Productivity and GTD

Why Do You Want to Practice GTD?

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

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Undoubtedly, some people have a greater desire to be organized, to have everything under control. They are people who need to know how is the map on which they move, where they want to go and where they are at all times.

Others, however, want to be organized because their life is somewhat chaotic and have seen somewhere—read or heard—that a particular method or tool or application can help them better control the situation, simply because it has already helped others.

I see these two types of people among the users of FacileThings, and I would say that at least three out of four belong to the second type. For the first ones, finding a method like GTD proves to be an “a-ha!” moment, and implementing it is often relatively easy because it fits perfectly with that map structure they need. For the latter it is much more complicated, because applying GTD becomes a game of trial and error that sometimes ends well and others ends up being really frustrating.

Often, the difference between the two types of people resides simply in the vision they have of themselves. It makes very little sense to commit ourselves to practicing GTD if we have no clear vision of why we do it and what this philosophy can bring to our lives. If we do not know the reasons why this might be our way forward, this practice will become a new battle without sense.

If we clarify this vision—how we want to be in a few years, how we want to use our time according to our values and principles—, we will have a great support to acquire the discipline and perseverance necessary for practicing GTD, so it becomes a bed of roses, the path that get us to live that leisurely, stress-free—though infinitely productive—lifestyle we want to achieve.

Any superficial idea we have about our personal development, about to become a better version of ourselves, will be dashed when the first problems arise. We will postpone the organized practice of GTD after the new urgencies and crises show up. Using the methodology will quickly become secondary and optional, and we’ll return back to the number one spot on our board game.

If you want to know and implement GTD in a committed way, you need to have a vision of your own future—an essential and thoughtful vision. GTD is the path, a way of life that is practiced every day, and if there is no clear destination, the path loses all meaning.

The vision is with you every day and help you get where you want to be. It relates to your values, your principles, and your idea of what is important in life. That vision should be a perfect picture of your future, devoid of any knowledge of how to get there (the how will become evident over time).

So before you start, ask yourself why you think you need GTD. How are you in your work, in your relationships with others and with yourself? How do you want to be? Make a statement of your vision.

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