Posted by: cochinblogger | October 19, 2009

What GTD, Blogging, and Prayer Have in Common

Most blogs resemble echo chambers, with the blogger’s thoughts bouncing off the walls of an empty room. This blog is no exception. So, why bother to blog at all? One answer lies in the WordPress slogan “Express Yourself.” The emphasis is on yourself, not the audience. Bloggers blog primarily to express themselves, not to communicate with an audience. Of course, if readers come along, that’s a bonus. But most blogs are driven by the need for self-expression, not to make money or become famous or fulminate from the pulpit.

I’m reading the GTD (getting things done) classic Getting Things Done by David Allen now, and it occurred to me that bloggers are in sync with a core principle of David Allen’s system, namely, getting stuff out of our head. He compares our short-term memory with computer RAM. In his words: “Most people walk about with their RAM bursting at their seams.” This is not a state of mind calculated to lower stress or promote efficiency, which is why David recommends moving stuff out of our minds into a collection system that will be regularly reviewed. Only then does the mind feel at peace, secure in the knowledge that all loose ends have been taken care of. And only then can the mind concentrate fully on the tasks at hand, on the here-and-now.

Blogging helps in the process: blogs (especially the personal blogs) act as collection systems that soak up stuff occupying our minds. Prayer and meditation also serve similar functions. With prayer, the collection system is none other than God (it doesn’t really matter whether He exists).

What a wonderful thought: our PIMs and filing systems, our blogs, and God are all collection systems that soak up turbulence, thereby freeing our minds to engage with the here-and-now, which in turn allows us to function in our day-to-day lives at a higher level.

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  1. nice piece

  2. Thanks! The idea played inside my head for a few weeks before I decided to write it up.

    Cochin Blogger

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