The Emotional Cycle of Change.
GTD is not different than other changes that you implement in your life so it causes the same emotional roller coaster that was described in a widely cited 1979 article “The Emotional Cycle of Change” by Kelley & Conner. The elements of this cycle are following:
- Uninformed Optimism (Certainty: The honeymoon) (Information level: Low; Optimism: High)
- Informed Pessimism (Doubt: "Uh-oh, this is harder than it looks... a lot harder.") (Information level: Increasing; Optimism: Decreasing into pessimism)
- Hopeful Realism (Hope: "I dunno, maybe this can work.") (Information level: High; Optimism: Begins to recover)
- Informed Optimism (Confidence: “We can do this!”) (Information level: High; Optimism: High)
- Rewarding Completion (Satisfaction: “Was there ever a doubt?”) (Information level: High; Optimism: High)
The "Informed Pessimism" stage is crucial for GTD to survive in your life. Benefits ("mind like water") don't seem as real as in stage one but costs of change (writing down, processign, organizing, doing and reviewing) are becoming very apparent.