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Mike Mahon: Whacking the stupid out of his system

Guest Post: Guide to Guerilla Tactics of a Livable GTD system - Lifehacker

Wow. I love this practical outline of stuff Mike Mahon does to get things done. It's primarily a list of useful life-hacky stuff that helps him keep it together, but it also repeatedly brings the funny:

I tried a myriad of techniques and tips. Every article or suggestion was attempted and tested for incorporation into my POS (my own acronym for my Personal Organization System). I began to become bureaucratic and a purist about the most miniscule action items, checking lists and updating statuses. Then one day after writing down that I need to SSSBTFGD (Shit Shower Shave Brush Teeth Floss Get Dressed) I realized it had gone too far and decided to step back and whack the stupid out of my system.

I'm so going to install a "Big Don’t Forget This Stuff Box" right now.

Of my many sins in this mortal coil, the one I might regret most is helping cause one book called "Getting Things Done" to become synonymous with everything from paper to kitchen timers to -- well -- having a job, I guess.

A lot of what Mike's doing here is only orthogonally related to David Allen's actual book (which is so totally okay with me), but it does mostly share reverence for one of the most important lessons of GTD: until you figure out your relationship to all the "stuff" in your life, you're just spinning your wheels. Making hard decisions about your "POS" and whacking the stupid out of it is also just huge. It's the point when you stop thinking about riding a bike and just start pedaling.

Great work, Mike -- and, seriously, congrats to Gina and the Lifehacker crew on their continuing hot streak. It's been really swell and useful the last few weeks in particular.

Merlin's picture

That is a great comment,...

That is a great comment, Evie, and it's one reason I've come to dislike the word "productivity." It implies an urgency to create more widgets faster, and I think that's an unfortunate way to look at one's life (and certainly not one I try to encourage here, FWIW).

To me GTD in particular is useful not because it increases output or makes you a more useful corporate drone but because it reduces stress and decreases wasted motion. More hours hugging kids and kissing the spouse beats the crap out of trying to remember appointments and waking up every night in a cold sweat. That's real stuff, and it's harsh to live with if it's ever been visited upon you.

So, yeah, I agree with you 100 per. Regardless of the label on the tin, I think we're talking about the same can of soup here.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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