Thursday, November 19, 2020

Cal Newport on Getting Things Done

A long and not especially satisfying New Yorker piece by Cal Newport: “The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done.” Newport says that approaches to productivity such as the one described in David Allen’s Getting Things Done

don’t directly address the fundamental problem: the insidiously haphazard way that work unfolds at the organizational level. They only help individuals cope with its effects.
His conclusion: we must
acknowledge the futility of trying to tame our frenzied work lives all on our own, and instead ask, collectively, whether there’s a better way to get things done.
That’s an odd conclusion, as it follows Newport’s own suggestions toward a better way — virtual task boards and daily morning meetings to “confront” those boards, so that everyone knows who’s doing what. More meetings!

Until a better way comes along, I’d say that GTD can be immensely useful to anyone contending with the insidiously haphazard demands of work — not to mention the insidiously haphazard demands of life. I speak from experience.

Related reading
All OCA GTD posts (Pinboard)

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