The last 10 years of my life I have immersed myself in the world of yoga.
Only recently have I really understood how much of this overlaps with contemporary thinking. I used to view my yoga understanding in an almost puritanical bubble, many still do. My 'advertising' self (I spent 20 years in advertising) and my 'yoga self' were not happy bed fellows. And yet somewhere deep inside I realised that there was power in reconcilling my experience and understanding. The same self was always there whether I realised it or not.
A few years ago I would have baulked at a book so focussed on 'Doing'. Surely life was about 'Being'. I even repeated the mantra 'We are Human Beings not Human Doings.' And yet the first page of David Allen's book talked about having a 'mind like water' - more like an introduction to meditation than productivity. I immediately got it! My life, my business, my passion were at the intersection of Being and Doing. A still mind fully immersed in actions without attachment. A still mind open to the pulse of creativity and potential. A still mind ready to do!
Here are the 10 key points of traditional Karma Yoga with their relevance to Getting Things Done (GTD):
1, Awareness - What's holding your attention, what's the best use of my time right now?
2, Service - Are you being clear with my communication with others? Are you making good on your commitments?
3, Non-attachment - Are you flexible to what life throws up in the moment? Can you let go?
4, Non-expectation - Are you focussed on the next action now rather than living through expectations which may or may not arrive?
5, Purpose (personal, professional, family & community) - Are you clear on your purpose? Even it that purpose is to find purpose!
6, Positive attitude - Look upon obstacles as challenges, problems as situations needing solutions.
7, Efficiency - By organising your actions by context you find a natural organic efficiency which requires less effort.
8, Equanimity - Being balanced across different areas of responsibility, and treating all things that pass your way with the same simple process.
9, Non ego involvement - get out of your own way and go with the flow.
10, Surrender to higher self - when your mind stills, the universe works through you.
My approach to improving personal productivity is a synthesis of what I have learned from 'Getting Things Done' and 'Karma Yoga'. I call it Welldoing - a framework for development through 'Being and Doing', leading to inner happiness.
Head and heart, tradition and the modern world - together.