Call it a lack of curiosity, but it took me a while to figure out that the acronym “GTD” referred to Getting Things Done, inspired in part by efficiency expert David Allen’s bestseller Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (pictured above). Now when I see references to personal GTD systems, I know that folks are talking about the tools and techniques they use to be efficient and productive. Usually they involve some type of notebook/journal (such as that pictured below) or digital app.
And all of this makes me very, very nervous.
You see, I’m not a GTD kinda guy. I think by most measures, I’m pretty productive. I meet most deadlines. I’m almost always at a place when I have to be (classes, meetings, social engagements, whatever), and in fact I typically show up early or right at the start. But when it comes to overall scheduling, I usually make it up on an as-needed basis. The thought of having a multi-layered GTD system sends shudders up my spine!
I understand fully how those juggling kids and jobs, or those with any type of military training, might be shaking their heads at my lack of discipline. But even they, too, must admit that their scheduling is largely imposed on them!
So, can one be both very productive and incredibly undisciplined at the same time? I offer myself as proof that the answer is yes, at least sometimes. I’m going to devote the biggest chunk of this afternoon to working in the library. And even though I have yet to decide what I’ll be working on, I think it will be time well spent.