I am very happy to have got into GTD. I get masses more done than before. I am able to face difficult aspects of my life and deal with them much more effectively. Through the GTD process I am able to have a clear idea of my commitments and responsibilities at a given time. I can then calmly make decisions on what needs to be done now and what can be left in the trusted system for later.
So, all in all, it's been really positive. After 1 and a half years of it I have to strain to remember how I coped with life before GTD. I remember moments of stress and a feeling that I just had too much on my plate and I couldn't possible keep all the balls in the air. Now I hardly ever have that feeling - if at all.
So why do I still have a lingering feeling that things still aren't quite right?
It's difficult to articulate but I'll have a go...
Basically, I feels like I still can't switch off from GTD mode when I want to. I'll give a concrete example as this almost always helps.
I´ve come away for Easter to take a few days holiday (I'm actually en route with an hour to spare writing this in an internet cafe). So last night I looked at my action list. I felt no need to do a weekly review as I'd done one 5 days ago. Good. Some of the stuff on my action lists relate to personal stuff to discuss with my girlfriend/hobby/ social related stuff, which I'm delighted to do on holiday, so I printed those off using a "top priority" view in Outlook. Good. But then I was left with a whole lot of work stuff (I'm self employed so the term office hours have little meaning) and personal admin type stuff. I felt a burning desire to knock off a whole lot of stuff on this list before I went on holiday which I did. The trouble is that meant I stayed up did around 2 o'clock in the morning doing this.
My problem is that having a clear idea of all my next actions and related responsibilities makes it very difficult for me to suddenly forget them. I know: the GTD concept is that you write them down and then they are out of your head and not stressing you out. But for me it doesn't quite work like that, or at least not completely. Before GTD I was able to quickly forget all my next actions and responsibilities and then I'd blissfully relax almost completely unaware of them.
GTD has made me more productive but last night I was unable to switch off just becuase the list of next actions was just so easily accessible and at hand. I haven't taken the list with me so the next time I see it will be Monday and hopefully I can forget them completely. But, the paradox remains. GTD makes it more difficult to switch from "work" mode to "relax" mode, not less.
Has anyone experienced the same problem. If not, how do people switch easily into rest and relaxation mode, when GTD makes them so aware of what they still have to get done? Am I missing something obvious? Thanks in advance for you insights.