Coping with the Increasing Complexity of LifeAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
"We live in a rainbow of chaos" – Paul Cezanne
Don’t you have the feeling that the world is getting more and more complicated, that you have more and more responsibilities and things to do, and that you don’t have the resources to cope with all these things adequately?
You probably have a lot of important questions in your head: How can I improve my children’s education? How much should I worry about my health? How can I better manage my job, my department or my company? Should I expand or improve my education? Am I managing my relationships as I should?
Life seems to get a little more complicated every year. And you keep changing and trying to adapt to that increasing complexity. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t.
Sometimes changes come at the right time and you just accept them. You may even welcome new challenges that give you the opportunity to grow. Other times change comes before you are ready to face them, and it generates frustration and stress.
Life never stops changing and your ability to manage its complexities never stops evolving either. The problem is that sometimes these two realities don’t work at the same speed. When you go faster than the world around you, you feel bored and need a new challenge. When the world goes faster than you, you can feel overwhelmed.
The modern world is full of complications. There are endless possibilities and options for any situation you can imagine, and that puts added pressure on decision making. The nature of jobs is changing faster than our ability to acquire the proper training to perform them. The nature of the work is no longer obvious, and the boundaries of projects are unclear.
That lack of boundaries makes it necessary to communicate with more people, departments and suppliers in order to get things done. The lack of boundaries also makes it more difficult to separate your personal life from your work and, as a consequence, hinders your relationships with family and friends.
Technology and communication tools magnify the problem. Not only does your job have less defined boundaries, but it’s something you can now do anytime, anywhere.
We are now hyper-connected. Constant connectivity has transformed the way we do things. Not only do we work differently; we study, travel, shop, and communicate differently.
Notifications from your wearable devices are competing for your attention, regardless of what you’re doing. And when you need information, how much is enough? – there’s a huge amount of potentially relevant information on the internet!
All in all, the outside world floods you with information and messages, while your inner world creates a not insubstantial volume of ideas and compromises with other people and with yourself. And surely, like most, you are not adequately equipped to deal effectively with this sheer volume of internal and external commitments.
That’s why GTD was born, to help you cope with this increasingly complex life. We need a system that provides the necessary tools and behaviors to function properly as the world evolves. Something that incorporates both general thinking and the smallest details, short-term priorities and long-term priorities. Something that helps us absorb all the new things that happen every day and allows us to be ready for anything.