In GTD one of the key metrics is not volume but age.
Imagine you had to choose one of the following two situations:
- Todo lists with hundreds of clearly defined actions and items, most of them less than 6 months old.
- Todo lists with dozens of ill defined actions, many of them over a year old
I would much prefer option 1.
The GTD outlook is to see task management as a martial art. There are lots of free flowing, quickly dating actions and items that you punch and kick through quickly and regularly.
The health of the system is not whether you have reduced todo lists to a small size, but that your lists are fresh and not stagnating.
So GTD is much more than “doing lists”. It is having a short/medium term memory that exists outside of your head. When the memory is ‘trusted’, you are free to focus on doing things creatively and energetically.
If your lists are full of items you are avoiding, it may be because they do not contain fresh “next actions” but stale reminders of projects that you aren’t yet clear on what the next action is.