While optimizing my life with GTD (and other) principles, I asked myself lately the questions introduced with my earlier post "Get focused with 3 questions". While the second one does not really makes sense when the main goal is to optimize time management, the other two make sense: "What for?" and "Who cares?"
Optimizing my life is just a means to an end, it's just helpful principles - but helpful for what? Just for getting more done, just to fill up your life with more content so that you can think at the and that you had very much done in your life? - That sounds silly for me because in more or less years we are all forgotten. There are only a very few people who manage it to be remembered even a long time after their death (like Gandhi or Einstein). And I believe that their main goal was to serve the world instead of being remembered.
However, I came to the conclusion that from now on I will focus more on happiness than on optimizing my life as I was already facing the fact that GTD somehow got ended in itself with no higher goal in mind (any more).
So to have another 3-character abbreviation (nowadays nothing can live without a cool abbreviation ;-) ), I decided to name it GHE - Getting Happiness Established. First I was thinking of GHD, but "Getting Happiness Done" does not seem to fit here. ;-)
Working on GHE brings up sense for GTD again because there is a lot of things that is far from being fun (at least sometimes) - toilet and kitchen cleaning, buy food, ironing, change diapers - just to mention a few. There can also be problems or tasks in your office that are far from being fun but must get done, simply to keep your life "up and running". It is not always possible to do a work that perfectly fits your (current) desires but you need work to pay your bills. Otherwise the situation of singing happily under the warm shower in your well heated flat while outside cold winter wind blows cannot be established.
Not everything can be turned into fun - or in other words, happiness cannot always be established - talking from the practical view and not from the theoretical. In those situations or times where you have difficulties to get happiness established then use GTD principles to get rid of those tasks or situations ASAP (yet another abbreviation - standing for As Soon As Possible).
If your life sucks completely then use GTD principles to win just a few minutes or an hour for your personal use to do or feel something that makes you happy. A few minutes of happiness can be worth a lot of suffering.
I do read much about happiness is just a decision. I think returning to the present moment is an important required step after you decided to be happy. And with some exercise you might even be happy while getting rid of unwanted tasks using GTD (and related) principles.
Related posts: Get focused with 3 questions, Highly happy people, All Done Status, Who cares?, In the present moment, How to be happy, Between short and long term goals, The main purpose, How to rebuff somebody, 2 major mistakes, Your situation does not suck.