GTD + 7 Habits + MWA = MWA3P

I’ve always been one to listen to my instincts, and it seems they’ve been pretty good lately. Some of you may recall this passage from my book, Managing with Aloha:

“Na‘au is one’s gut feelings and intuition. Some [kÅ«puna, the elders in our families] will teach that the gut is the seat of one’s personal wisdom, not the head: They are urging you to listen with your entire being, careful not to dismiss your own intuition too quickly. Intuition is referred to as ‘emotional intelligence,’ different from mindfulness, logic and reason.”

—page 215 of Managing with Aloha

My instinctual, impulsively put together Covey-Allen project is off to a pretty dynamic start, for I had an interesting weekend of emails, comment conversations, and blog hopping summoned by trackback pings. The goals I had for this coach-and-learn project of mine have gotten more ambitious, and there are now two future Kulia i ka nu‘u goals wrapped into the project too (goals which get you to reach higher). Very very exciting.

If you’ve already signed up to participate, thank you so much for the vote of confidence. However I need to let you know that I’ve pushed the Monday email I had planned to kick this off with to Tuesday June 7th.

The biggest reason for the day’s delay is that I felt it important to answer these questions here first for those of you who are still lurking around this project deciding if you want to participate. They actually are the same question, but people ask me about it differently:

My coaching clients are asking me,

Rosa, how does this fit into what we are learning about managing with Aloha? What is the value connection?

Talking Story readers are asking me,

Rosa, why are you getting into this? What does your GTD-7 Habits coach-and-learn project have to do with Managing with Aloha?

The answer to this last question is, Perhaps everything.

Time management is a misnomer: you don’t manage your time, you manage yourself and how you use time. Time is, and always will be, a finite thing with very defined, unyielding edges. You make choices, hopefully value-centered proactive choices, about how you allocate your time.

Now there is an abundance mentality inherent in aloha and in managing with aloha. Our June Ho‘ohana, ‘ÅŒpala ‘ole (pursuing your best-possible life by eliminating the clutter) is about increasing your personal capacity for the “right stuff” so that this abundance factor of aloha can begin to work its magic for you.

I know that “Personal Productivity” is noticeably missing from the index in MWA, and it’s missing on purpose: I’ve never been completely satisfied with the system I start my managers on enough to put it in the book. I think the process I’ve been coaching them on is pretty good, and it’s always been a marked improvement to what they’re already doing. For instance we incorporate the Daily Five Minutes and I coach them on the measurements of The 3 R’s. However it’s not as good as I want it — yet.  Covey’s 7 Habits are already integrated, and I strongly suspect that Allen’s GTD may be the missing piece I’ve been looking for to complete my MWA management productivity process comprehensively.

While I only know them through their books, it seems to me that Stephen Covey and David Allen have something in common: they are not arrogant. They seek to help us, and they are good coaches, but both of them share their knowledge as personal lessons-learned, saying outright that we need to be true to our own personal values. That resonates with me and my personal ho‘ohana (my passion for meaningful, worthwhile work), and it resonates with everything I coach you on in Managing with Aloha.

I was not an early adopter with GTD; frankly it was completely off my radar until I started reading about it in Blogsville ” Hawaii seems to be an untapped market. However I’m making up for that in my own MWA, values-centered way :)

There’s a glut of writing already online about GTD: That’s both good and not so good. Good in that we have many to learn from, not so good in that we have to eliminate the clutter and find the gems. And that is perfectly in sync with our June Ho‘ohana of ‘ÅŒpala ‘ole.

There’s been another frequent question in my email these past few days:

What from this project will make it to Talking Story, and what won’t?

There are parts of this project that will integrate into our June Ho‘ohana, and there are other posts I have in drafts that are separate. On Talking Story I need to make room for both, so when it comes to this project — will you indulge me? I’m going to give this the MWA3P nickname from now on (the MWA Personal Productivity Project)Talking Story is likely to get the highlights, and the MWA3P email subscribers will get much more detail. From that detail they can proactively choose what they keep, and what they discard.

And who knows, maybe, just maybe, they will have participated in my next book. We shall see how this goes.

At the very least, I’m sure we’ll pick up some very cool tricks (see page 85 of the GTD paperback).


Update: The MWA3P Project subscriptions are no longer available. However you can still access the information and conversations we’ve had here on Talking Story about MWA3P by clicking on that category link.


  1. says

    Excellent, Rosa! Can’t wait to read about your journey. I’ve read both books, and subscribed to both methodologies over time. Right now, and for the last several years, my mix has been about 90% GTD and 10% Franklin-Covey. The Covey parts are about how my values shape my long-term, big-picture goals and vision. Pretty much everything else is GTD.

  2. says

    Mahalo nui Bren. You my friend, actually get a lot of credit for this, for I do believe that I first heard about GTD from you, and you wouldn’t shut up about it!
    All kidding aside Bren, your opinion has been worth gold with me since the day I met you, and for you to have invested so much into your GTD efforts spoke volumes to me that this was something I had to learn about.
    We are going to have fun with this. Tomorrow I’ll have a riddle for you!
    A hui hou,

  3. says

    So here is *my* favorite tip: After you’ve read the book, you’ll get SO MUCH MORE out of it if you listen to the “Getting Things Done Fast” CD set David sells. The CD set is basically a condensed version of a 2-day seminar he conducted, and the stories, comments, etc. he shares really made things hit home for me. My experience:
    * I read GTD 2 years ago. I tried some things, but got frustrated because I never felt like I hit my stride with the system. So I stopped doing it.
    * About a year ago, I listened to GTD Fast – and light bulbs went off. Now, I’m pretty comfortable with GTD and it’s (mostly*) stuck with me during the whole year. I’ve re-listened to the GTD Fast CD several times – it re-motivates me when I feel stuck and gets me back in the groove with the GTD approach.
    * I say mostly because I’ve tweaked a few things to fit the way I work, but the core principles hold.

  4. Anand says

    I am desperately looking for a copy of the GTD Fast Cds.. if anyone you know wants to sell, I will really appreciate it.