From David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, Productive Living, March 2012:
“If you want to have the feeling of freedom regularly, you’ve got to get used to it. Literally.
What’s the greatest obstacle to living in the relaxed state of mind that is possible with the methods I coach? People simply aren’t used to it. Anything your nervous system experiences as unique or unusual will likely be “rejected” unconsciously in short order, because it is not in the comfort zone.
People are more comfortable being uncomfortable than being comfortable, if they have been uncomfortable for an extended period of time. It’s simply an ingrained pattern, and familiarity is more comfortable than novelty. Most people have for so long experienced the gnawing sense of anxiety about all the un-captured and un-clarified “work” of their life, that’s what they’re used to. Then, no matter how clean and in control they get at some point, they will soon let themselves slide, let things mount up again, unprocessed sufficiently to get them back to the level of stress they are accustomed to.
Over the years I’ve watched this happen for thousands of people, myself included.
Getting clear, current, organized, in control, and conscious about our commitments and focus is not hard to do. It’s easy to clear the mind, make intelligent decisions about our stuff, organize and review the results, and feel much better about work and life. Especially with the GTD model that I teach. What’s much more difficult is to get yourself to experience that so regularly, so consistently, that it becomes how you are, emotionally, as a standard experience rather than an exception. Anything different would then be out of your comfort zone.
Visualizing and affirming the desired experience of freedom, relaxation, and control is an excellent way to change the comfort zone, because it literally re-grooves the neural programs. And here are a couple of ways to supercharge the process of identifying with the new pattern: Building in the Weekly Review habit and committing to someone as a coach or colleague to hold the focus and the standard on an ongoing basis. I’ve found those the best ways to beat this one.
Image: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sea See. Thank You Windpass