GTD Summit in Amsterdam

Written by James Elliott
on January 9, 2019

GTD is learned behavior

We are not born knowing how to deal with things that we need to think about. What we need to think about, and how we need to think about it, in the most effective way, are learned behaviors.

Our brains evolved to respond, highly effectively, in the present, to a perceived situation. There’s a bear coming toward me, a thunderstorm emerging, a baby crying, and I’m hungry. Your brain is still doing that for you. Actually, it can’t stop. Using long-term memory and pattern recognition—that’s a bear, that’s a thunderstorm, that’s a baby crying, that feeling says I should eat…etc. Computers can’t even come close yet to that capability of recognition.

As opposed to simply ingesting vibrations of light and sound and physical feeling, we have evolved to make meaning of those things. That kept us alive on the savannah, in the jungle, in the desert.


Why GTD is needed now more than ever

But that doesn’t happen now with an email. Or an innuendo from your partner about how you should be handling something important for both of you. Or what to do about your mom’s birthday. Or whether you should change your diet. You actually have to rev up a cognitive muscle to make decisions about such things—what you want to have true about them, and what you’re going to do about them, if anything,

Sensing that you still need to decide something, think about something, be reminded of something beyond the present creates “cognitive dissonance” that doesn’t go away until you have appropriately engaged with the commitment.

Lack of involving yourself appropriately with your stuff clogs up your conscious space. That is how and why GTD emerged as a necessary best-practice behavior set to free up cognitive room—to be more creative, strategic, innovative, and simply more present with whatever you’re doing (the core to being productive).


GTD Summit


GTD Summit in Amsterdam

Now that GTD has become a global phenomenon, we’ve decided it’s time to bring the awareness of the methodology to a new level on the planet. Hence, we’ve created the GTD Summit—bringing together the key players in this game already and providing an opportunity to explore new and broader horizons in its implementation. June 20 & 21, in Amsterdam, we’re thrilled to have GTD enthusiasts from all over the world show up for what will undoubtedly be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Check it out at

Hope you can make it.


25 %

only 20% of managers believe that their systems for managing commitments across silos, work well all or most of the time

Why Strategy Execution Unravels, HBR - 2015
Posted in: Blog
Tagged by:

Related Articles

Join the Discussion