Since I just blogged about GTD

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:

  1. Collecting stuff
  2. Dealing with stuff
  3. Context and Next Actions
  4. Projects
  5. The Weekly Review
  6. The round-up

4 thoughts on “Since I just blogged about GTD

  1. David


    Thanks for the reminder that “stress free productivity” is marketing to our felt needs rather than our real needs.

    I would tweak your comments slightly to say that ‘stress in creating’ is the result of our falleness not our finiteness.


  2. mark Post author

    David, wasn’t Adam supposed to gain glory by enduring the stress of the temptation? I thought learning to take dominion entailed committing to projects and doing tasks.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *