David talks about how, by setting out next actions and capturing everything, you'll close the loop and be able to get tasks out of your "psychic RAM".
That works great for things that have a next action. But I often find myself distracted by things that don't, and can't - because there may not be one.
A trivial example: We had a huge storm here in Boston on Saturday, and there's a law that requires you to shovel your sidewalk within three hours. A few of the local businesses still haven't shoveled, so I filled out the form on the city's web site to complain.
Now, I may or may not get a response. Whether I do or not has no bearing on whether the city takes action. And whether the city takes action or not (a small fine) has no bearing on whether they shovel or not - which, in turn, has no bearing on me, because I may or may not walk down that street again any time soon.
And there's no point in setting a tickler for myself, because, again, the results aren't really critical. In fact, by the time the tickler comes up, the snow might have melted, or they may have shoveled, or whatever.
But because I *might* get a response, it takes up some psychic RAM. "Hey, whatever happened with that sidewalk e-mail? Yeah, I never did get a response. Oh well."
Same sorta thing with commenting on a blog (or a thread here!). Sure, I can set up notifications to e-mail me when there *is* a response. But when there isn't one, it's still going to pop into my head once in a while - "Hey, whatever happened with that thread on purple notepads? I guess nobody had anything to add."
It'd be futile and wasteful to set up lists of every blog post and forum thread I've ever found interesting just to check back and see if they get responses. It is not particularly critical to me to find out whether someone had something interesting to say about purple notepads. And, if they had, I should have received a notification e-mail anyway. But since there's no way to close the loop, it tickles my brain every once in a while. And each of those little tickles adds up...
Anyone run into this?