Re-approaching Productivity

I bought David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) oh so many years ago (I think when I bought my first Kindle!), but I never finished it. I’m sure a big part of it was getting distracted — there’s no denying that — but I think I’m also a bit hesitant to revisit it. “Productivity” is a scary word for me, and I think part of that is its abuse within the framework of capitalism.

I think I’m ready to revisit it now. When I was learning from Manager Tools, I was just beginning my drift even further leftward from my already liberal identity. During that time, I was cognizant of the primary audience being business owners, managers and stakeholders — not the stumbled-into-managerial-role I had at the time. I have a feeling that something similar will hold for GTD, and therefore I need to have a similar approach to learning from it.

So I’m deciding to try out the audiobook version of GTD, which will give me the guide rails I need and also give David Allen’s updated version a chance. I don’t expect him to even mention capitalism, but I do expect a bit more self-awareness. Probably Elizabeth Warren-levels of awareness.

I think my own environment and context has changed significantly enough that the concepts I’m currently tackling — productivity, equity, mental health, neurodivergence, Left ideologies — are driving me to unify them in some way or another. I don’t expect something neat and tidy here, but — in the tradition of Grace Lee Boggs — I think exploring how they’re related will push me to a greater understanding of how we can continue to evolve and push for change.