What I love about GTD is how every other positive time management technique slots in as a sub-section of the overall GTD vision.
For example, I have been tinkering around with Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method over the last few weeks. Basically, I was trying to reconcile the philosophy of Robbins and others that we should all set uncomfortable, challenging, “stretch” goals for ourselves with David Allen’s core philosophy of relaxed productivity.
While re-listening to GTD Fast CDs recently I had a great light bulb moment. (Well to be truthful I had dozens of great light bulb moments while listening to the CDs again).
Like many others, my first read of the GTD book was dominated by the control over “stuff” that the system gives us. This was reinforced in a lively and dynamic way by my first listen to the CDs a few months ago.
However, second time round, the bigger picture is emerging from the CDs. One of the key areas that is opening up for me is the importance of being aware of the differences between the various altitudes. For example, 10,000 feet is where you do your weekly review, and consider your complete project list. It is also where you decide which projects to move onto your active list. And this was the lightbulb: it is at the weekly review/10,000 foot level that you introduce “challenging” projects into your active projects category. Furthermore, the decision to introduce these stretch goals is done by reference to higher altitudes that you need to check with to ensure that a particular goal is in line with your 2 or 5 year visions.
I used to be dragged between the apparent necessity to feel “uncomfortable” all week and the glowing possibility of “relaxed productivity” (as Scott Lewis observed a few weeks ago!). But now, after learning the difference between ground level actions and the unique view of life that is available from each specific altitude, I can neatly reconcile the two philosophies.
The real power of GTD is that it is a three dimensional model. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it is the same shape as life: there is little or nothing that can show up that does not fit into one of the levels and into our system.