Meg Edwards of the David Allen Company posed that question to the audience in Eric's GTD breakout session: "GTD at Home."

I thought, great question.

Working with someone who is busy is one thing. Being busy is a signaling device that says this person’s skills are in demand. This person has credibility.

But overwhelmed is a whole different ball of wax. The overwhelmed person is not able to focus well on the projects at hand. I don’t trust the quality of his or her work.

GTD certainly makes you busy. I say that both tongue-in-cheek and from experience. When I first started GTD, it made me aware of my many projects that needed some action. I got busy and then quickly I got overwhelmed. I wasn’t familiar enough with my productivity system to handle the influx of new actionable items. That is one kind of crazy, the self-induced kind.

And then sometimes, things simply get crazy due to circumstances. The rest of life has to be put aside and the email inbox that is piling up has to be ignored while you work to get that One Mega Project taken care of. This is a second kind of crazy.

As Meg Edwards observed following her rhetorical question, GTD helps in both camps of “Crazy”. It give you a system to keep overwhelm from happening in the first place. And secondly, it gives a roadmap for getting back to sane once a crazy circumstance has subsided.

As I grown in my familiarity with GTD, I’m finding her words to be true.  

Guest Post by Ryan Heathers

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