View Full Version : Why does my brain resist doing GTD?
01-27-2012, 11:36 AM
I have been struggling w/implementing GTD for a couple of years now and for some reason part of me really resists it. I completely agree with the concepts and am very familiar with them, and I keep up by reading posts on this forum.
However, I keep experiencing the same scenario over and over. When I try to sit down and define my projects and capture everything on one list, part of my brain doesn't want to. Then when I try to define the very next action, my brain REALLY doesn't want to. I've done complete weekly reviews before and have gotten my in box to zero so have experienced that feeling of capturing everything, but yet I still resist the basics of writing down ALL my projects and defining a next action for each. I'll get distracted or find a billion other things to do and often I'll realize some emergency project I need to work on and I'll forget about my lists for a week or so.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Is my brain just not cut out for GTD?
01-27-2012, 09:40 PM
No, your brain is 100% ok (at least as far as I can tell from here haha).
It's just the lying, you know.
Lying to yourself. Lying to yourself about your work. Lying to yourself about what meaning to your life your work has.
Committing to a project does not make your guts loving doing the works.
Of course I don't really know if you are being honest to yourself or not. It's just an educated guess based on my own experiences (and those of others I witnessed).
How realistic are your expectations about your work (and life)? How hard are you on yourself (and others)?
Or maybe you are just afraid to loose your spontaneity (that you value) and become a control-freak, if you do full GTD?
Did you know that GTD makes you more spontaneous because you get clarity about what you are NOT doing?
Or are you afraid of what happens when you actually complete one or the other of those projects? Fear of success? Fear of failure?
Practical tip: Maybe you want to just put most of these projects on someday / maybe and tackle just 1-2 of them for starters.
01-28-2012, 07:26 AM
Hi Cpu_modern - thanks so much for your feedback. These are all great questions to ask myself and I think some of them really ring true. There is definitely a fear that I'll 'lose my creativity' if I become organized - logically I know the opposite is true but an inner part of me hasn't gotten the message yet.
I think part of it is a rebellion too - I notice when I try to sit down and define next actions a part of me literally says "I don't wanna."
01-28-2012, 07:31 AM
The problem is - Lizard Brain.
01-28-2012, 08:30 AM
However, I keep experiencing the same scenario over and over. When I try to sit down and define my projects and capture everything on one list, part of my brain doesn't want to. Then when I try to define the very next action, my brain REALLY doesn't want to.
It's a great opportunity for David Allen Company. In cooperation with a healthcare or biotechnology corporation they can create the GTDCI (GTD-Compatibility-Implant) or GTD vaccine.
It cannot be a coincidence that the new DavidCo CEO Mike Williams worked previously at GE Healthcare...
01-28-2012, 12:55 PM
In cooperation with a healthcare or biotechnology corporation they can create the GTDCI (GTD-Compatibility-Implant) or GTD vaccine.
Oh, TesTeq, that's funny! I'm going to play your fanfare for that one!
"...for some reason a part of me really resists it."
For some reason is the core of the issue, isn't it? You could give me 5 reasons right now why you resist it, I'll bet. Define this and defining your next actions will be a piece of cake!
Here's why I resist:
"I'll be spending two hours to define my next actions, with no time left to do anything!"
"I'll only be making a little progress on everything, but nothing will ever be completed."
"I won't have time to do the system without letting people down who need completed work."
"Nothing in my life is consistent... how can I be consistent with this?"
"When can I just relax? If I don't write it all down, I can relax now, can't I?"
(so much chatter in my brain is giving me a headache!)
So I know exactly what you mean! It took me a long time to get everything down (well, there's no such thing as everything, but, close... -ish... mostly...). My big fear was that if I wrote it down and got it done, there would just be more room for more things to do. And I already had SO much to do!
But actually, as I made more room, I bought myself the time for bigger-picture clarity about my life, not just my work. And as a result, I am making substantial changes to how I choose to spend my time to feed my goals, my vision and my life's purpose.
And yet I still hear the chatter every day... I have to ignore it, though, and push through.
So... what are your top 5 reasons? :D
01-29-2012, 11:13 AM
HI artsinaction - those are great questions. I too, share the fear that if I write everything down, there will just be more room for things to do.
Also, I fear saying 'no' to people, and if I really had a clear picture of all of my commitments then I would know if I could actually take on another project or not. Instead I just say yes, not really knowing how it would possibly fit in the landscape of my current work.
Oddly enough, this somehow always works out for me - I find a way to get it done, and sometimes difficult/time-consuming projects just 'disappear' - i.e. the client changes their priorities, etc.
Now that I'm writing this down, it's extremely apparent why my brain resists defining all my projects and next actions. :) Thought I'd record this in case it helps anyone else.
01-30-2012, 07:08 AM
The human brain is a lousy secretary yet it does not want to give up the job easily. It takes time for new patterns to develop especially if you've been out of control for so long. Just keep doing it and be patient with yourself. It took my brain a month to let go of the stuff banging around in there.
01-30-2012, 04:48 PM
and if I really had a clear picture of all of my commitments then I would know if I could actually take on another project or not.
Check out the webinar on Areas of Focus... I think it was recorded in July of 2011. The part that was most helpful for me was realizing that I could tell a client or vendor or team member something like, "That's not in my area of focus, but tell me more about it and let's see who should handle this or if this is an area I need to add." Being clear about my responsibilities has helped the right jobs get to the right people... and it's taken me out of Panic-ville on more than one occasion.
Sounds like you're on the right path! You go, girl! :D
02-07-2012, 07:20 PM
I can relate to this. It took me ages to come up with a complete projects list. I think the more you become aware of your project list and all the next actions you've committed yourself to, the more overwhelmed you can get with the depth and breadth of your committments, and realisation that you need to say no which you fear. I fear 'no' because I fear it will cause rejection, that people will think less of me.
But by taking on to much and doing it all badly, I risk getting that anyway.