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How GTD® Can Make You Happy


What is the price you put on happiness?

Is it worth a movie ticket? Is it that brand new car? Or is it the Europe Tour?

While these “experiences” can make you joyous in the moment, they can’t last forever. True happiness comes from within. From ongoing personal, professional and relationship contentment.

Most GTD practitioners know that Getting Things Done helps them start projects the right way, capitalise on opportunities, beat procrastination and be uber-productive.

But those are just the external benefits.

When you embrace GTD with passion, over the months and the years – the framework makes you happy too. And this flavor of happiness isn’t dependant on material trappings or achievements. This is from the core happiness that sticks around.

Here’s why GTD works like magic.

Personal Contentment:

  • Creative Expression. David Allen based GTD on the thought, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them”. And this revolutionary premise of Getting Things Done changes life. When you practice a Mind Sweep and then follow it up with the other practices of clarifying, organizing, reflecting and engaging, you find your mind blessedly free of clutter. Your cognitive ability improves. There is no need to multi-task. Your attention is like a laser. And you expressive your creative abilities fully – sometimes as witty comebacks and sometimes as million dollar business inspirations.
  • Improved Self Esteem. Your self esteem is in direct proportion to how well you stick to your commitments. With GTD, you are aware of everything you have on your plate. You understand the restrictions of your schedule. You plan your week in advance with habits like the Weekly Review. And you can easily spot when you must re-negotiate your agreements to uphold them! You evolve into someone who keeps all his promises – to himself and to others.
  • Lead a more Meaningful Life. People complain today of lack of meaning in life. The pace of life is so fast and frenzied that all we do is run from pillar to post. But GTD helps you flip this perspective. With its Horizons of Focus model, it shows you how the little to-dos you execute contribute to your ultimate life purpose and the bigger picture. It is the best way to stay motivated and find meaning in the mundane.

Professional Contentment:

  • Successful Execution. Robin Sharma says “Ideation without execution is delusion”. And he is right. With GTD recommendations of setting an end vision of success for clear, concrete goals and next actions for zero procrastination, you become a rare asset capable of actually “get things done”. Career success becomes a natural extension of who you are and the way you function.
  • Zero Overwhelm. A person who is not overwhelmed is someone who can be relied on in trying times. And no one knows it better than your boss or your team mates. GTD equips you to rapidly get on top of an out of control situation. Be it an overflowing inbox that has to be brought down to zero or a split second decision to influence major outcomes. A handful of principles give you the ability to have “mind like water” and stay unperturbed.

Relationship Contentment:

  • Being Present for Family. GTD teaches you appropriate engagement. And this ties back to having nothing on your mind. With this system, all your thoughts are collected, all your tasks are listed and all your commitments are met. You are open to “be in the present” moment. You appropriately engage with your family without worrying about the presentation or the irate client. As David Allen says, “You are okay not doing everything else”. Imagine how this will change your life?
  • Having More “Quality” Time. Last but not the least, Getting Things Done comprehensively boosts your productivity. Since you manage your attention and not the number of hours in a day, you simply have more time for leisure and those who matter the most!

Now its your turn. Did we miss any of the reasons why GTD makes your life better? If you have found that elusive work-life balance and the calm that comes with “Mind Like Water”, let us know in the comments.

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