Why you need GTD if you work alone

By Francisco Sáez • April 23, 2012

If you work alone, you are self-employed, freelance or a solo entrepreneur, chances are that in your daily activity, you get entangled doing urgent things that do not lead anywhere. It is also very easy that time flies when you are doing things that are pleasing, although totally unproductive. Indeed, your internet connection can be a death trap.

When you work in a corporate environment, you have a more defined responsibility and get more pressure to get things done, from your bosses, your team and even your subordinates. If you have nothing that guide you, it is quite normal to lose some perspective from time to time, and devote yourself to do things what pulls your emotions, because you feel like doing them, or because a customer has been able to touch your pride.

At 11 am on any given day you have many more options than someone who works for a company. Not only can you finish developing that new feature about your product or service, or complete that design, or send those pending emails. You can also go out for a coffee with that friend you have not seen for a long time, go to the gym or to do groceries shopping. What to do at all times is not as obvious as it seems. Maybe doing groceries is the most important action if you have your fridge empty and want to have lunch that day.

The freedom you get by working alone is fantastic, but in turn it is also a major handicap to your productivity. You do not have a boss, a team or a corporate structure to push you to do things. Accountability is all yours and that, my friend, is not as attractive as many believe. If you do not want your dream of freedom falls apart, you need to create structures that remind you what your responsibilities are, what commitments you have acquired or developed, what is important, why you do what you do and where you are going.

You need a personal organization method which, in addition to help you perform your daily workflow, allows you to connect your work to your vision of life. A system that allows you to deal with your personal life the same way and with equal importance that you deal with your professional life. A system that allows you to plan your projects in a natural way and adapt quickly to changes. And a system that allows you to do all this in a relaxed, stress-free way. The only method to do this is called GTD.

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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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