Perfect for the geeks in the audience but likely applicable to anyone with a fondness for procrastination.
The Problem with â€œstuffâ€
Getting Things Done succeeds because it first addresses a critical barrier to completing the atomic tasks that we want to accomplish in a given day. Thatâ€™s â€œstuff.â€ Amorphous, unactionable, flop-sweat-inducing stuff. David says:
Hereâ€™s how I define â€œstuff:â€ anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesnâ€™t belong where it is, but for which you havenâ€™t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step. [pg. 17]
Stuff is bouncing around in our heads and causing untold stress and anxiety. Evaluation meetings, bar mitzvahs, empty rolls of toilet paper, broken lawn mowers, college applications, your big gut, tooth decay, dirty underwear and imminent jury duty all compete for prime attention in our poor, addled brains. Stuff has no â€œhomeâ€ and, consequently, no place to go, so it just keeps rattling around.
Worst off, weâ€™re too neurotic to stop thinking about it, and we certainly donâ€™t have time to actually do everything in one day. Jeez Louise, what the hell am I, Superman?
So you sprint from fire to fire, praying you havenâ€™t forgotten anything, sapped of anything like creativity or even the basic human flexibility to adapt your own schedule to the needs of your friends, your family or yourself. Your â€œstuffâ€ has taken over your brain like a virus now, dragging down every process it touches and rendering you spent and virtually useless. Sound familiar?