After consistently applying GTD for close to one year now, I can safely conclude that valuable and lasting productivity habits have formed in my life.

Like many other people, I have studied and used several productivity systems. I picked up various useful principles and techniques from them, but none of them seemed to fully apply to my life. As fun as it is playing around with various productivity systems and changing one for the other occasionally, I was looking for concrete and lasting results. Sounds familiar?

About one year ago when I encountered GTD and started applying it to my life, I immediately noticed how easily it could be adapted to my life. It didn’t take months to get started, it didn’t need difficult or expensive tools and most of all it just made sense! GTD is easy to integrate into your personal as well as your professional life. All of this makes it easier to apply it consistently and you start to see results almost immediately.

Let’s take a look at some of the valuable and lasting habits that have formed in my life as a direct and concrete result of applying GTD for one year. Believe me, it does get easier after one year and these habits could be part of your life right now!

Ubiquitous capture is fully automatic behavior.
It’s not difficult and no burden to carry a pen and some paper with me wherever I go. Writing down essential information (like appointments or actions) has become my second nature. I no longer have to force myself to write stuff down. Stress no longer comes from trying to remember to capture everything on paper, it comes from trying to remember it in my mind!

Processing and organizing “stuff” into actionable items requires almost no thinking.
Everything is now organized. A full in-basket (or other inbox) just screams at me to be emptied. I am no longer asking myself the GTD workflow questions (what is it? is it actionable? etc) explicitly. The answer to these questions and the necessary action for each item in my in-basket now automatically form in my mind. I feel the urge to stay up-to-date with my entire GTD system on a daily basis, so I know at any given time what I could or should do.

Goals and the necessary actions to get to them are my primary focus.
Every project, big or small, has found a place in my GTD system. They are no longer daunting or elusive, they are inviting me to think about successful outcome and actions required to attain it. In conversations and meetings I implicitly focus on outcome and actions. Completing actions makes me want to do more.

I am more effective, more organized and more reliable.
I’m almost scared to think what would have become of my new job, which I started less than 2 years ago, if I didn’t have my GTD system to cope with all the information. I never forget anything, I’m no longer worrying about forgetting something and I even bug other people not to forget something they promised. I’m constantly moving forward on a wide variety of projects in my personal and professional life. I feel like I’m finally making serious progress on things I want to do with my life.

Up next: what are my expected results of my second year of GTD?