Getting Things Done vs Deep Work

(General content note: A lot of my thinking has really changed since the old days of this blog. There’s some weird, mean, and polemic stuff in there.)

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Cal Newport makes the distinction between work that you can handle with a GTD system vs “deep work.”

I would call these buckets “legible work” vs “illegible” (or “not-yet-legible,” or “right-at-the-bleeding-receding-edge-of-legible work”).

It would be nice if there were a single lens to “register” all work/life/stuff, but it doesn’t seem like anyone’s found a way to do it, so far.

I try to use the minimum number of tracking systems that, on balance, leverage my quality of life. I have a GTD-esque system in google spreadsheets for work. I have a low-level tactical system using index cards for all short-range life stuff. I still don’t have a medium and long-range systems that fit my brain and life-situation, though not for lack of lots of careful experimentation over many years. Working on it.

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2 thoughts on “Getting Things Done vs Deep Work

  1. Can you go into the “low-level tactical system using index cards”? You have mentioned this multiple times, but never went into it.

    • Yeah, will do. I might not have time for a full-fledged post, but I’ll get something up and then can answer questions.

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