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Gabe Da Silveira
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As someone who spent their entire life up to age 30 without any kind of formal system, and never having read lifehacker or 43folders or any productivity porn, I have much more experience with what Jeff is advocating than he does, and he's right, it works. You can absolutely keep everything in your brain and pick the most important things to work on and be very successful that way; I certainly was. However there are downsides. Sometimes you forget things that actually really were important. When this happens you may feel guilt that's a lot more real and justifiable than the self-imposed guilt of an unfinished todo list. As the complexity of your life ramps up, especially with modern life and knowledge-work being what it is, you can develop anxiety over not forgetting things. The human brain isn't evolved to manage the lifestyle complexity that many of us live on a daily basis. So a couple years ago when the complexity of my life had grown to the point where I was feeling pretty severe negative consequences from the demands on my time, I decided I needed something better than my ad-hoc ways. I read Getting Things Done, and I was surprised to find out that the gist of it is not a rigid process-oriented system, but rather the idea that if you can get things out of your brain into a system that you can trust, it frees your mind to enjoy life better. Sure there's overhead of maintaining some lists and you have to tune it to your specific workload, but with modern digital tools I've got my personal system humming along where I don't think about it more than 5 mins a day, spend 20 mins a week on review, and the list doesn't grow out of control because I *gasp* delete things from it rather than ascribe some false weight to it simply because it's written in text rather than bouncing around in my brain. If Jeff's new-found-meat-minimalism makes him more productive than more power to him, but this whole article reads like one big overreaction to having been mired in productivity porn for too long. TMTOWTDI.
Commented Oct 5, 2012 on
What do you need to do today? Other than read this blog entry, I mean. Have you ever noticed that a huge percentage of Lifehacker-like productivity porn site content is a breathless description of the details of Yet Another To-Do Application? There are dozens upon dozens of the things to choo...
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