Productivity and GTD

GTD is not the center of your productivity

AUTHOR: David Torné

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It seems that this contradicts the approach of this blog, and it may be true. GTD gives us the guidelines to manage our daily activities and organize our business in the medium to long term. However, it does not reach every place, and the user is responsible for conquering these plots in the shade.

This post has been motivated by another one about Zen To Done (in Spanish), written by Miguel de Luis of Savia Vida. I highly recommend it. It is one of those links you send to Evernote—or whatever your digital file system is—and reread periodically to review concepts that reinforce your beliefs in your self-improvement.

One of the thoughts that hit my mind during the reading, was the underestimated difficulty to establish short-term goals (say weekly). It is not straightforward to identify the obstacles we must be overcome during the week and break them down in smaller rocks we can face. The same thing occurs on a daily basis. What tasks are imperative to get done during this day? Do you ask yourself this kind of questions when you are doing your weekly and daily reviews?

Another essential aspect for the improvement of our productivity is the need to establish a process to implement new habits. Implementing GTD pushes us to create new habits: collecting, processing, reviewing… are processes of the system and we implicitly assume them. The problem arises when something is outside the scope of these procedures. How should it be done?

GTD does not provide explicit guidelines for such cases. It is our responsibility to deal with these external issues. The fact of working with a personal productivity method for a long time should help us overcome the most common resistances and encourage us to reflect on what we do so we can detect these dark areas that can be improved.

The real change comes when we face challenges. Once the new routines generated by GTD have been established and we have experienced improvements in our organization, we feel that we are capable of managing ourselves and embracing challenges as a collection of small changes. We are much stronger. We build self confidence, forged through the achievement of these challenges. We know what we must change to improve. At that time everything is much easier because the initial resistance no longer exists.

From this point everything is about thinking, experimenting and changing if it does not work. You are the center of everything. GTD provides you the means to control and get perspective, but you are the tool for change. Through your conviction and talent.

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