GTD is Creepy

Is it just me, or is there something a little creepy about the whole “Getting Things Done” trend?

Actually, I bought the book, and I read it, and I even tried THE SYSTEM for a bit. It kind of worked. But I didn’t feel any huge weight lifted from my shoulders. It was more like “okay, well, I paid my bills on time instead of two days late.”

But there’s this creepiness about the whole message of GTD, which basically says “stop thinking, start doing.” I can sympathize with that, sort of.

It’s still creepy.

The author’s site has a page with a list of lists that you should keep handy, and includes this:

Affirmations — personal self-talk scripts for positive internal programming

It’s well known that geeks have taken to GTD like fish to water. And if you Google for the word “programming” on you’ll find a lot of Agile programming acolytes converts introducing non-programming people to the commandments tenets of Agile programming.

But check out this other, creepier sense of the word as used on the discussion boards:

You should invest in the finest leather that you can afford. So that everytime you open it, you feel a sense of pride and prosperity…you are programming you mind for prosperity. Then invest in a very expensive a Montblanc. Again, you are programming your mind that time management is highly valuable and that you are properous.

The guy claims not to work for Montblanc. Whatever. Sounds to me more like he works for Scientology.


Now, if you’re prone to pessimistic extrapolations, you might be reminded of the connection between busybodyism and fascism described in Quitting the Paint Factory. But if I pointed that out, you’d just say such a connection was utterly ridiculous, right?

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