Personal Productivity :: Art Of Working

The Freedom in Naming your "Stuff"

The Freedom in Naming your "Stuff"

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Published In  Personal Productivity

I have been reminded over and over again in working with executives over the years why so much of the GTD implementation process is empowering to so many people: when things we have allowed into our inner or outer world are appropriately and accurately identified for what they are and what they mean to us, we feel curiously freed from them. Accurately naming things that are in our world gives us power over them, while leaving them unnamed allows them a certain hold on our minds.

Various primitive people have beliefs that giving someone your name gives them a certain ability to exert influence over you. Whether that has any truth to it, I’m not sure. But from my own experience, when something that has potential meaning to me is named, it is more known; and when it is known, its potential hold on me is released.

For instance, if you’d just label all your crap "Crap," you’d probably feel a lot better. If someone had to call Organization Paramedics for you because you’re so out of control, they could simply bring in a big box labeled "All the Stuff I Don’t Know What It Is or What to Do with It." They’d scour your whole environment and throw everything in that box that fits in that category. In an hour you’d be totally organized—if you didn’t know where something was, you’d now know where it was! The best part would be that the totality of the rest of your world would not have any of that "stuff" in it, and a fresh breeze would be blowing through your psyche.

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