View Full Version : GTD and mood management
02-16-2004, 01:07 AM
In the thread “Is goal setting bad for you?” ( http://www.davidco.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728 ) I said that I was trying to find creative fulfilment in the time of the week that is left after I have done my day job.
This means trying to get a little writing done over lunch, either in the local park or in a nearby coffee shop, or else at home in the evening, or even an early morning slot before the office opens.
I think Andrew (Andmor) best describes the “bookmark” feature of GTD in several posts. My question is: what is the full power of this bookmarking feature? Has anyone experienced the radical shift that I would try to achieve at 1 p.m. when I might, for example, want to step away from preparing a report on the valuation of a car dealership, so that I can pick up a writing pad and continue writing a short story or poem?
My usual approach to writing is to “manage” my mood, either through music or through reading. In this way I can enter my “inner writing room” and glide into the work quite easily.
But in the in the panicky pre-work morning, or the hectic midday, or the frazzled evening time, this kind of mood management is often very difficult to achieve. Is GTD “bookmarking” powerful enough to achieve the necessary quick change?
I will try it myself and see.
02-16-2004, 09:12 AM
Check out the book "The Power of Full Engagement". I think you will find it most valuable in achieveing the results you desire.
02-26-2004, 09:50 AM
If I understand your question correctly, you want to know whether I have enough confidence in the system to put one project aside and work on another, without project A being on my mind and interfering with my progress on project B, worrying that project A .
I find that I can.
02-26-2004, 11:46 AM
If you're going to switch contexts from work stuff to personal creative stuff, you might want to go to the trouble of figuring out a little ritual to exit one world and enter another.
Nothing elaborate, maybe just a minute or two of breathing, eyes closed, hands in your lap. Absolute stillness for a minute or two might be enough to help you disengage from one world and help you enter another. Perhaps mentally you can imagine yourself putting on your "writer's clothes" and walking to an inner chamber of your mind where you will sit down to write. Then, open your eyes and start writing. When you're done, mentally imagine putting on your work clothes, leave the chamber, and go back to the cubicle.
That's a little trick I picked up from some writing book or other. As DA says, tricks are good if they elicit the behavior you want to encourage.
02-27-2004, 09:55 AM
I think book The Power of Full Engagement which was mentioned by another poster is a terrific book and works well with GTD.
02-29-2004, 03:54 AM
good question. I'll be checking out the "Power of Full Engagement" book that now 2 have recommended - I'm hoping someone will address your bookmarking question as well.
I have a question for you - do you make yr writing a project? I ask because i think it might help you manage both projects but I'm totallly confused about how to go about it (I have the same issue!)
04-28-2004, 07:35 AM
I suppose it is a project, but trying to break it down into steps, or project-manage it in any other way, feels like trying to organise air into boxes.
I don’t fear the blank sheet of paper; in fact, I wish I could sit down in front of a blank sheet of paper more often. I have a backlog of stuff I want to get down on paper.
I find it hard to express the “feel” of the writing project: really, I think it is more like a second job. But maybe I am confusing “writing a novel” with “being a writer”.
I know I have an excessively cautious view of the writing process. I would use the metaphor of flower petals gently falling on a lawn to make patterns impossible to repeat, (now that’s something you just can’t rush).
Yet, coming through the articles I read about writing is the continuous emphasis on discipline, scheduling, and especially deadlines.
Some say that writing has been destroyed by commercial pressures. Apparently, if you get a book deal with your first novel, it comes with a contractual obligation to produce two more novels over three to four years.
I was deeply envious of Donna Tart in the interviews she gave around the time of the publication of "The Little Friend". She was allowed to spend ten years working on this novel, thanks to the success of “The Secret History”. She puts all her efforts into making each sentence exactly right.
Where is this post leading? I suppose I am expressing my reluctance to introduce the essential project elements of scheduled productive progress and deadlines into my writing. But on the other hand, there seems to be no alternative.