Thanks to GTD and networking, Kate Wang has come a long way, both in marketing GTD in China and, literary all the way to Norway to meet fellow GTD’ers.
This spring, I got a message on LinkedIn from a young Lady in Shanghai, asking if I was OK with having my interview with David Allen translated to Chinese and used for marketing GTD in China. Now, the two of us are sitting at a restaurant in Oslo, Norway, discussing Getting Things Done and networking.
Tell me about yourself – Who are you?
I’m Kate Wang, 28 years old, from Shanghai, China. Marketing lead of ThrivinAsia, certified franchisee of David Allen Company; Co-founder of Paradigm Fitness Consulting, a fitness company which develops people’s mental toughness.
When did you first hear about GTD and what was your reaction?
The first time I heard about GTD was in June 2016. When I understood what GTD was, I remember thinking “This could help me to structure my mind and accomplish a better life.”
What was the first thing you started doing when you started with GTD?
What I first did was doing mind sweeping a lot, which helps me to visualize what’s exactly in my mind. I still do that. I like to get my thoughts down on paper.
What has been your greatest challenge in GTD?
That would have to be maintaining the task list. Sometimes, I think that I’m using too much time doing that. But, in the same way, as a car needs gas to run, I need to keep my task list updated to be able to get things done.
Tell me about your first weekly review
At the time I did my first Weekly Review, I was really frustrated, thinking that I had not done anything useful in the past few weeks. When I started doing the weekly review, I realized that I actually had accomplished a lot of things. And the weekly review brought back the positive energy and motivation. I feel so good when I cross items off my task list.
How do you manage your productivity?
I’m not really an app person. I quickly grow tired of using apps so I’m only using Outlook for managing my productivity. Tasks goes into my calendar. I use the note function on my iPhone to capture and place it on my Outlook system when I’m able to use it. I use paper and pen to do the mind sweep as I found that writing can activate my thoughts.
Do you have any special GTD ritual or productivity hack that you would like to share?
Instead of only doing a weekly review, I find it better doing a daily review. It saves time since I have everything fresh in my mind and I’m rewarded every day with a sense of accomplishment.
Can you tell more about your work?
I’m managing the marketing of GTD in China, organizing GTD events, and working to find more organizations to collaborate with. Such as Danish Chamber of commerce and Norwegian Business Association. For Paradigm Fitness, I’m currently handling all the marketing work.
How did you end up working with GTD?
Back in 2015, I was bored with my current job and wanted to do something different. I ended up quitting my job to take a year off to organize events. In doing that I was able to test out what I had learned during my education.
To me, this was a huge step. One thing is to quit your job and know that you will have no steady income. My biggest challenge was that I had little experience in networking. Anyway, I met Cyrille Jegu, the master trainer for GTD in Greater China. One thing led to another, and we ended up working together.
How do you build your network?
I have tried various ways for expanding my network. Internations.org, MeetUp, LinkedIn etc. All of the channels are helpful in some way. However, for me, the most useful platform is LinkedIn. This is where I meet other professionals. I’ve been updating and improving my profile, and I’m really happy with the result. 90% of my effective connections are thru LinkedIn.
How does networking help you, and how do you use your network?
Networking helps me in many ways. I know who to talk to when I need something. It’s easier for me to do promotions and get ideas. Also, I find that being able to network makes me become a more open person, in turn making it easier to talk to clients, business partners, and co-workers.
I have learned how to adjust my ways when I talk to different people with different personalities. When I reach out to potential new connections, I always write a simple note about who I am, why I want to connect with others or what I’m looking for etc.
What advice will you give to young inexperienced networkers?
Start attending physical events, meet people in person. The more you talk to people, the faster you will grow your network. If you’re shy or uncomfortable with attending events alone, bring a friend with you.
I would prefer to go to events alone, as you will force yourself talk to others instead of relying on being around your friend(s). It’s also good to use the Internet for networking, but always remember, do not just simply add people to your contact list. You should know who they are.
Keeping yourself active is very important, update your professional progress, post articles or forward something that’s within your profession. Try to keep in contact with your connections.
You are a relatively fresh GTD’er. How is this impacting your job as a marketer of GTD?
Part of my work involves translating articles, podcasts, and videos. In doing all this, I have a unique chance to both learn and practice GTD.
How big is GTD in China?
GTD in China is still very small compared to the size of the country. There are two bilingual Chinese Trainers. Currently, two others are in the process of being certified. The organization is slowly expanding with two more people already in the pipeline.
How is Getting Things Done received in China?
Lots of people are teaching “GTD”, or rather time management under the name of GTD, so it’s not so easy for people who aren’t familiar with the concept to understand and appreciate the difference between the official / real GTD training and the rest. The challenge is to reach the masses in such a vast country.
What’s your favorite productivity book or website?
My favorite book would be Listful Thinking*, by Paula Rizzo and Julie Morgenstern. It’s a book to teach you how to make lists in a way that could turn your life into a more productive way.
Want to know more about GTD in China? Visit GTD.asia.