The magic within the arrow
I can't take credit for the original question about "automatic" -- still waiting=for an answer from ctklai.
My additional thinking follows, and I see it aligns with what others have discussed.
We all know that GTD is a Systematic Approach to Getting Things Done. I see three things within here to expand/expound on.
1. To ctklai's point, there is a definite and clear system to learn GTD that has principles, rules, guidelines - whatever you want to call them. Based on understanding the system, it goes towards what Marci was mentioning about doing stuff while standing in line at Starbucks.
In my world, if I "have" to stand in line (eg Post Office) I love it because it gives me time to catch up on my @Anywhere list -- typically iPhone focused. By having the GTD methodology, these actions are possible and go towards being productive.
You could say that there is an "automatic" thought process to consider doing a GTD-type action when the opportunity arises -- this happens more from awareness of the GTD effect. After standing in line for 10 minutes I felt good about what I accomplished.
2. Within the word "Approach", I think there may be a golden nugget to uncover. There is nothing in my opinion randomly added to the Workflow Processing & Organizing map. I'm seeing an arrow between "Stuff" and "What is it?".
For me, this arrow is the Achilles Heel (no pun intended on the arrow allusion) of my path towards Personal Productivity. This could also go towards what ctklai was referring to about "Automatic". If I don't have a 100% belief in: myself, GTD, and so forth, then all of that could show up within this arrow as a question -- "What's in the way??". Why is it that I'm not asking "What is it?". Why am I wanting to fast-track the processing and have some magical computer automation do the thinking for me? What meaning is there in actually answering the question? And so on and so on.
As long as my human-ness has to answer the question "What is it?", then the experience of GTD being "automatic" will be restrained by any drag or resistance within the arrow.
3. Getting Things Done. I'm either working "in" my GTD system or I'm working "on" it. If I'm working "in" it, I'm asking questions specifically about projects and actions. If I"m working "on" it, I'm musing about how to automate it.
I could say that if I'm not effectively Getting Things Done in my life, then I'm not really authentically doing GTD as the system is designed - I've heard folk say, "Oh yeah -- I don't need to read the book, I already do parts of GTD". I know there's latitude allowed, but if my actual actions are outside of the GTD Systematic Approach, is there something to ask or uncover about why is that? Maybe something within the arrow?
Final question then is what part needs some attention within the arrow? Until that's answered, let's not fixate on the word "automatic".
Enjoying the discussion on this forum.
Originally Posted by marciturk
Director of IT
David Allen Company