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  • Too relaxed because of GTD?!

    Do you think it could be a problem when GTD makes feel very relaxed about everything?

    When you keep stuff in your head you always feel nagged about not doing it. So you always want to do something.
    But when you have a trusted system and have it all outside of your head then you feel like just taking a nap, chillout or whatever, GTD relaxes you because everything is under control anyway.

    Have you noticed this?

  • #2
    No, that is not GTD. If you go to take a nap, chillout or whatever, the things are just on the list, not to be done.

    GTD can make us relaxed by helping us manage our time and tasks skillfully, but GDT can not do anything for us automatically.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't expect that stuff will get done automatically.

      I mean you look at the list and ask yourself - would it be ok if I don't do anything and get a nap or go sing and dance or whatever?
      If you see that nothing would blow up then you can feel good about everything you're not doing and not do anything.

      How is this not GTD exactly? Things are still to be done but you know that it can wait and you don't have to be doing everything at once all the time. So it makes you relaxed, but sometimes maybe too much?

      It kind of feels like stuff is already complete because all open loops in your head are closed.
      Last edited by supergtdman; 12-07-2011, 06:53 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's fine to take a nap

        I think if you take a nap or don't take a nap, it's up to you. Except when you are doing GTD, it really is up to you, and for good reasons. You know nothing is falling through the cracks, there are and will be no fires to put out, you know everything that has to be done to get you to live the life that you chose. If the life that you chose includes a nap, that is GTD. If you are taking a nap because you have grown numb to all your commitments, and if you are so stressed that you cannot move onto any of the things that you have to do, and you decide to take a nap as a way to avoid the reality, well, that is obviously not GTD.

        I find that GTD really does allow you to take guilt-free naps.

        Sleepy Yara

        Comment


        • #5
          It probably means that you can move up a notch

          Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
          So it makes you relaxed, but sometimes maybe too much?
          If you feel that you are relaxed too much, if you are too comfortable, you have probably mastered everything at your level of functioning. If you worry about being too relaxed, you could consider picking up more projects or commitments to move you closer to your goal kind of things at higher horizons.

          I think if your system is too stable, there is something wrong. You have to get a bit out of whack every now and then, to restructure and to get even better every time.

          But still, taking a nap is fine . And very GTD. As well as bringing your dog to your office.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, I agree. I've actually just added lots of projects and currently have about 100+ active projects.
            The interesting thing is that it doesn't add any mental load at all. At first I felt like I had to do A LOT and was motivated to be getting things done but after getting it out of my head and deciding about next action for everything I realized that everything can wait and it made me very relaxed.

            Sure this is a good thing but for now I'm not going to do anything and also feel good about it instead of actually getting things done. It is kind of a GTD paradox.
            Does it make more productive? I don't know. But it sure does make me very relaxed.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think this is an interesting point.

              While I have seen great productivity gains after years of integrating GTD into my life, the stress-reduction effect has had a more significant impact. Even if my productivity gains were zero, the "peace of mind" that I have gained by having a "trusted system" is invaluable.

              This leads directly to relaxation. I sleep better at night since I don't run through tasks in my head uncontrollably. I enjoy my free time more. I am more relaxed.

              But TOO relaxed? No. You need a personal drive and ambition to succeed at your goals to prevent you from just putting your feet up and forgetting about it all

              Comment


              • #8
                I am less stressed about things using GTD, so now I can't use stress as the main motivator to get things done. Instead I've had to make more use of other forms of motivation. Thankfully, the levels of horizon in GTD has helped me do that too.

                I very much agree with mmorowitz on the stress reducing part of GTD being more important than any increased productivity, even though there is a strong link since obviously reduced stress opens up the possibility of higher productivity.

                And, as for the more theoretical perspective on productivity, I think any evalutation of the level of productivity necessarily has to take into account both the input to the process and the intended outcome of the process. Doing the same things that you have always been doing, but with less effort can be as much an increase in productivity as being able to do more with the same input of effort.

                So if GTD makes you able to do what is required of you and what you want to achieve in life while at the same time getting more time over to just do nothing and enjoy having it that way, then all the better for you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sleep is good

                  The book "Sleep Thieves" by Stanley Coren argues that the average adult
                  functions optimally on 10 hours of sleep a night,
                  and that people who think they're doing fine
                  on only 8 hours or even less are fooling themselves. An excerpt from his book
                  is here: http://www.stanleycoren.com/e_thieves.htm

                  The benefits of getting the optimal amount of sleep more than outweigh the
                  value of the time spent.

