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What drives you to keep doing...anything?

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  • What drives you to keep doing...anything?

    So, here's the thing...what is it about many of us (present company included) that we disire to do more, be more, get organized, and yet, it is so difficult to keep doing things like GTD? You know, sometimes, you'll say to yourself, "I'll remember that...I don't need to write it down" and yet, you don't, thus clugging your mind and forgetting things the rest of the time. I mean, you know you SHOULD write it down, do it in two minutes, or whatever, but we don't...GRRRRRRR.

    Dang, can you tell I'm frustrated with myself? How do we truly change WHO we are. Reputation is what others think of us, and character is who we are...can we change that, ya think?

    Give me your thoughts...David included, if you're reading.



  • #2
    How to change...........

    Bob, you raise some deep themes here and ones that I have wrestled with in my adult life. I have actually resisted the temptation to become a GTD blackbelt. I see GTD as a great way to become an automaton.....working in rote on a list and focusing on using time so effectively that each context can be filled with activity. I have always preferred a thoughtful approach to life that has not precluded me from adopting technology but has prevented me from joining the Blackberry obsessives and striving to reduce the huge information inputs that characterised my corporate work life. Change for me has always been about being very in touch with who I wish to be; my preference is being clear on my values and trying my hardest not to lose awareness of them. Act as you wish to be and you will become. GTD is good stuff; but I have always felt it a bandaid for a symptom and not a remedy for the cause. It takes courage to define yourself and how you wish to live; particularly in a world where we are being swept up in a competitive drive for ever greater productivity. Where will it all stop? If I forget something (outside an important relationship); so what??? Life is far to precious to waste being obsessive about your productivity system.


    • #3
      A contrarian view

      Wow, what a totally opposite view of GTD and life you (altruologist) have!

      GTD is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. I suppose like all tools it can be used for good or evil....

      I see GTD as a great way to avoid becoming an automaton.....

      Having a list of all of my committments in front of me so that at any time I can pick a good choice by context and move forward in congruence with my values and long term goals. Not wasting time in delustion or distraction but moving forward with an important aspect of my life, even if that means abandoning my next action list to strengthen the relationship I have with the person I'm with now or to take the time to rejuvenate myself by doing nothing. Having the Next Action list gives me the freedom to do that without concern that some commitment will be dropped and I will be acting out of integrity.

      GTD requires a thoughtful approach of spending a couple of hours each week thinking about your projects and your committments and what it will take to move them forward. GTD and my implementation is a tool not a master. Not mastering the tool means that I become a slave to the onslaught of unhandled requests and unorganized undoable "stuff". GTD gives me the power to say "No". It gives me the option to say Someday/Maybe. It gives me permission to move out of my inbox and into my calendar to be proactive. It gives me permission to process my inbox twice a day and turn the blackberry off during the meeting I'm currently in.

      Without a clear runway there is no way I could operate at the higher levels of altitude and even think about values, goals, mission, and identity.

      GTD isn't a cure. Its a tool. Buy itself it won't get you to deal with those deep issues, but it will allow you to clear enough psychic RAM so you can start thinking about those things.

      Life is far to precious not to have the freedom to blow off your list and go do something fulfilling and/or creative. Without GTD, I didn't have the freedom to make that decision.

      At least that's my perspective....


      • #4
        GTD is like a hammer.

        Originally posted by Bob Burtt
        How do we truly change WHO we are.
        GTD is like a hammer. It can help you to achieve your goals (hammer in the nails) but it will not tell you what these goals are (why, where and what kind of nails you've got to hammer in).

        Of course you are more productive when you are using a hammer (if you know how to use it) so you have more time to think about your goals.

        Some people are using this additional time for hammering in more nails but I do not think that GTD is meant for this.


        • #5
          GTD is here to make life easier. If it's making you frustrated then just stop doing it! Stop writing things down, don't look at your lists, don't review. Chances are you'll then see (and remember) what the value in what doing these things were and go back to doing them.

          Also there is a level of customisation that you can apply to GTD. For example some people do better doing the weekly review every two weeks, some do it every day, some organise next actions by context, some by project. If you go too far away from the "standard" then you'll find out- it'll stop working so well.

          On the subject of change, well make sure you're not just changing for the sake of it. Nine out of ten times people want to change just because other people are telling them they should. That's often a lousy reason. And beware the pointy headed boss who mindlessly spouts "change is good"!

          I like to think that change happens automatically. There is a spontaneous movement towards better things. The only challenge is getting over the fear factor of trying the new.


          • #6
            Excellent post!

            I am motivated by my knowledge that my environment is often at odds with my inner, true self. I also know that my environment has changed my behaviors, but it hasn't modified my inner self.

            So, by changing my behaviors, I know that I can get closer to living constantly in harmony with my inner, true self. That's what keeps me going.

            (An example: I love to teach, but in my current life there are very few opportunities to do so. If I did nothing, I would probably never teach again. But if I do something about this, I can live a life that satisfies my inner, true self.)