Productivity and Making Decisions

By Francisco Sáez • August 06, 2012

“Life is the sum of all your choices.” ~ Albert Camus

Many people think that a personal productivity system consists of some software and/or a calendar and/or an ordered to-do list and/or a series of notes or documents relating to all this. However, this is nothing more than the physical, tangible part — the least important — of a personal productivity system.

Personal productivity, as the name suggests, lies primarily in the individual and goes far beyond the gadgets you can buy to get better organized, the tricks you can learn to keep your inbox empty and the techniques you can use to file your papers.

Productivity is a matter of habits. It is about internalizing a set of behaviors and responses that have proven effective to manage every aspect of life. In the end, the principles that help us to eliminate distractions and stay more focused on what really matters are the same for both personal and professional life.

If you implement GTD at any degree, you get more control over your daily life and a better long-term perspective. If you understand the principles behind the GTD methods, how and why they work, you can use that knowledge and apply these principles in whatever way you want. And when you get the necessary confidence in your personal productivity system, you gain the freedom and creativity you need to make better decisions anytime, anywhere.

Making good decisions is another key factor to be productive. Making decisions requires having a list of all the choices, weigh the possible outcomes and, above all, trust your intuition. Every decision involves risks. You will never have complete information to know if you are doing the best you can do at any given time. There is no magic formula to remove the doubts, but GTD provides a number of practical and logical behaviors to minimize the risks and facilitate decision making.

Remember that a good decision is not the one that leads to a satisfactory result, but the one that has been taken following the appropiate process. And also remember that after the decision is taken, you have to go for it, but that is another story…

Further readings:

About the author

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Francisco Sáez (@franciscojsaez) is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a web developer specializing in Ruby on Rails who is passionate about personal productivity and GTD as a means to a better life.

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