                  Benefits of getting plenty of sleep:

                  -- Less time spent daydreaming, or on unnoticed short sleeps of a few
                  seconds at a time. (Yikes, while driving?)

                  -- Getting sick less often
                  .........-- losing less work time to sick leave
                  .........-- potentially living longer, having more years of productivity

                  -- Making fewer mistakes
                  .........-- Spending less time finding and fixing your mistakes
                  .........-- Spending less time responding to crises caused by your mistakes
                  .........-- Less chance of a fatal mistake including but not limited to automobile collision

                  -- Clearer thinking
                  .........-- Better at vision, imagination and long-term planning
                  .........-- Better able to judge relative priorities
                  .........-- Better creative problem-solving; saving time by doing things a different way

                  -- Better sense of humour

                  -- Better relationships with others; less likely to impulsively get angry

                  -- Enjoying life more

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Am I fooling myself?

                    Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                    The book "Sleep Thieves" by Stanley Coren argues that the average adult functions optimally on 10 hours of sleep a night, and that people who think they're doing fine on only 8 hours or even less are fooling themselves.
                    Bill Gates says that he sleeps 7 hours on average. Is he fooling himself?

                    Or maybe he isn't just an average adult?

                    I am not average too. I sleep 7.5 hours and feel great (not fooled).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sleep at least 9 hours is at the top of my daily checklist!
                      I don't know about other people needs for sleep but I need at least 9 hours.

                      I can skip food and water for some time without much problem but not sleep... (I don't have food and water in any checklist btw
                      If I don't sleep enough then I can't make good decisions and the whole day is pretty much wasted. I'd rather skip everything else but sleep enough.
                      Sleeping enough saves me much more time than sleeping less.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Absolutely!

                        Originally posted by mmorowitz View Post
                        I think this is an interesting point.

                        While I have seen great productivity gains after years of integrating GTD into my life, the stress-reduction effect has had a more significant impact. Even if my productivity gains were zero, the "peace of mind" that I have gained by having a "trusted system" is invaluable.

                        This leads directly to relaxation. I sleep better at night since I don't run through tasks in my head uncontrollably. I enjoy my free time more. I am more relaxed.
                        And it frees up the mind to be thinking about other stuff... suddenly I found myself reading more books again (professional and private) and dreaming about new activities and studies, and also my business has taken on a whole new angle. I'm a self employed consultant, with a lot of interesting projects and an overly filled calendar (used to). Now I moved on to accepting even bigger projects, but I have a network of co-consultants (contractors, partners) around me, and I do these projects together with them. GTD helped me to free just enough space in my mind to be able to consider this option and to move towards it.

                        Myriam

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                          Bill Gates says that he sleeps 7 hours on average. Is he fooling himself?

                          Or maybe he isn't just an average adult?

                          I am not average too. I sleep 7.5 hours and feel great (not fooled).
                          I don't know whether any particular person is getting an optimal amount of sleep
                          or not, but I believe based on evidence presented in the book that currently
                          in industrialized society the majority of
                          people are getting less than an optimal amount of sleep who sleep less than 10 hours
                          per day, are capable of sleeping longer if they try, feel fine and believe they are
                          getting plenty of sleep.

                          I'm not saying that any particular person is fooling themself, and a person getting less than an
                          optimal amount of sleep without realizing it is not necessarily fooling themself, but
                          I think the majority of people who are fooling themselves believe they aren't fooling themselves.

                          Also, many people are not able to sleep longer than they do, even if they
                          know they're desperate for more sleep. (See the book Insomniac by Gayle Greene.)

                          But this raises the question: how can one know one is getting an optimal amount
                          of sleep? I don't have any fully satisfactory answer to this, but here are some ideas.

                          -- Letting the body decide:
                          If one provides oneself with natural conditions, including about 12 hours of darkness
                          per day and avoiding alarm clocks or hormone-bending pollutants etc., and one
                          naturally wakes up after a certain length of time each day, that may be an indication that
                          that's a good amount of sleep for that person. (However, the body may be expecting more than
                          one period of sleep per day.)

                          -- Taking the questionnaire in the Sleep Thieves book, which asks things like
                          whether you tend to fall asleep if you're on a long train or bus ride, and
                          many other questions.

                          -- Doing a test: For example, for 3 weeks sleep your usual amount; then for
                          3 weeks sleep 0.5 or 1 hour longer; then for 3 weeks sleep your usual amount
                          again. Meanwhile either just (openmindedly and without bias?) notice how you feel,
                          or take tests measuring
                          IQ, rate of making mistakes, creativity etc. For example every evening you
                          could write down answers to "what insights did I have today?" and after the
                          whole test is over see if the ones during the longer-sleep period are more numerous
                          or more interesting. The reason for switching twice is to control for improvements
                          due to learning during the test period. This test might show that more sleep is
                          good; but if it doesn't indicate any difference, I don't think it gives much confidence
                          that there isn't an important difference. You might be equally fast at solving Sudoku
                          but every few days have an important new insight or shift in perspective.
                          Or you might be thinking just as clearly but avoiding the onset of a major illness.

                          As I remember, in the book Coren describes when he was teaching a course and
                          made the students have an "extra" half-hour of sleep: they didn't believe they
                          needed the extra sleep, didn't want to, and generally didn't notice a difference, but
                          on average their marks on the course were quite a lot higher.

                          We haven't fully evolved to live with artificial light in the evening,
                          so the time at which we feel like going to sleep isn't a good indication.

                          Two more benefits to getting plenty of sleep:

                          -- increased creativity

                          -- better memory, especially long-term memory for the things you did or
                          learned the day before, including memories of having fun.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                            The book "Sleep Thieves" by Stanley Coren argues that the average adult
                            functions optimally on 10 hours of sleep a night,
                            and that people who think they're doing fine
                            on only 8 hours or even less are fooling themselves.
                            There are many people who sleep less than that, but it does not mean that they are at the best that they can be. We need sleep. I am glad to see that there is someone out there that makes me feel less like a fool for liking my 8-9 hours of sleep. I was trying to follow this common 8 hours rule, but I eventually realized that I would prefer to have 9. I get 9 whenever I get a chance, but then there all these people around me who treat me as a sleepyhead. I find that when I work out regularly, or when my workouts become particularly intense, 8 hours is not enough to recuperate my sore muscles and joints.

                            In my work life, I sit at a desk looking at a screen for up to 12 hours a day. If I was not well rested, I would fall asleep at my work.

                            We need sleep to digest new experiences and to integrate them into an existing framework. If all your experiences are familiar to you, you will need less sleep.

                            Babies sleep all the time. Children need more sleep than adults. Old people often suffer from insomnia, and get up early easily. If you need more sleep, it might be that you are at that stage of your physical development. It certainly does not mean that you are lazier than people who sleep less.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sleep is good.

                              Originally posted by Yara.Kadulina View Post
                              We need sleep. I am glad to see that there is someone out there that makes me feel less like a fool for liking my 8-9 hours of sleep. ... I get 9 whenever I get a chance, but then there all these people around me who treat me as a sleepyhead.
                              Yeah, it's nice to connect with other people who appreciate a long sleep.
                              I like to get 9.5 to 10 hours, and definitely feel short of sleep when I get much less.
                              I also struggle with insomnia and take a number of natural substances in the
                              evening to help me sleep. Individual needs differ.

                              What's a "sleepyhead", and how does one treat one? Seriously, I think the
                              word "sleepyhead" is only for being derisive, not useful in productive conversation.
                              The book Insomniac talks about how there seems to be prejudice against
                              sleep and against admitting that one needs sleep, as well as against insomniacs.
                              Similarly, I notice there also seems to be prejudice against just sitting and thinking,
                              although one is expected to constantly produce the results of that activity.
                              That reminds me of the Grook "Twin Mystery" by Piet Hein, just over halfway down
                              this page http://www.leptonica.com/cachedpages/grooks/grooks.html
                              not to be confused with "The Eternal Twins" near the top of the same page,
                              which is also one of my favourites.

                              Originally posted by Yara.Kadulina View Post
                              . I find that when I work out regularly, or when my workouts become particularly intense, 8 hours is not enough to recuperate my sore muscles and joints.
                              Maybe I'm different. I haven't noticed that. What seems to me to happen is
                              that during sleep, muscles that were worked hard stiffen up from staying in the same
                              position too long, and I can mostly prevent that by stretching the muscles
                              immediately after exercising and then again at bedtime. Stretching muscles
                              before exercising helps prevent later stiffness of the joints by reducing stress
                              on them.

                              Comment

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