By Bob Walsh

All too often when people like me extol the benefits of apply Getting Things Done we try to accentuate the positive, pointing out all the good things about it. Well, there’s the flip side too, and its probably time you heard about it:

Not Getting Things Done is not just inefficient in a world that punishes inefficiency, it’s a guaranteed stress-filled existence that will shorten your life and make your remaining years miserable.


* Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
* Seventy-five to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
* Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.


Stress will make you fat, stress will make you ugly, stress will kill you. While the younger you are the easier it is to shrug off a stressful week, the older you are the more you realize what stress costs you.

The tagline to David Allen’s first book is “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” for a reason. Learning how to be productive and as stress free as you can in this day and age isn’t a way of getting ahead, it’s a way of staying alive.

Author Bio: Bob Walsh divides his time between improving and selling MasterList Professional, a personal task management application, writing a book for Apress (Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality) on how to start a self-funded startup, blogging here and at, writing custom software applications for companies with needs and budgets and trying to remember what the words “time off” and “vacation” mean. He can be reached at [email protected].

5 Comments on Stress, Health and Getting Things Done.

  1. One thing that I have found that works wonders is a pad of paper by the side of the bed. When you wake up in the middle of the night, stressed out about something, write it down. It lowers the stress immediately and lets your mind know that you have acted upon it.

    Great post…


  2. Bob Walsh says:

    Great idea John! I’ll try it tonight.

  3. In case you don’t read…

    … you should! Here’s a quick roundup of posts I’ve done there recently, in case you missed any and are in the mood for a quick jolt of productivity advice: Stress, Health and Getting Things Done Time For A Time Audit Attention and Intention All The…

  4. Sam Williams says:

    John, I totally agree… One thing I’ve found helpful for this behaviour is an illuminating pen (I bought mine from It throws a soft pool of red light – just enough to write with, without stimulating my brain to wake up too much at 3am!

  5. Steve Harold says:

    What can help is to think of the two types of motivation we may employ to get things done. ‘Away from’ motivation motivates us because we want to get away from the mess, or worry, or consequences of NOT doing something. ‘Towards’ motivation is about the positive benefits of getting something done and is the aspect of the task that attracts us, such as things being neat and tidy and in order. If you use both ‘away’ and ‘towards’ motivation at the same time it can really help.

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