Categories | Cognitive Science | Community Contributors | Psychology of GTD
This came in from one of our contributors, Dr. Lynn O’Connor.
I’m one of those unfortunate people who loves trying out new software for my GTD system. So far, I’ve always gone back to the online, tried and true, Vitalist (www.vitalist.com ) for contexts/next action lists (projects too if needed). But that hasn’t stopped me from doing that experimenting or “tweaking” as some optimists call the time I waste fooling around with new organization/GTD programs. I’ve made this lame excuse: “Every time I enter my next action data into a new program it allows me to review everything in greater detail than I do in a weekly review.” That was as far as I got in explaining my sneaky kind of procrastination behavior. It began to feel even shameful to wile away a whole afternoon exploring some new program.
I felt a lot better about my “try new software” habit when I read a report from the latest issue of Neuron, as described in New Scientist. In an experiment, researchers demonstrated that our love of adventure and novel objects, is based upon our hard wiring, we could say on our basic nature. It seems that every time we explore, investigate, try out or learn something new, the reward center of our brain starts firing, much as it would if we were expecting to win a lottery, a card game, a horse race or any kind of competition. My guess is trying out new GTD software is yet another way I flood my restless brain with dopamine.
This fact about how we’re naturally wired is long known in business and advertising. It’s why companies may put out a product with absolutely no changes, except for the packaging. People buy the new, even if it is more expensive and less convenient. We all fall for something novel. So now, maybe I can get off my case about trying out every new GTD program.