The Real Value of GTDDid I survive 2 weeks of vacation with (almost) no access to the internet? Yes, I did, and not barely but almost easily — much to my own surprise!

Two weeks may not sound like a long time to some people, but to somebody like me it sounds like an unusually long period without writing blog posts, reading RSS feeds, using e-mail, browsing the internet and so on.

I took my laptop (yes, I persuaded my wife I really needed it for storing all of the vacation pictures), I took my PDA with my core GTD system (ListPro) and I even bought 100 minutes of wireless internet access. I barely used any of them!

Literally being unplugged for 2 weeks is truly liberating and has allowed me to reconsider and refocus on what’s really important to me.

These 2 weeks of vacation were also the first time I actually took a break from using GTD! As expected I didn’t have much use for my project and next actions lists during my vacation. It’s all about taking it easy and doing fun stuff with my wife and little children after all!

And this is when I truly realized and experienced the real value of GTD: the positive feeling of relaxed control that comes from knowing that your trusted GTD system contains everything you could/should/ought to be doing. This alone has enabled me to make the smoothest and quickest transitions between “normal” life and vacation, ever!

Just before my vacation I did a complete review session, ensuring a complete and current GTD system. During my vacation I didn’t even feel the need to look at my next actions at all. After my vacation I could easily resume my “normal” life by using my GTD system again.

So, the real value of GTD (to me!) comes from this ability to quickly suspend and resume my “normal” life, and being able to completely let go of everything while, for instance, enjoying my vacation!