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9 Reasons Why Getting Things Done Sucks!

Blasthemy! I hope the productivians don’t strike me down ;) Here is my list of issues with GTD that I have picked out. These are a mix of my own and other’s experiences that were shared in a previous post asking the readers what they disliked. This is meant as a one-sided critique and as such is not strictly representative of my true feelings. If you disagree with any points please do share your thoughts. Also, be sure to suggest any points I may have missed.

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GTD Dictionary: Contexts



  • The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.
  • That which surrounds, and gives meaning to, something else.

GTD encourages the use of contexts to break down long and expansive to-do lists. Without them where would you start? What would you choose to do at any particular time? By breaking down your lists according to different settings and situations, it becomes a simple matter of selecting a list and tasks appropriate to your current context. For instance, if you are near a phone, you only need look at those next actions that require you to make a phonecall.

An extra benefit of contexts is that it it stops you from being distracted by next actions that are not relevant to your current circumstances. For instance, you don’t have to look at any tasks that are to do at home when you are at work. This is known as contextual limitation as it stops your attention being taken up by work you can’t do at that time.

Contexts can be as simple or as complicated as required depending on the actual depth and size of your to-do lists. Traditionally, the author of GTD, David Allen, puts a @ symbol in front of all contexts, and while this is not a requirement, it has become the common defining symbol for them. The symbol means location as in “Where are you at?”. Thus, @computer means “At your computer”.

My Top 10 Productivity Blogs

I’ve been away for over a week on holiday hence the lack of posts recently. As is typical after time away, I’m now trying to catch up with things. One of the first things I did when I got back home was to get up to date with my favorite sites (I have quite a few productivity blogs bookmarked on my Delicious account so it certainly took a while). As I was doing it, I got to thinking about which of these sites really stood out for me and provided top content on a regular basis. In an attempt to answer this I’ve come up with my personal top ten productivity blogs list. Bear in mind, it’s by no means definitive. There are so many sites out there that I could quite easily change my mind tomorow. However, I hope you find it useful.

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