Podcast Episode 4: “Getting Things Done.” Interview with Julie Ireland, GTD Focus.

To listen to the episode, click here

Managing tasks at work and at home has never been easy. COVID-19 hasn’t made it any easier. Which is why I’m so excited to release this week’s podcast episode, where I had the privilege of interviewing Julie Ireland, Senior GTD Coach at GTD Focus. When I first heard about Julie’s Getting Things Done or “GTD” Coaching services, I figured it was just about being more productive. Turns out, it’s about a whole lot more.

GTD Focus is the Exclusive Partner for the delivery of Getting Things Done® (GTD®) individual coaching in the United States and Canada. Their workflow coaching services are one-on-one intensives that will drill down to the core of how you work, coach you in making better tactical and strategic decisions, and guide you in building sustainable systems that will better support your flourishing, amidst rapid change and growth.

Julie’s work is fascinating, and my take on GTD is that it’s more of a philosophy and a mindset than an instruction manual. But I have to say the thing I was most impressed with was how open and present Julie was during our interview. It was contagious (not a great word to be throwing around right now but I can’t think of a better one) and before long we were both talking about big picture topics, such as:

  • Managing through crisis
  • Getting help vs. DIY
  • Creativity, where it comes from and how structure plays into it
  • The benefits of testing and “trial-and-error”
  • The challenges we’ve seen with COVID-19, as well as the bright spots of graciousness and generosity
  • Books (obviously)

At the end of the day, this interview was about coaching. That word means a lot more to me now, and based on what I’ve seen Julie is everything a coach should be.

Show Notes:

  • How this episode almost didn’t get recorded, and how Julie and I got connected via Scott Wurtzbacher (episode 1) [00:40]
  • Julie’s introduction to GTD [2:30]
  • What it means to have a coach, coaching vs. DIY and the importance of being vulnerable [8:15]
  • The essence of GTD and the work that Julie does [12;30]
  • COVID-19. Managing tasks (as well as expectations) while working from home [19:50]
  • The importance of knowing what you’re saying “no” to when deciding whether to say “yes” to something else [25:50]
  • Julie’s “fast-food” analogy to managing email [29:25]
  • The “five ‘I’s” of GTD [31:55]
  • Once your daily tasks are done, where does the next big thing come from? [38:33]
  • Recommendations for getting started with GTD, including setup guides [39:46]
  • Julie’s approach to prioritizing nonfiction, and her “read watch and listen” list, and the importance of making decisions based on [41:20]
  • The different horizon levels of the GTD model, the importance of making decisions that are in alignment with your values, and how Julie applies the GTD principles in her personal life [47:17]
  • Several favorite books Julie and I have in common  [52:45]
  • How Julie used GTD principles to pursue her passion for painting [56:03]
  • GTD Focus, and its nuanced approach to helpin clients through GTD in alignment with their learning styles [58:35]
  • How Julie plans to “Do Better This Year” [1:01:14]


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