First of all, I have to say that I feel really sorry for the audience on the Getting Things Done Fast CDs. Why? Because I have listened and re-listened quite a few times to these CDs, and every time I do, a new nugget jumps into my head and causes a major light bulb moment. How did those people take it all in with just one listen? Beats me ...but hopefully they all now have the CDs to listen to.
Anyway, my latest light bulb is the combined potential effect of journaling and distributed cognition.
David coaches us through the mindsweep, which helps us get all our open loops down on paper so that we can consider what to do with them. This “distributed cognition” will produce a lot of items for us to consider.
But there are bigger questions to deal with. I am starting to taste the possibilities of really, and I mean really digging in deep to see what long-term obligations or commitments have become buried under the day to day stuff; also I think some thirty to fifty thousand foot issues will also emerge – and I anticipate that this will result from journaling.
To a small extent in the early part of GTD Fast, and to a greater extent in the article linked from the Press Links section of this website to an article entitled "Finding Your Inside Time" in Writer's Digest Magazine, David hints at the deep-cleansing benefits of journal writing.
It occurred to me that of the dozens upon dozens of the “notes to self” that I write, the majority are observations about how and why I do things. When I sit down to process them, they don’t turn into next actions, but I certainly don’t want to throw them away. I feel that quite a few of them are glimpses of the forest floor. I suspect this is journaling.
I have ordered "Journal to the Self” by Kathleen Adams to give me some pointers in journal writing. Maybe 80% of my writing will just be fluff, but I am sure that some overgrown signposts are going to emerge to give me some better insights as to why I feel obliged to hang on to some of my commitments.