Hi guys! I know, I know, four posts in one day, but I just discovered this forum and it's a venue to answer the questions I've had for a while.
I don't remember where I read it, on some productivity blog, but someone commented that the GTD'ers they knew were terribly frazzled and overworked.
This might be a similar observation to the one people have that folks buying items in health food stores sometimes look like death warmed over.
I am interested in theories and philosophy about this observation. Here are my thoughts:
1. Some folks may not be using GTD correctly and therefore may be stressed.
2. Maybe GTD naturally attracts type A people.
But these don't seem satisfactory. What I really think it comes down to is that because GTD encourages collection and action on every item in your inbox, there is no filter left. Most people are used to having a filter at the inbox level. When they get into conversations with people and an action comes up, they forget about it. When they get a flyer about volunteering, they toss it aside until after it's over, and then "oops, I didn't get to do that." Basically, passively deciding not to take action on things.
So because GTDers are forced to consider the possibility of doing every action that comes their way, I think they think they must DO IT - and then get overwhelmed.
Personally, when I started GTD, I had to learn to actively decide NOT to do things. "Just because my work is forming a committee doesn't mean I have to participate." etc. But it is still easy to take on too much.