Let me start by saying that I’m a big fan of the GTD method. I read the first edition of this book back in late 2007 soon after I had finished The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. At the time I was running my web development firm and was in desperate need of some operational clarity and organization. While I didn’t commit myself fully to GTD all those years ago, I certainly wish I had. The principles taught in David Allen’s book are simple in theory, but sometimes hard in practice, especially for those of us that have had our own “systems” for so many years. It took me awhile, but once I moved on from my web development firm and began committing myself to more narrowly-focused startups, I found the GTD methods easier to apply. It was partly my own maturity, but more likely the fact that we had a project tracking system at my web development firm that was ingrained into my daily life, that made adoption so difficult. Once I started using the core principles of his system, I found my ability to stay organized and make more progress immeasurable.
A few years ago I was invited by a colleague to attend Nir Eyal‘s Hooked Workshop at Wentworth Institute of Technology. At the time I was still working as the CTO of Lifeables, and we were desperately trying to find strategies to keep our users engaged. Needless to say, the thought of being able to “hook” users and have their use of it turn into a habit was very appealing. The opportunity couldn’t have been more timely.
The workshop was a fantastic experience. I found Nir to be exceptionally well-versed in behavioral psychology and how it could be applied to the current technological landscape. I remember thinking at the time that his “hooked model” was a collection of common sense concepts simplified, organized and packaged in a way that made them actionable. I left that workshop excited and overflowing with ideas.