GTD and Zen
GTD and Zen
This is a question that I would love to present directly to David Allen.
I have been reading several books on Zen Buddhism over the last number of years, and it is astonishing how closely David’s system meshes in with the principles of Zen. This is no coincidence of course, as David has often made references to Eastern influences.
But it really is extraordinary how, when you read descriptions of Zen processes or concepts, that you find yourself arriving at precisely the same spot to which David is trying to bring us.
I particularly found the writings of Laurence G. Boldt in Zen Soup to be right on the money. Although the book is mainly based around collections of quotations, it is Boldt’s own sections that precisely describe what Zen is trying to do. For example, he mentions how the mind confuses thoughts feelings and fears about things, with the things themselves. We construct huge mental burdens that we have to carry through the day, and which drain our energies and come between us and the things we are trying to do.
The GTD mind dump is meditation through pen and paper.
What I would like to ask David is – and this will address the concerns of those who fear that GTD is a passive system – is there a technique for focussing on and attacking tasks in the way that say, a martial arts expert kicks out at a target … or are results achieved more in the way that the author of Zen and Archery discovered i.e. by getting into the zone?
Or am I looking for too many parallels?