For many years I was yoga teacher at a local studio in West Palm Beach, FL. I was drawn to yoga for the exercise and the peace of mind that came from this meditative practice. Later on, when I discovered GTD and related productivity principles, I saw them as the yoga of office work. That is, skills and techniques that would provide calm in the face of workplace stress.
David Allen as long used a similar metaphor for GTD in his talks. He views it as the martial art of work and in a recent blog post, offered ten ways that GTD and karate were similar.
“1. There are no beginner’s moves.
You begin in karate learning moves that you will practice as a third-degree black belt. A roundhouse kick or knife-hand block is the same, whether you are just learning it or you are a sensei. Being responsible for your internal commitments, deciding what next physical action is required on something you want to do or change, clarifying your intention and vision—those are true from beginning to end, no matter how mature you are in life or its process. There’s no elementary way to process your inbox to zero.
2. It feels counter-intuitive and unnatural when you start.
Trying to stand and move gracefully in a karate “front stance” feels initially like one of the more unnatural things the body has ever attempted. It’s almost as weird as writing everything down that you commit to do something about, as it occurs to you. Or spending valuable time cleaning up non-critical open loops on the front end. Weird science.”
Read the remaining eight similarities at the Getting Things Done blog.