Gradual Epiphany

GTD and Clarity

I’ve recently been bitten by the “GTD”: bug. I’m not exactly a disorganized person — I generally do get stuff done. What attracted me to the system is the core idea of striving for clarity of thought by eliminating (brain) clutter.

I’ve always loved the feeling that I get when I lose myself to a particularly challenging or fun piece of coding. It’s that state of mind where you lose track of the passage of time and focus all your energies on turning ephemeral ideas into billions of electronic pulses. There is a clarity of thought in that state, and I would love to experience it more often.

The problem is, there is always clutter and noise. So, the logical question is, how does one eliminate these things and encourage a more constant state of clarity?

For myself, I’ve found that GTD is at least a starting point. It provides a framework on which to capture actions and ideas in a way that shunts the responsibility for tracking stuff from my brain to a more reliable store. As I’ve been consistently doing this for the past week, my list of actions/projects has grown far more rapidly than I would have ever thought. The amount of stuff that we juggle in our heads is truly prodigious — no wonder the average attention span in our society is under 3 minutes.