Ever Get Burnt Out From Doing GTD?
I have to say that today was a very productive day for me. From the moment I woke up I was tackling things on my available actions list.
The only times I wasn't getting things done was when I took a break to eat, but even then I was doing some research online for a term paper.
I'm impressed with myself though at the same time exhausted. Of course the available next action list never ends...well, until I die. But that's life.
So, I'm wondering if perhaps this "Ever get burnt out from GTD?" thought is just pre-falling off the wagon..
Like you, have falling off the wagon numerous times and hate having to pull myself back up. Especially in terms of processing everything that wasn't during my downtime.
For the past week (almost time for my weekly review this Sunday) I've been productive during my days and when I come home or have 15 minutes to spare will do some processing, getting things out of my inbox and created into projects...but today, I'm spent. Not physically tired, but maybe mentally. It's 2am now for the past 2 hours have been mainly just listening to music and watching some TV; feeling as if I deserve it.
Iono, rather than me dragging this on I feel this topic/thread is more open to interpretation as i'd like to believe i'm not the only one that has felt this way.
Of course, all GTD'ers here will hopefully think: "Well, what's your successful outcome here?" & Personally I'm thinking its to continue to be productive even after being really productive. Reflecting back at the times I've falling off the GTD wagon, it's usually been after being very productive; perhaps subconsciously insinuating that I deserve the downtime after being sooo productive.
I'm all ears.
Last edited by kelstarrising; 10-24-2009 at 08:19 AM.
Spending the entire day cencentrating on Getting Things Done is counterproductive and leads to fatigue and eventually to burnout. It's worth while to take your lunch time completely away from your work and concentrate on your tasty lunch, a change of scene, or quiet thoughts unrelated to your work. If you work alone, look for some people to be with (eating with friends, or munching on your sandwich outdoors watching passersby). If you work with people all around you, especially with much interaction, find some solitude for that short time. Either way, get outside if possible, and take a brisk walk. With such an intense schedule, you really need the break.
Originally Posted by HappyDude
Building variety and short periods of rest & relaxation into your day will not diminish your productivity. It will actually help. Try it for a few days; you'll see.
Last edited by Day Owl; 10-24-2009 at 06:04 AM.
Reason: Further thoughts.
the beauty will be to be able to practise without trying too hard. hope i can reach that state soon
Though some of David Allen's writings seem to validate the approach of using up every single minute for work, I don't think this is sane. When I eat I enjoy my meal, when I listen to music I enjoy the music, when I am with a dear person I enjoy his/her presence... and when I work I work. Or at least I try my best to do it this way.
Not everything is work, namely exerting effort to change something, to obtain some desired result - many things or situations are the desired result already. Beware not to miss them cause you are busy chasing desired results - this is not only inefficient, but, in my view, plainly silly.
Also, satisfying basic needs - good sleep, nutrition, probably exercise, probably social interaction, probably sex, etc - properly, is a must to go on being productive.
Your view of a list of next actions that will continue all your life unendingly is quite sisyphic and frustrating if you don't take the time to enjoy the fruits of your work. What is it worth?
There are times when we have to work hard (e.g. a project with a deadline), but in general, keeping a good balance between work and not work (not trying to change anything, just enjoying things as they are) is the thing for me.
Last edited by Marcelo; 10-24-2009 at 07:00 AM.
I don't think it's the actual GTD that is tiring you out. I believe it is the actual getting things done part. If you go supercharged all day, whether it's mental or physical, you're bound to be tired. Follow the recommendations from the other posters and add some balance and take care of yourself.
David would disagree!
I'm going to take a risk and speak for David Allen....he never advocated using every single minute for work. In fact, I think he'd say he wants to manage his life better so his attention ISN'T on work when he's not working. And I bet he does that very, very well. From what I've read of all the DavidCo people, they lead rich, full lives apart from their work: they travel, they pursue higher education, one is a poet, they hike, they run...and I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg. But I don't see any of them (the visible ones anyway) as workaholics.
Originally Posted by Marcelo
I am the Party
GTD and Zen
I cautiously used the word "...seem to validate..." because the subject needs further clarification.
Originally Posted by Barb
The sentence from the OP that triggered this observation of mine was this one:
"The only times I wasn't getting things done was when I took a break to eat, but even then I was doing some research online for a term paper."
This attitude of working while eating -trying thereby to use up every single minute for work-, may seem to be validated by, for example, the following quote from Getting Things Done:
"While you're on hold on the phone, you can be reviewing your action lists and getting a sense of what you're going to do when the call is done. While you wait for a meeting to start, you can work down the "Read/Review" stack you/ve brought with you. And when the conversation you weren't expecting with your boss shrinks the time you have before your next meeting to twelve minutes, you can easily find a way to use that window to good advantage." (p. 199).
While it may be argued that there is a substantial difference between a break to eat and being on hold on the phone or waiting for a meeting to start or having an unexpected shrinked window of time (these are not breaks), this difference is not self-evident, more so as David Allen proposes that work (now in the common sense, not in the GTD sense) and life should not be differentiated.
The consequence is that anyone, as the OP author seems to have done, can project the example quoted to his eating break and similar situations.
Furthermore, I have to say that I am a Zen practitioner, and from the point of view of Zen, dwelling in the present moment is a central practice. While waiting on hold on the phone, I wouldn't rush to see what I am going to do afterwards (who knows? may be that call will change my next actions), but rather would gently breath and relax. No stres will accumulate from breathing and relaxing, rather, if there is any, it will be dissipated. Trying to foresee my next actions while I am not yet done with the present one, seems to me to unnecessarily allow stress to build up.
Last edited by Marcelo; 10-24-2009 at 12:55 PM.
Reason: adding title
I am really coming to believe "multitasking" is pretty much a farce, but it seems people who try aren't being attentive enough to the present moment. So Zen-type practices seem to me that they would provide more relaxed control, and I see that as nirvana (at least for me).
Originally Posted by Marcelo
And I must vent for just a moment: A few minutes ago I went out to the grocery store. Saturday traffic around here is always busy, but we have construction all around and it's even worse now. I'm ready to pull out of the grocery store parking lot and here comes a man on a bicycle--on a 6 lane road---and he's TEXTING while he's riding his bike! He swerved just as he came upon the entrance to the grocery parking lot and very nearly ran into my car! I hate seeing drivers texting but this guy was really asking for it!
I am the Party
You don't have to work straight down your context list. You can take a next action and then delve further into the project.
Also, the examples that are given in the book as cited by Marcelo, refer to examples of being more productive during idle times at work. It does not state that you cannot have lunch, tend to your garden, lounge with a good book or w/e.