Productivity and GTD

When things get tough...

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another" ~ William James

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When you begin to use GTD you usually find yourself with some mixed feelings. First, once you achieve to collect, process and organize all your outstanding actions—which is a hard job the first time you do it—, you have the rewarding feeling that everything is under control. You know all you have to do, what your priorities are and, most importantly, what things you’re not doing when you decide to spend some time with your family, friends or hobbies. This puts your mind at rest, allowing you to truly enjoy the time that you do nothing.

However, it’s also quite common for anyone who starts that, after a while, the situation returns to its initial state. Without hardly noticing, you stop collecting things, you stop reviewing your system with the proper frequency and confusion reigns again. You’ve lost control and stress is back. Now you have a frustration feeling, because the effort and time spent haven’t given the expected results.

It happens to almost everyone, so don’t be discouraged. Some blame the system and leave. Others, although knowing it’s not easy to establish new habits, insist and try again, because they are aware of the advantages of being the masters of their own time.

Even when you’re using GTD for a while, there are times when things get tough. You’re burdened with lots of tasks of all kinds, dazed and unclear. It’s easy to get discouraged and give up, but that would be a big mistake. You’d return to the previous situation of chaos and stress, where you’re always doing the urgent things. No sense.

Such times are always great opportunities to deepen yourself and reassess what you’re really doing with your life. For more clarity, you must look from a higher place. Stand up, accept the situation as it is and set your goals. Above all, you have to be the one who choose your next move. Accept the new rules as fast as possible. Regain control.

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