The Anxiety of Getting Things Done (Ishbadiddle)

I’ve always been a procrastinator. I tend to go through cycles — procrastination, sometimes coupled with depression; then rising anxiety. If I’m lucky, the anxiety will push me through getting done whatever it is that needs doing. If I’m unlucky, the anxiety will be paralyzing. System shutdown.

I’m skeptical about the ability of any system to help me fix this. Even the basics — make to do lists, break down projects into smaller pieces, prioritize, delegate — are things that I know how to do, and know I should do, but I can’t actually bring myself to do. And yes, I know, I’ve managed to get a couple of Ivy League degrees, have a family, a moderately successful career, and of course a blog, so how bad could it be, right? Well, sometimes it can be pretty bad. It’s not that I want to be 100% productive. I just want to get things done without so much angst, anxiety, and adrenalin involved.

So it may surprise you — it certainly surprised me — to learn that I bought an actual self-help book.

The blogosphere was all abuzz about Getting Things Done, a “nerd-friendly” time-management book. (Check out the 43 Folders blog, dedicated to time-management stuff, especially their Getting Started with Getting Things Done post.) I got it last fall, read it through, and resolved, yet again, to get organized. The book’s not bad, although it suffers from business-speak, but I can grok that. (more…)

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