Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

GTD at Home - Your Family Can Get Things Done!


“Don’t try this at home” (MTV – Music Television) As I mentioned in my last article, being at the GTD seminar and listening to David Allen inspired me to try out different approaches to GTD. I decided to actually try GTD at home. I had a pleasure of talking to other fellow GTD-practitioners about their positive experiences at their homes. This short article will include tips and tricks for implementing GTD at home gathered from my friends’ homes and from my very own. Although in my case the experiment is an ongoing work-in-progress, I’m really happy with the results. Here’s a small fraction of GTD concept you can introduce in your family to get more done and motivate (and inspire) each other and have a happier home:

GTD at Home - Your Family Can Get Things Done!

Inboxes for everyone!

First step is to prepare inboxes for each and every member of the family. Put the names on each of the inbox and instruct the family members “what is the inbox and why do they need one”. Some practical tips on setting inboxes for family members:

Work on the projects together

A family is a team and there are many projects, especially home-related ones, that need to be planned and executed together with several family members. Planning a project like “cleaning up the house”, “redecorating one of the rooms” or “family Sunday dinner” can be planned with a simple to-do list for each of them. In my home one of the places for these kind of to-do lists is on the fridge. A simple to-do list won’t be enough, though. When planning a project like this, it’s important to pay attention to these two things:

Encourage the 50,000 feet level thinking Make sure you talk to your loved ones about the meaning of their lives. About their overall area of responsibility, their goals – both long-term and short. Try to schedule these kinds of talks to on at least monthly basis and make sure everyone (including yourself) really knows why they are doing what they are doing. Why they participate in their projects and review their priorities and analyze the motives of their actions. I’ve started this kind of ritual with my wife and found out one of the best moments to do it is Sunday morning, right after our breakfast, when there is no pressure to go somewhere or do something.

Apply the great 2-minute rule at home!

After my last article about the “2-minute rule”, one of my friends told me how he applied the 2-minute rule at home and gave me several examples of daily rituals that could be accomplished within this short period of time, or faster (and I never realized that!):

I’m sure there are many more quick 2-minute tasks at home that you can add to this list. I’d encourage you to identify these quickies with your family members. Once discovered, nobody will have an excuse to procrastinate and leave these tasks off for later.

Tip: To motivate my family members and myself, I’ve actually created a list of these 2—minute “quickies” and posted it on my fridge for others to see.

Do it now – start introducing GTD in your Family.

I’m hoping I’ve encouraged you more than enough to try and start GTD in your family. Creating good habits is very important in a team such as a family that lives under one roof and wants to live in harmony, love and respect for one another. To foster family-friendly GTD I’ve introduced a “family plan” in my Nozbe web application where you can set up an account for up to 6 family members to manage projects and next actions together and spread more GTD-goodness among your loved ones. Please post your comments about GTD in your family and share your successes and challenges below – I’d be more than happy to discuss my experiences with you!

Note: This guest article for GTDtimes has been published yesterday on their blog. Update 1: Inspired by this article and by the response to the “beta” version of Nozbe’s Family Plan, I went ahead and officially introduced the Family Plan to Nozbe Update 2: This article made it to Evan Carmichael’s top 10 GTDtimes blog posts list at #10