Last night I did a GTD presentation. I was offering the basics: collection, processing, and action. I was speaking to a group of businesswomen, so I began with the observation that they had jobs, businesses, children, pregnancies, elderly parents, community involvement, and more to juggle. Even if you get everything done, I said, there are still days when you feel like you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off. And when you feel like that and you don’t get everything done, it’s even more stressful.

The women were completely with me there.

I explained about Ubiquitous Capture. Then we moved on to processing.

I had brought a bunch of Stuff for them. I had gathered up random papers, and then I’d had them write down things that occurred to them while we were working on Ubiquitous Capture, so each woman had an in-box full of Stuff.

Here was the thing that really struck me: how stressed these ladies were by the piles of Stuff. There they were with my kid’s Governor’s School papers, my Free Panty coupons, my sheet music and junk mail and CAPS appointment reminders, and each of them had the tight back and shoulders, the dismayed expression, the squirming that goes with being confronted by piles of Stuff to Deal With.

It made the discussion much more effective.

I was happy to be able to shovel up all those papers and things at the end of the presentation and relieve their minds.