Productivity and GTD

The GTD Phenomenon, Fad or Necessity?

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
Fashionable

The GTD phenomenon appeared over 15 years ago, and maybe due to that the more skeptic want to say it’s dead. The truth is it was quite a “trend” some years ago. According to Google, the “Getting Things Done” search grew significantly in 2005 and it reached his maximum at 2007. However, the acronym GTD (much more popular outside the Anglo-Saxon world) took up the torch since then, and the graphic shows that the interest has been constant from then on.

GTD searches on Google

On the Internet, trends rule. The most interesting developments have a strong initial impact, later they suffer the critics from the ones that didn’t found what they were looking for and finally, they slowly decline until disappearing completely. Only the things that are really worth it get to reach a maturity state in which they definitely settle down finding their space, smaller or greater, in our society.

GTD is not just surviving, but it has consolidated as a standard of personal management, more and more necessary in the way our society is evolving. Work is not what it used to. And let’s not blame any crisis. Just things have changed and they will never be as they were.

In this new environment, marked by instability and uncertainty, technological advances, information overload, etc. most of us have this feeling of lack of control, less concentration capacity and more stress. It is, thus, more important than ever to develop the skill of managing oneself.

In addition, the idea that life needs to be more than just working and working is changing us. We no longer want one of those lives where you spend 50 years busy and stressed out to then later enjoy, if you’re lucky, some freedom once you are older. We want to have freedom all throughout our lives, in every step of the way, and that’s why it is necessary to find a balance that it’s impossible to reach if we let ourselves go with the flow.

This situation pushes us to learn to pay attention to what really matters, to say no to things that are just wasting our time and resources, and to focus our actions in a smarter way. Otherwise, we will probably succumb to what our society wants to establish as a stressful way of life.

The world and companies need people who are capable of achieving stuff to progress. Your family and friends need that you are capable of achieving things in order to have time for them. Even you need the capacity of getting things done to be free and to live in balance and harmony.

Even if in personal productivity matters each one has their own way and there won’t be one perfect thing for everyone, the truth is, that in general terms, in all these years, there hasn’t appeared any other alternative of personal management that has been shown to be more efficient than GTD.

GTD isn’t more than a set of intuitive and logical processes that can be learnt, taught and implemented quite easily, by everyone. It’s a philosophy that helps you understand what is your reality and how to deal with it in an effective way. It helps you manage all your external inputs, but also the urges that guide you and define you as a person. That’s why GTD is not only not out of fashion, but it happens to be knowledge that is more and more necessary nowadays.

6 comments

B106331265724a910e735e2ebf3895a3
Commented about one month ago Steve

Another thoughtful post, Francisco. I see GTD as a philosophy of self management rather than a specific system, so I like the way you have articulated that. And I find FacileThings an excellent tool for implementing GTD (perhaps the best! ;-) ). Thanks for the ongoing development of this tool. GTD is one of the key things I have learned about in my life and your app makes it so easy to implement.

B106331265724a910e735e2ebf3895a3 Steve

Another thoughtful post, Francisco. I see GTD as a philosophy of self management rather than a specific system, so I like the way you have articulated that. And I find FacileThings an excellent tool for implementing GTD (perhaps the best! ;-) ). Thanks for the ongoing development of this tool. GTD is one of the key things I have learned about in my life and your app makes it so easy to implement.

1ec929e005222fbeb228914c5a0850a1
Commented about one month ago Michael Potter

Hey Francisco, your article nicely addresses issues of popular “systems” and trends in productivity. It’s nice to see that GTD has become a standard.

When people say “GTD does not work for me” they mean one of two things. 1) They didn’t understand or implement it or 2) They are creating/selling their own productivity style which ultimately borrows concepts from GTD.

I’m all for people choosing what works best for them but get annoyed when they criticize GTD for its “shortcomings.” In reality, there is no better philosophy (backed by science and with proven results) that can be directly experienced by the end user.

1ec929e005222fbeb228914c5a0850a1 Michael Potter

Hey Francisco, your article nicely addresses issues of popular “systems” and trends in productivity. It’s nice to see that GTD has become a standard.

When people say “GTD does not work for me” they mean one of two things. 1) They didn’t understand or implement it or 2) They are creating/selling their own productivity style which ultimately borrows concepts from GTD.

I’m all for people choosing what works best for them but get annoyed when they criticize GTD for its “shortcomings.” In reality, there is no better philosophy (backed by science and with proven results) that can be directly experienced by the end user.

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about one month ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Steve,

Thank you so much for your support and kind words. The purpose of FacileThings is that you can apply the GTD philosophy even without realizing that you are using GTD ;)

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi Steve,

Thank you so much for your support and kind words. The purpose of FacileThings is that you can apply the GTD philosophy even without realizing that you are using GTD ;)

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about one month ago Francisco Sáez

Hi Michael,

I agree that most people who don't believe in GTD misinterpret some of their principles or simply don't make the effort to adapt to them (they don't use all the pieces, they don't capture everything, they don't clarify what they capture, or they don't review their stuff regularly). It's hard to substitute your own beliefs for other's.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Hi Michael,

I agree that most people who don't believe in GTD misinterpret some of their principles or simply don't make the effort to adapt to them (they don't use all the pieces, they don't capture everything, they don't clarify what they capture, or they don't review their stuff regularly). It's hard to substitute your own beliefs for other's.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

A7b8393c3c6c282a398ac40c94a43c65
Commented about one month ago David

Great article! GTD rocks!

A7b8393c3c6c282a398ac40c94a43c65 David

Great article! GTD rocks!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb
Commented about one month ago Francisco Sáez

Thanks David!

Fcb879f1bc70aa0f661b842011f280fb Francisco Sáez

Thanks David!

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