« Applying 'Boss' Blogging to a Research Lab | Main | What a day - Buzz, TKD, DIY/hPDA, & GTD »

Getting Things Done stages - Saints, Prophets, and Evangelists?

No, I don't consider myself any of those. But here's the story: I've been exploring coaching others in David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (AKA GTD), and I would like to characterize the stages (or phases) of adoption of ideas like this. I strongly suspect there's a standard psychological framework for this, and I hope that someone can point me to it. I'm interested because I'm clearly in something like an evangelist stage, and I'm curious about whether others have gone through similar phases. Here's a first pass at some of the stages I've experienced:
  1. exposure (my boss told me about the book, and was excited about it)
  2. resistance (got the book, but let it sit for a few months)
  3. learning (read the book, started asking around about it)
  4. excitement (loved the methodology and ideas)
  5. commitment to adopt (implemented it)
  6. personal benefit (multiple improvements)
  7. deeper exploration (trying different systems)
  8. desire to share (increasing GTD focus of this blog)
  9. evangelist (convinced it's the One True ____ - god, system, etc.)
  10. generalization (considering GTD influences, other systems)
  11. comfort (wizened practitioner?)
The closest framework I've found is from religion:
...the steps of the process [...] may follow the pattern shown below.

Step One - Self Questioning Phase
Step Two - Self Doubt Phase
Step Three - Acceptance of the Solution Phase
Step Four - Acceptance of Obligatory Lifestyle Phase
Step Five - Financial Commitment Phase
Step Six - Personal Commitment Phase
Step Seven - Wholehearted Commitment (Holiness) Phase
I particularly like this bit:
... If the believer is able to continue to live according to this inner prompting as one's primary source of meaning and personal direction, he or she may become a saint, a prophet, and evangelist - a person wholly consumed by his or her religion.
Scary! Wired recently asked if GTD is a cult. If so, what does that make us self-appointed advocates? I wouldn't apply any of the above labels to myself in the literal sense (e.g., evangelism: "Militant zeal for a cause"). However, I have been surprised that, for a book on stress-free productivity, I've found it provides a framework for understanding the world, and has helped me explore, develop, and have a heck of a lot of fun.

I'd love hear your thoughts...

Reader Comments (2)

Hi Matt,

I found your blog through the BBP discussion and I must say, this is a very interest post.

Here are some frameworks that have helped me:

Relationship Building: Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone

Productivity & Freeing-Up-My-Time: Tim Ferris's 4-Hour Work Week

Attracting Women: David Deangelo's Double Your Dating

Creating Presentations: Beyond Bullet Points

PR: Buzz Marketing

Learning from books: SQRW Strategy at http://www.how-to-study.com/pqr.htm

I'd love to get to know you better. Where are you located?

~ mel

Melvin Ram
CEO & President
Volcanic Marketing
Email: melvin[att]volcanicmarketing[dott]com
Web: http://www.volcanicmarketing.com

September 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMelvin Ram

Thanks very much for the pointers, Melvin. I enjoyed seeing your profile in [ Prosper - Whiz Kids 2007 | http://legacy.prospermag.com/go/prosper/The_Magazine/december_2006/whiz_kids_2007/index.cfm ].

September 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.