Let me just say I think “stress-free productivity” is simply not a helpful expectation. I’m all for reducing the stress in getting things done. But I think one helpful attitude would be to accept some forms of stress as a sign that you are growing, maturing, and producing.
For one thing, I think an emphasis on freedom from stress can encourage people to use GTD as a way to avoid getting things done (see this excellent tip). I experience a lot of stress actually working through my inbox but no stress surfing Merlin Mann’s blog or listening to MacBreak Weekly.
We see “stress-free” people all the time (sort of) who remain that way by not producing. Many times the problem is caused by exaggerated fears. It is great when that sort of stress can be reduced. But, at another level, we should be glad we have stress and that we have an opportunity to learn how to handle it.
As I see it, creation ex nihilo is stress free. For finite creatures, creation means overcoming resistance.
I think a lot of GTD is learning how to properly handle stress, but I don’t think claiming productivity can be “stress free” is really the essential point.
For those who have no idea what fad this is, which I am promoting (despite this rather soft criticism), here is a summary: