Productive Living
David Allen

Hi Folks,

Sometimes this "productivity" thing weighs a lot heavier on us than it should. Even the idea of "stress-free productivity" can sound like more work than we can or care to do. So, sneak behind the garage with me for what I'm sharing in this essay. It'll be our secret.

All the best,

David

DAVID'S FOOD FOR THOUGHT

What to do when you have too much to do

"Folks, can we hear it for sloth, indolence, and procrastination?!"

That's how I have started many of my seminars over the years. And it always gets thunderous applause and raucous cheers. I think it hits a nerve.

Why? It seems that few people have many good reference points for self-forgiveness and a sense of humor in this world of increasingly too much to do.

I've been working on both (self-forgiveness and sense of humor) for decades now, and still find it quite challenging at times. But you know, when I'm in a loving, whole, and healthy state of mind about myself and about life, everything's cool. Where I am, doing what I'm doing, is exactly where I need to be and what I need to do. God's on her throne, the mail is coming, my dog loves me, and tomorrow is just fine right where it is, not showing up until then.

And I don't seem to get to that wonderful state of mind by working harder and faster. Sometimes it helps, but more often it just perpetuates the angst.

I get there by letting go, softening my grip, getting quiet. That's when I can get a peek between the seconds, and in the particularly delicious moments experience the grandeur of just being. That doesn't happen by working harder or smarter. It doesn't happen by working at all. It just happens. I'm not my work. I'm not even my life. I do work, and I have a life. The more I'm able to see myself and my experiences from that neutral place of authorship and ownership, the more I see them for the Shakespearean stage they're playing on, and can enjoy the show (and how I let myself get wrapped up in it)!

But there is a skill, an awareness, a knowing about letting it happen, recognizing the value of those moments, and loosening up the stranglehold we often put on too many things that don't deserve the seriousness. Then those things that just happen, happen more often.

You can't know sloth, indolence and procrastination without having a reference point for the opposites of those. It's just the polarities of human experience. And if you actually did get it all done, on time, time would be out of a job.

Lighten up. We're all in this together. You're fine.

 

QUOTABLES

The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life. —unknown

 

Q&A WITH DAVID

Q: If you had an unexpected extra hour on a particular day, how would you spend that time?

DA: Beats me. When it shows up, I'll let you know! I trust my spontaneous, intuitive hunches.

 
 
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I discovered you about 6 months ago when, quite frankly, I was really struggling with work/life balance and working efficiently in the office with all the things I had to do. I like to do things really well, but simply couldn't—until I'd listened to your seminar about 10 times and read the book. You have quite simply made my office and home life an absolute stress-free environment. I've changed so many things in the way I work in the office and live at home because of GTD. This has resulted in me becoming even more efficient in the office and having a great personal / family life too. I can't thank you enough. I just have to keep on improving and adjusting the GTD tactics/tricks that I use as different things come up. I feel sure that I'll never return to the busy trap ever again.

Thanks,
John

 
 
 
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