By Keith

From time to time I’ve got real trouble sleeping. My mind literally races. My thoughts coming in and out faster than I can deal with them. It’s almost like a thousand bees buzzing in my head.

It probably sounds worse than it is, but when I’ve got things going on (which during the day is great!) I simply have a hard time shutting my mind down for rest. I’ve had this problem all my life. Recently though, while I still have it, I’ve noticed that I can fight it off a bit better. I attribute this to my learning and putting into practice, techniques I’ve learned from reading Getting Things Done.

h3. I’m sure as hell sleeping better!

One of the basic parts of GTD is being able to put things out of your mind so you can focus on the task at hand. Well, if you’re someone like me, sleep is often a task. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sleep and I love to relax, but sometimes life conspires against you. Stress, or even simple “busyness” can weigh on your mind.

I’ve found that as I move things out of my head, get more organized and take care of daily tasks with more efficiency, I also find myself sleeping better. Often times, if I go to bed with something undone or on my mind, I’ll wake in the middle of the night. This can’t be good for me, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

What I’ve taken to doing is getting up and doing something about what’s on my mind. I’ll either work, or set up some reminders to take care of it, or simply do something. This has helped me get back to sleep. In the past I’d be up all night thinking, with the bees buzzing around my head.

In general, though, I find myself sleeping better and more deeply than I have in years. Now, I’m no doctor, so I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that GTD is helping me sleep. I mean, I’ve also got more going on than I’ve had in years, and I seem to be getting through it all much easier than I’m used to. AND I’m sleeping better and feeling more relaxed in general.

5 Comments on GTD to help you sleep?

  1. JG says:

    Before I started GTD, I had trouble getting to sleep because my mind was buzzing so much. I started keeping a notebook beside the bed, and writing down all the things that were popping up in my head. It worked pretty well – I think I was afraid I’d forget them while I was asleep, and having them written down was a relief.

    When I read GTD, it seemed like a more reliable way of doing this that would cover my whole day instead of just the time before bed, which was what appealed to me about the system.

  2. Bob Walsh says:


    “Stress-Free Productivity” is the tagline of GTD and of David’s book for very good reasons!

  3. slackah says:

    GTD for better sleep

    Keith writes about how GTD helps him sleep better. I guess that’s true for me too. Well I’m not sleeping very well, but better than before. My GTD is not really full implementation. It mainly consists using voo2do and nCalendar. Voo2do I use to re…

  4. I’ve certainly noticed sleep advantages as well. In addition, I found this post to be extremely helpful: Finally, I noticed memory improvements from GTD (talked about at

  5. Harmony says:

    Another trick I’ve heard works for many people, myself included, is to keep a notebook by your bed and before you go to sleep write in it anything that’s bothering you or that you need to remember. Then make a concious decision not to think about that stuff again until morning and you’ll find it much easier to get to sleep. Works a charm for me anyway, I hope it helps :)

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