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Supposedly simpler than GTD

I accidentally told someone that “ZTD sucks” (I love Baubuta’s other blog though, mnmlist).

Let me be more specific if I am gonna say something sucks.

All of this goes for ZTD, BuJo, AF/FV, Three Big Rocks etc.

What’s either missing, or assumed, and I’m not sure which of those is worse, from these is the way GTD turns ideas from vague dreams into something very concrete.

Any of those systems can be great as a way to find further focus on top of a GTD mindset, sure.

Nowadays, with years of GTD practice (and the consequence of that practice in simplifying my life and home), what I have is a stripped down list of like three things. But I couldn’t’ve started with something like “here’s a list of three important things”; I tried that in the before-GTD-years and I just procrastinated and felt lazy and stupid and helpless and hopeless.

I even had just one thing instead of three, and it still just kept getting postponed from day to day to day. “Why can’t I even vacuum my floors? How the heck can I be this lazy?”

My laziness was the combination of two things


First and foremost, I hadn’t sorted out all the prereqs. I can’t vacuum the floors if there is laundry or letters on there. And if the vacuum cleaner is under a huge pile of junk in the closet. It’s a bigger project than just a one and done.

Vacuum? But what about my dreams

Second, I was distracted from the vacuuming thing by all my other ideas and projects that I wanted to do and my brain was afraid of losing track of them so I just started doing them. I learned Emacs because I was supposed to vacuum the floors. Instead, with GTD, I can know that there is a proper “bookmark” in all of those dreams, which helps me focus on what I’m doing. (And help me select what I really want most to get done in a given moment.)

These days

What’s great about the granularity is that depends on who you are and what you need. I can “write a Scheme CLI app” as one thing and throw something together and ship it (might take a few weekends, but I don’t need to break it down to “Start Emacs. Open such-and-such file”) but for a while to do the dishes, that’s exactly the level of granularity I needed. “Place everything to the left of the sink”. I had fourteen steps! Obviously that’s not needed anymore because I did it enough to know how to just freestyle it in the dishwashing department and can now just put “Wash dishes” (or even just trust in me doing it as part of my daily habits of cooking and eating food).

I’m embarrassed to write just how messed up I was before I found GTD in my mid twenties. But it’s also proof that I know that it’s possible to get better.♥