Productivity and GTD

Being Present

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
“You cannot do what's important now for you if your mind cannot accept what is happening in this present moment.” ~ John Kuypers

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Being present means fully enjoying the moment that you are in. It is the moment when you are calm and you know exactly what you want. You are focused on what you’re doing without thinking about anything else. That’s when life is more real. For how long have you not been present, living the moment you’re in, feeling the now completely?

In this fast paced world we live in, where everything happens so fast and everything becomes obsolete so quickly, most of us have forgotten to be present, to fully enjoy the moment. We have lost the ability to pay attention to what is really important.

This is a serious problem. Without this ability it’s quite difficult to enjoy life and be happy. Without this ability, our relationships with others are in danger. There are few things more hateful than to talk to someone who is not really listening.

In addition, without this ability there are many other abilities that can only operate at a low level, such as your productivity, your creativity and your ability to make decisions.

Despite the spiritual character of the concept (being present is closely related to the consciousness of oneself and the connection to your own inner self), many people and companies are beginning to realize the benefits of the capacity of being present, not only to the individual but also to the environment in which he/she acts and works.

Companies like Google and Facebook offer their employees courses on mindfulness, meditation and various breathing techniques so they can re-learn to pay attention to the moment they’re in. People who are able to focus their attention on “the now” are more flexible, can easily overcome workday stress and restore order after a chaotic situation, enjoy getting things done, make better decisions, have better relationships, and produce more.

Those of us who practice a personal organization methodology such as GTD, are halfway there. The Weekly Review is the key element of GTD to be able to “be present” in any situation you find yourself in. When you do the Weekly Review, you clean your system, you close what’s already finished, you clarify what to do about what’s still pending and review all the commitments you have with yourself and with others.

When your organizational system is complete and updated, you can trust it. And the more you trust your personal organization, the easier it is to relax and to be present while watching a movie with your kids, dining with your partner or reading a good book. With nothing else on your mind.

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