2 min read

Life after GTD

I abandoned this particular “productivity” system a while ago. It was a tumultuous relationship, marked by starry eyed wonderment, lost sleep and crushing heartache. It’s taken me a long time to write about it. It’s either because I forgot or it’s been that painful.

It was a good relationship, it really was. There was comfort, confidence, and all the hallmarks of what should have been a good thing, but alas, the time finally arrived – that day when you just look at each other and realise that it’s not doing anybody, yourself especially, any good.

Don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated with this whole productivity world for a while, from the halcyon days when it just really made sense to make all sorts of neat little buckets and joyfully place this into that and that into this. The first couple of weeks, months even, are this almost mystical period when you just have this wash over your world where everything is as it should be. @Action for that one thing I have to do for that one guy, but oh wait, theres more involved than that! Lets take some stuff out from @Hold, @Waiting, and @WhoTheHellKnowsWhen and even potentially out of @ProbablyNeverReallyGoingToGetToIT and make the most explicit and OCD overdose list of stuff you’ll probably never do.

There is some validity in writing everything down. There is something really warming and comfortable about knowing that everything is where it should be and that the world is all gridded and boxed up like how it should be in your brain. The thing is that the world is not like that, and probably shouldn’t be. Things don’t always connect and you don’t always have the time or energy to think about when you’re going to have the time or energy to do something. Almost all of the time it takes about twice as long to tell yourself you’ll do it later and do all the planning, scheduling and categorising for when you should do something than to actually do it.

I still do some of it though. Chances are this will fade away into all the other boxes that were just a lot easier to chuck out than to worry about. And not worrying about it is the point in the end of the day isn’t it? Something about “stress free productivity?”

When you worry more about how you’re doing something instead of actually doing it, there’s way more stress than there would have been if you didn’t worry about it and just got down to doing it. So yeah, keep a calendar, that makes sense, and get rid of as much as you can and don’t worry so much about the boxes.

By the way, if you’re a productivity survivor or a recovering lifehacker interested in chatting about how much you hate all this, or any other, set up a time and we’ll hate on all of it together.