One Thing to Blog About GTD, Another to Present On It

Emerson once said, "Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee."  As an educator, one of my primary aims is to plant seeds and open doors that might not be passed through for years to come.  While some teachers get frustrated that the fruit of their labor isn't realized for 5 or 10 or 15 years after graduation, I've come to accept that it just is the reality of education. 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present a workshop to about 50 participants at the NCEA annual convention here in Baltimore.  I had submitted three proposals for workshops, ranging from faith and sports to my "day job" in campus ministry but the one that was accepted was about GTD. 

My presentation was slated in perhaps the absolute worst slot of all- the final block at 3pm on a Thursday and so my expectations for numbers was very modest.  When the room nearly filled just minutes before starting, my juices were flowing and I was ready to roll.

My presentation: Stress Less and Achieve More Through Time Management and Workplace Productivity.   It reminded me that it's one thing to talk about something (or blog about something- an elaborate way of talking) and another to teach it in public.  I walked the audience through the following issues:

  • A definition of stress and its sources

  • Some data from the Cal Berkeley study on information overload

  • A working premise that work can be spiritual and transformative on many levels

  • An outline of the GTD 5 phases of work-flow

  • A sample step-by-step tutorial of the weekly review

After the hour-long presentation, I answered questions about work-flow management, preparing for each day and issues of procrastination.  One participant told me afterward, "I've been to ten workshops this week and yours was the best."  Not a bad way to end the day and just another reminder that the best way to learn something on a deep level is to teach it to others.