The art of stress-free productivity is no different from any other art
Don't you ever feel frustrated having to follow so many principles and rules in the art of stress-free productivity?
Are there some of you who have been practising for a long time you still don't really get it?
I am currently in the progress of finishing a book written in the 40s by Mortimer Adler called 'How to Read a Book'. It is a practical book that proposes readers to adopt a set of behaviours if they wish to understand great challenging books above their intelligence level. The various acts in the skilled operations, including specific actions and rules one must take and follow, constitute the art of reading.
When we speak of someone who is skilled in anything - in the art of stress-free productivity or in the art of music - we are pointing to the fact that they possess the habit of doing it, not simply knowing the rules of which the habit is founded upon.
Anyways, I wanted to share a short passage from the book. I think it helps to frame the complexity of the art of stress-free productivity quite well.
Standing at the top of the hill.
So you should read a book to learn how to read books above your intelligence level? Interesting idea! :-)
Originally Posted by ctklai
It does not work this way. You cannot learn to properly bend knees or to look downhill while standing at the top of the hill. In GTD it is not possible to learn Collecting step without Processing and Organizing and Doing and Reviewing because you will end up with a big pile of unprocessed notes.
Originally Posted by author of the book
I think the best way to improve an element of the process is to focus on it while performing the whole routine.
Instruction and feedback.
OK, but one should always do three things to learn a skill: practice, practice and practice. Attending seminars, watching webcasts or reading the book is useful for gaining a theoretical knowledge but not a practical skill.
Originally Posted by ctklai
And yes - at the top of the hill the instructor gives preliminary instructions but then the whole teaching is done via feedback after a downhill ride. That's what I've learned when I was an assistant ski instructor.
To answer your question Paul...
Great question, I love that you brought that up!
I thought about it and an aspect of GTD that seems to be automatic at this point for me, is doing things that can be done based on where I am. For example, I find that immediately when on line at a Starbucks or anywhere else I have down time, I go right into my system to see what I can get done, based on my context. It has become second nature to me.
Another is mindsweeping. I tend to do it very often (not just at Weekly Review) but several times throughout any given week.
How about some other long time GTDers???