Done method (otherwise I wouldn’t have signed up) but going there I realised two things:
- The Apple app store has a ‘Productivity’ category, which is basically ‘GTD apps’ and ‘To-do lists’ as separate entities. They’re not labelled as such, but the descriptions clearly state that (“This is a GTD app”). When people rate GTD-based apps with 1 star and rant about how useless they are, it means they think they are “getting things done”, not employing “Getting Things Done”. Capitals make all the difference - of course the app is going to be useless if the framework for using it just isn’t there.
- “It’s direction, not discipline.” Most people trying to get themselves organised ask about how to be ‘disciplined’ about doing things and resisting distractions, but the answer was a) grow up (and be mature about what you want) and b) focus on where you want your life to go, and direct yourself towards it. Discipline may be remembering what you want most, but not enough people think of direction I think. It’s hard, it doesn’t come easy, you have to sit down and think about it – but maybe therein lies the problem, people don’t have the tools to think about that either. I wonder if Clayton Christensen’s last book will make any interesting comments.