Getting Religion Done

June 06, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

On the internet, GTD is sufficiently indistinguishable from a religion. There is no shortage of people to help explain how everyone else is doing it wrong.1 Nothing I have posted has garnered more outrage through comments and emails than my opinions about GTD. I don't consider criticism a productivity tip. I also don't consider my opinions about productivity valuable to anyone other than myself.

I think Sven gets close to an even tempered assessment of GTD for his needs.

While I disagree with this:2

The aspect of GTD that makes me think most is the fact that it is for everyone. It is so generically defined that the graphic designer, the sales manager, the nurse, the CFO and the property manager can all make use of it. Their roles, schedules, activities and lifestyles are entirely different yet they can leverage the same personal productivity method.

I strongly agree with this:

Most other personal productivity or time management methodologies have been develop (sic) even before “Getting Things Done”, like in the 1980s. Since I already have doubts whether GTD reflects today’s work and lifestyle, I would certainly not turn to methodologies that were developed when fax was still the fastest and most convenient way of communication.

I specifically agree with the notion that GTD does not reflect today’s work and lifestyle. But I don't think GTD reflects any work or lifestyle choice.

My guidelines for making my goals reality:

  • I remember that "GTD" stands for Getting Things Done
  • No one else knows me as well as I do and even I don't know me very well
  • Most rules are really suggestions made by humans
  • I stay skeptical about everything until I'm not
  • It's not done until I no longer care about it
  • If I don't care about, it's not a priority
  • Everything gets written down
  • Lists don't get things done
  • My highest priorities never need to be written down, because I live with them
  • I write down all of my other priorities
  • Every project, task and priority impacts every other project, task and priority
  • My whole life is one big project

  1. I have some good friends and acquaintances that are successfully using GTD suggestions. My problem is not with people using GTD. I also don't have a problem with people that practice their own religion. To each their own. 

  2. I may be reading too much into that statement and it is highly probable that the internet sucks for having a conversation.