Saturday, September 16, 2006

GTD, psycho-epistemology, trusted system

One of the great benefits of GTD is that it is based on, and teaches, sound psycho-epistemological principles, although David Allen doesn't word it as such.

An example would be the idea behind the use of the 'trusted external system'. The idea is that it is bad to store "open loops" (as he calls it) only in your mind. (What's an open loop? Basically, it's a yet unfulfilled purpose. Things you need to get done.) Why? The mind just isn't very good at handling that task, and what follows is pressure, stress and possibly failure. What pressure? The pressure of having to keep track of everything, having to remind yourself what needs to be done, having to worry about forgetting, having to remember stuff that relates to your purpose, and so on. But that's not, some would say, how people do handle stuff - after all, people already use external helpers such as calendars and "to-do"-lists. That's true, and to that extent the mind is relieved from some pressure, but most systems people use are incomplete in many ways. GTD is the system to end all systems. It basically works as an extension of your mind. (It wasn't that long ago I begun doing it, but I'm already a cultist.)

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