New GTD convert...interesting problem
So I stumbled on to GTD a few months ago and have listened to the book multiple times, read different blog posts about the system and decided to dive in with 100 percent commitment.
The collection period was a bit daunting...it took me a little more than 2 days, partly out of fear...yes it seemed like I had that much stuff and I also was very deliberate in going through the inbox to make sure the appropriate actions were taken.
I am using a paper based system...that is who I am, I am not a iphone, app user...pen and paper have always been my planning tools.
My problem...I am getting bogged down by next actions and prioritizing the correct items. I find myself checking my lists and getting excited and removing items....it is a real liberating feeling, but I think I am spending too much time on "stuff" and not enough time on work. Anyone else experience this when starting the program.
Thanks in advance for any follow ups.
I made a post on a similar discussion thread some time ago. I think that it might contain the guidance you seek. Make sure you check out the entire thread, not just my post.
I'm not the OP, but thanks for pointing to that thread. I'm a teacher home for the summer trying to build some good GTD habits and I'm wriggling through some system re-vamping. I found a few helpful things in that thread. Thanks.
Originally Posted by ellobogrande
I went back and read the thread, and it was time well spent. I've been really resisting fully implementing GTD because my lists are already so long that I want to throw up my hands in despair. It's reassuring to learn that 1) that feeling is part of the process, and 2) it goes away - or at least is no longer constant.
My S/M list is *enormous*, but it sounds like that's OK, as long as the items that need to get reviewed are reviewed.
Thanks, all, particularly ellobogrande!
Having experienced something quite similar, a few quick thoughts:
1) Make sure you're actually doing the 2 minute next actions, rather than adding them to the lists as well.
2) When you're getting caught up in your list, try this: Look at the list associated with your current context (ie. "@online" if you've got internet access). Start at the top of the list, and as soon as you get to a next action that is physically possible to do right now, do it without thinking about it for another second. Let the momentum of knocking that list carry you to repeat that process until you've knocked down your list considerably.
3) When your next action lists get too overwhelming, it's time to take a look at things from a higher perspective. Schedule at least a mini weekly review and review all of your projects, to make sure your next actions are clearly defined.
I often get caught up in my lists when I haven't clearly identified the very next action. It's also easy to get caught up in the mental ping pong and avoid making a decision on which next action to do - in that case, I try out step 2 to get me out of the thinking mode and into the action mode.
Hope this helps!
GTDer and Founder of GTDReviews.com (not affiliated with David Allen Company)
I found I had a huge someday/maybe list when I started. more worryingly it blended categories - some were definite long term goals, some were idle wishes, lists of books to read, some work projects at work I couldnt start because we had no money or it was the wrong time of year, some were things I could do right now but I had too much on my plate already. So i got that familiar numb feeling to the whole thing.
In the end I broke it down a little more. I now have a "Not Yet" category for projects I want to do but just dont have the time or money to do, but will do as soon as possible. I check this most weeks in the review. I have a someday-maybe, which is longer term projects I haven't decided to do but want to decide some other time. I check this every few weeks. I have a list category, where I keep lists of books, places to go, people to meet. And I have a section each for 20 - 50K in my system, where I keep lists and mindmaps of goals and objectives, amongst other things. I check this every month or so.
I like david allens term (which i think he used about contexts) "have as many as you need and as few as you can get away with". Splitting my SDMB list into the different areas just made the whole thing manageable.