I remember when I first discovered David Allen’s book Getting Things Done.
I was holding down a challenging corporate job and working on a side hustle.
I had a toddler at home and a mountain of stress at work. I was managing a team of writers (this is an oxymoron) and juggling complicated deliverables for customers, coworkers, and executives.
And all of those wonderful productivity routines seemed like they were going to make my life simple and stress-free.
I was fairly religious about “GTD,” as we cult members called it back then. (Except for keeping track of future activities in 43 paper folders. A calendar is a thing that did not need to be reinvented.)
My Next Actions list fit onto a single page. Mind you, I had to shrink the items down to about 5-point type to get it that way. But I was younger then and my eyesight was still decent, so that was okay
My Projects lists were mighty. My Someday/Maybe lists were even mightier.
I judged every day by how well I conformed to my system.
Remembered to define my Next Actions and clear out my inbox? I was a hero. Got stuck spending more than 20 minutes on a complex creative task that didn’t really lend itself to a “Next Action” framework? I’d vow to work more wisely next time.
I don’t do that anymore.