Here are some ideas. I hope you don't get bogged down trying to figure
out how to list them in your systems.
Ah, you seem to start with the same things on your mind each time you
do a mindsweep? That could be a key. You can make a very simple system --
perhaps a piece of paper stuck to your fridge with a magnet -- with very short
(e.g. up to 5 words each) mentions of only a few (e.g. up to 3) of the things that
usually come to you in a mindsweep. Then you can choose just one (or a very
few) of these things and think about what physical actions you can take to
make progress on it today. Try to phrase your list in terms of achievable,
identifiable goals. For example, instead of "become more confident" you can
write "phone Steve" or "put away 3 things consecutively in a smooth, energetic manner"
or whatever fits your image of "more confident" (choose something only a
little more confident than you are now, so that it's achievable!!) and then when
you've done that, you can check it off as done and put up a new action.
You don't need to track and record the fact that you put the garbage out.
You don't need to write down what you're going to do before you do it, either.
Just do it. In only some cases, things need to be written down as reminders,
which is where GTD comes in. The reason you don't need to write down
"put the garbage out" is that you see the physical garbage itself, which is
its own reminder. Unless that doesn't work for you. I try to have as little
as possible written in my systems, and as much as possible either done
as soon as it comes up (so I don't have to write it down) or arranged so
I'll see the related physical objects at the right time to remind me, or
You can get a coach, either a professional coach or a family member or friend.
With the coach you can try to choose a small number of things to work on
and also discuss how your organizing systems work, and each week try to
improve your systems a bit. You can also use this forum for coaching.
You can use affirmations to explicitly reject perfectionism.
The affirmations themselves don't have to be perfect!
Some may be more effective than others, but good ones can
work even if they have flaws!
You can think about why you're a perfectionist, possibly exploring
this with a therapist.
You can purposely do things imperfectly, to get yourself feeling more
comfortable with imperfection. When I used to play the cello, once our
teacher told us all to drop our bows on the floor. He said that was so
we wouldn't be afraid of dropping our bows, so that after that we
wouldn't hold them so tightly all the time.
You can get physical exercise. A good workout raises dopamine and
helps you concentrate better for the next four hours.
You can do things to reduce anxiety, such as increasing calcium and
omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Long-chain essential fatty acids, as
in fish, are particularly good for the brain.
You can give yourself very quick little rewards whenever you do a
physical action that's a step towards your goals. Things like just stopping
and smiling for a second, looking at the results of your work,
or physically reaching around and
patting yourself on the back, don't take much time but can help
you feel good about having gotten something done. This can help
condition you to actually do the actions rather than just putting
them into systems.
When I catch myself thinking stuff like "maybe I shouldn't have done that",
I purposely think like this: "I decided to do X and not Y, and therefore I get
the advantages of doing X, and I don't get the advantages of doing Y, and
I get the disadvantages of doing X, and I don't get the disadvantages of doing Y."
or just "I decided to do X." This works for me. It's a way of affirming that I
have the right and the responsibility to decide things, that decisions don't have
to be perfect, that there may not be a unique perfect answer, that I don't
necessarily have all possible information or infinite time to think through all
implications, that it's usually good to make decisions even if they're not perfect, etc.
You can make signs or pictures that mean "I don't need to be perfect" and post
them up around your home or office. Just an imperfect picture could mean
that to you -- it doesn't have to be obvious to other people what it means.
Try not to spend too much time finding the perfect picture that means that!
You can set yourself tasks like "I'm going to do 3 things in the next 5 minutes.
They don't have to be done well; they just have to be useful." They could be
things like putting a dirty dish into the sink or moving the garbage a few
feet closer to the door. You could try this with or without deciding what the
actions are before the 5 minutes starts. Congratulate yourself when done.
The idea is to focus attention on doing rather than planning,
and increase acceptance of small, imperfect or incomplete actions.
Remember the two-minute rule. Taking the time to write something into a system
should be done only when the advantages of recording it are worth the time
it takes to write it, review it, and eventually erase it. If you can accomplish
more by just doing things and never recording them in systems, then maybe
it's better to never record things in systems.
You can use systems to record only the most important things --
things like "go to job interview at 9AM". You can leave out things that
you usually remember to do anyway or that don't have very bad
consequences if you forget. For example, I don't need to write
"bring lunch to work" because if I forget, I can buy a lunch;
and anyway I usually remember. Also, if I want to bring something
to work (unless it needs to be refrigerated) I just put in into my
backpack immediately, so I don't need to think about it in the morning.
Try to have a system that has only a few things in it, all important
things, so that it's easy and quick to look over your system.
Inability is an abstract thing involving comparison with alternate universes; it cannot be experienced.