10 Benefits of Using GTDAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
"Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action." ~ David Kekich
There are many methodologies when it comes to personal organization, probably one for each person in this world. They all have advantages and disadvantages, but GTD (Getting Things Done) is the only system I know that defines a complete workflow and covers all aspects of life and work.
Perhaps because it’s the result of 20 years of David Allen’s experience as a consultant, helping managers of many companies face all their responsibilities, or perhaps because its principles are common sense and backed by science, the truth is that it has been an unbeatable system since it appeared in 2001.
But how can you benefit from learning GTD and using it in your life and work? In my opinion, these are the top 10 benefits of using GTD:
- Say goodbye to stress. “The art of stress-free productivity” is the slogan of the book. And this is undoubtedly the main benefit of GTD. In addition to a method that tells you how to organize and manage your tasks, its fundamental principles aim to help you face all your professional and personal challenges in a calm way. Capturing all things in a trusted system leaves your mind free for more creative tasks than trying to remember things all the time. Clarifying everything you capture shapes what you have to do and removes uncertainty. Reviewing your system regularly gives you the peace of mind of knowing that everything is under control.
- Meaning. GTD makes you constantly question what you do, and therefore your life. It brings to your daily work a vertical perspective, something that no other method offers, and that allows you to define what is important and what’s not. It’s not just about doing tasks. You must do what allows you to fulfill your areas of responsibility and make you move towards achieving your goals, within the framework that defines your principles and your particular vision of life.
- Time. An efficient organization system saves time. Time to enjoy your family, your friends, your hobbies… and your work. Balance between your personal and professional life? GTD does not distinguish between one and the other, and eliminating this distinction frees you from the anxiety of trying to achieve and maintain that balance.
- Focus. You may have hundreds of things to do, but right now, in the situation you’re in (where, with whom, with what tools and devices you have at your disposition, etc.) you can only do a few actions. Using contexts and the Someday/Maybe list allows you to remove from your mind everything that is irrelevant right now, but with the peace of mind of knowing that you have it stored in a safe place where you can rescue it at the most appropriate time.
- Freedom. GTD doesn’t tell you what to do and when. You are free to choose what to do at all times — from a set of tasks that are best suited to the context in which you find yourself — or to do nothing at all. There are no priorities, your intuition rules.
- Better relationships. GTD gives you the right tools to fulfill your commitments, internal and external. You won’t forget something someone asked you to do, a great gift you came up with for your partner, or something you’ve promised to get done in two months.
- Organization. An inbox, a calendar with all your commitments, a system of perfectly classified reference material, and lists of projects and actions up to date will allow you to enjoy that pleasant feeling of knowing everything is in its place.
- Creativity. When you free your mind from all the worries that a bad organization generates, you can use it to think about other things, create new projects, imagine, come up with new things… You have room to be much more creative.
- Better management of uncertainty. This is increasingly important in these times. New information, challenges, and opportunities come to you every day, so plans and priorities must be constantly adapted. In GTD, priorities, milestones or deadlines are not given too much importance, which allows you to adapt and be ready for new opportunities.
- Productivity. It’s a consequence of all of the above. If you manage your activity effectively, you end up doing more in less time. And, above all, you end up knowing what to do and what not to do.