The GTD (Getting Things Done) system: useful tool or coputerized algorithm?

Given the spread of the sistema GTD, which I was able to detect from the network, I finished reading myself Getting Things Done by David Allen, the creator of the GTD system, which seems to have many followers (or rather fanatics?). Aside from the fact that the book begins with many good observations from the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, I have learned to be wary of these criteria and try to come to my own conclusions. So, I sat down over a cup of tea and started reading knowing in advance that I would consume several cups of tea as it is 278 pages long. The first emergency spy is immediately accessible to me in the introduction: “The main purpose of the book is to teach you how to maximize efficiency and relaxation as long as you need and want it”. To tell the truth, I have never liked attitudes such as: "Don't worry, I'll tell you how to do it"; any psychoanalyst could say that I suffer from some kind of problem in relating to authority, but I prefer to say that I have problems relating to those people who believe they are repositories of the one and only truth that they just happen to intend to teach us (or impose on us subtly). To the extent that I delve into the book I discover an extremely simple view of personal productivity (which would not in itself represent such a big problem but rather its algorithmic character). In some places it reminds me of the purest Watsonian behaviorism (in some cases it was quite effective, it must be acknowledged). However, those who use the GTD system (and there are not a few) say that it turns out to be an effective tool for improving personal productivity. Some of his proposals are based on the five phases that allow the work to flow: 1. Collect. It is a question of resuming all those tasks or activities that have remained incomplete in our life (both in the professional sphere and in private life, of minor or greater importance). These will be transcribed and placed in order in some containers, using the old ones: pen and paper, or the most modern computer. The key to success is to be able to: - Clear your mind of all those activities or incomplete situations, left to be carried out, which occupy unnecessary mental space. - Use the least amount of containers necessary. - Regularly empty the containers. 2. Process. Here an idea appears (too algorithmic for my tastes and which neglects too many environmental factors): if the task we collect is not feasible then we will file it with a label of the type "one day / maybe". If the task is achievable, we will ask ourselves if we can complete it in two minutes, if so, we will accomplish it (if I had two minutes of free time in my work in the past so as not to have to postpone some very simple activities over time ); if it is not achievable in a few minutes then we delegate it (as long as you have someone you can delegate to) or we postpone it over time. 3. Organize. It is about optimizing our time by appropriately placing in time the activities that we cannot face immediately. 4. Review. Obviously we can make all the best lists in the world but if we don't review them from time to time (which I think happens to more or less everyone) we will only have miserably lost time. 5. Fare. An essential part of all this daring work. How to decide what to do and what not? Analyzing the context, the time we have, the energy we have left (by energy we mean creativity, mental predisposition…) and the priority of the activity. This is called "horizontal concentration", what we need for most of our time to be able to fight with the environment around us. But as everything that is horizontal has its vertical part, there is also the "vertical concentration", which refers to the particular attention that we will have to put in some of our projects. Thus, we are faced with a new list that will allow us to carry out our projects successfully. The stages of project organization: 1. Determine the aims and principles of the project. It is simply a matter of clarifying goals and understanding how they intersect with other, more important goals. 2. Viewing the results. We try to visualize the project in as much detail as possible, including our emotions, and what it will be like when it is finished. At this point Positive Psychology intervenes, given that the author asks us to eliminate the negative visions of the project and the doubts about its possible impracticability. 3. Storm of ideas. It is a question of elaborating ideas on how to put the project into practice, letting our creativity fly with the aim of finding possible ways to carry out the project. The essential principles, in the same way as the ancient technique of Brainstorming, are: - Do not judge the ideas that come to mind. - Look for quantity and not quality, in this moment everything is valid. 4. Organization. An essential point for the continuation of the project in which the author is quite poor compared to the previous points. It is a question of giving meaning and coherence to the ideas of the previous phase, analyzing them and evaluating their feasibility. 5. Identify the new actions. Determine the physical space, time, resources and next objectives to be implemented in order to realize the project. As we have been able to see from this small review, the book offers us an algortimic view of human activities, the way in which activities are carried out is more similar to the functioning of the computer rather than adapting to our frenetic daily reality continuously evolving. However, each work contains a part of smoke and a bit of roast, so David Allen also offers us some very interesting and applicable strategies that will help us optimize our work. In order not to be too drastic, I believe that the essential thing is to read the book but not to take it too seriously, to make a selective reading always maintaining our critical spirit, considering our needs, reality and creativity. In this way we will be able to personalize your proposals, transforming them into a useful tool that will help us in daily activities.

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