Seeding Your Mind: GTD and Innovation

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

When I think of GTD -- perhaps because I’m fairly new to the methodology—inspiring creative innovation is not the first benefit I think of. After all, productivity helps to get the nitty-gritty details done, accomplished, put away. It clears space in your mind for higher-level thoughts to occur. But actually inspire innovation? That seems like a logical leap.

Not so.

GTD teaches you to capture thoughts whenever, wherever they occur.  Black belt GTDers have a capture tool with them at all times.

Once you’ve become a pro at capturing your thoughts and putting them into a trusted system, the benefit to innovation becomes obvious.

Stepping back for moment, creativity is defined as coming up with a great idea. Innovation is defined as putting that creative idea into action. Of course, the two concepts are very tightly linked. Bottom line, though, is that in order to be innovative, you need to be creative first.

That’s where GTD helps by teaching you to always capture your thoughts.

It’s far easier to innovate when you’ve come up with half a dozen creative ideas for that looming project over the course of the last week. Or year. When you sit down at your computer, and the deadline is ticking to think up something excellent, you have a huge head start. So much of your thinking can be done already and you can comfortably slip into execution mode. You don’t have to wait for the innovation lighting to strike you.  

A panelist at the session called this, “seeding your mind”.

So can creative innovation be scheduled?

Yes, if you’re using GTD capture principles to seed your mind for success.  

Guest Post by Ryan Heathers

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