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  • “anybody have ideas on collecting things you think of in the shower?”

    Although I’m not a GTD Connect member, I do have an RSS feed for David Allen Company Updates. I recently saw an item in the feed asking “anybody have ideas on collecting things you think of in the shower?”.

    Personally I keep a small dry erase board, about 1’ square, within arm’s reach of the shower door. Mine has held up well and you can even get one at dollar store.

    Although I haven’t tried it, another option is to seal a smartphone in a zip-lock bag.

  • #2
    Remember it!

    My solution for collecting information I think of in the shower: focus on it and make a mental note that I have thought of something I want to remember to write down. I then write it down when I am out of the shower. David Allen describes a way of doing this in Getting Things Done Fast, though his example related to jogging.

    At times I have been in such a stressed state that I very well might lose the idea forever if I didn't write it down. I did not like being in that situation.

    A small whiteboard or transparency, mounted outside of the shower or above the flow of water, should work well enough.

    Do we often take showers that are so long and have so many ideas that cannot wait? In asking, I am not passing moral judgment on either, but wonder aloud if this occurs often enough to require fixing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JohnV474 View Post
      Do we often take showers that are so long and have so many ideas that cannot wait? In asking, I am not passing moral judgment on either, but wonder aloud if this occurs often enough to require fixing.
      Well I know I have had the occasional time when any time spent in a reflective state (like a shower) is guaranteed to generate 20-30 ideas. I might be able to keep 3 or 4 in mind but not 30 so I have used various methods to capture them on the shower walls until I could finish. I think it's more on the person. It rarely happens to me now but I am prepared when it does.

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      • #4
        There are times when you dont have to catch the idea, because it assumes that its better to be thinking the idea than doing what your doing.

        For example when meditating its not unusual for a thought about something at work to pop in. For me though, consistent meditation is more important than almost any thought I might have about work, so I let it go. Indeed trying to find a way to hold on to it is just another form of the mental chatter that you try and sidestep during meditation, whether remembering by association or breaking the "spell" and writing it down. Sometimes its better to be 100% on what you're doing.

        Some other examples might be - getting intimate with a partner, talking to a best mate in floods of tears about their break up, your kid's being born, sat on a sunny day looking at the sky. Im sure there are others.

        The habit of collecting, by and large is hugely beneficial. However I think that unchecked it can actually be counter productive because it trains your mind to believe that you should be thinking about projects all the time, rather than ever accepting that there's a time that you should forget about it.

        There's a fine line between getting something off your mind, and training your mind to not focus on a single thing for extended periods. Thoughts in a lazy bath, fine. Thoughts when you should be focussed on something else, not so fine.

        or maybe you dont agree. Food for thought anyway.

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        • #5
          I'm with Bishblaize on this one. I've certainly noticed ideas popping up during meditation, which I happily let go, knowing that they'll come back to me later when I can deal with them appropriately.

          Is compulsive capturing a GTD induced form of OCD?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bishblaize View Post
            Thoughts in a lazy bath, fine. Thoughts when you should be focussed on something else, not so fine.
            I would tend to agree, I don't meditate as such so that analogy doesn't really fly for me. But the others certainly do. The power of collection is to allow you to fully concentrate when appropriate. For me capturing ideas in the shower or when a passenger is an important part of being able to totally concentrate on something. When I am really working well on projects nothing else interferes. It's the spaces between working that I often have random thoughts.

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            • #7
              showerproof notebook

              As a finn (we have propably as many saunas as people in Finland) i capture quite a bit of my ideas in sauna (as i go there more or less daily). I use a space pen + rite-in-rain notebook for this. Should work for shower too.
              And a follow up question: Swimming is my favourite hobby and as i swim (app. 2-3 km's/ session) i have a lots of time to think (not much to look around is there, except for the floor of the pool). Sometimes theres a meditative aspect to this (mind like swimming pool), but oftentimes i get ideas i might want to remember during practice. Now if anyone has a good suggestion for capturing while swimming id be more than glad to hear them. Writing is more or less out of the question since i rarely pause during practice.
              -jukka

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RegionalSalesman View Post
                Now if anyone has a good suggestion for capturing while swimming id be more than glad to hear them.
                Voice activated recording system like Navy SEALS use to exchange information when diving?

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                • #9
                  Collecting ideas in the shower

                  Have you tried a shower tray?

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                  • #10
                    Pick up a set of AquaNotes, a waterproof notepad you can keep in the shower.

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                    • #11
                      waterproof camera

                      A Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera sells for about $150, if I remember correctly. Any rugged camera would work.

                      If you come up with an idea in the shower, a waterproof camera can function as an audio recorder by simply starting to record video. You can leave it on the counter or edge of the tub then start video recording, which will record audio.

                      Ahem, I recommend either leaving the lens pointed away from you, or else Processing while still at home.

                      A waterproof audio recording device is about as good as you can get unless you bring a china marker/grease pencil and something to write on with you.

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                      • #12
                        Kids' Bath Crayons - Simple & Inexpensive

                        I use my kids' bath crayons. It is the BEST tool for the shower. You have a blank canvas and can write as mush as you want, lots of colors and it erases right off next time you get in. Then I just keep a notebook in a drawer and copy the info down once I'm out. I've planned out multiple projects that way before.

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                        • #13
                          Collecting ideas

                          Originally posted by bishblaize View Post

                          The habit of collecting, by and large is hugely beneficial. However I think that unchecked it can actually be counter productive because it trains your mind to believe that you should be thinking about projects all the time, rather than ever accepting that there's a time that you should forget about it.
                          I think Bishblaize is hitting on a very important point of GTD that I've been realizing lately. It's this training - that you should be thinking about projects all the time - that can be detrimental unless checked. One of the ways in which meditation is a very complimentary process to GTD is that meditation can help you learn the effects of acting upon your thoughts immediately vs not.

                          In this way, learning how to handle one's thoughts, when in the middle of a situation that is not conducive to "hey wait a second, let me write something down", is an important aspect of becoming better at GTD/productivity.

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                          • #14
                            How to remember or collect ideas in the swimming pool?

                            How to remember or collect ideas in the swimming pool?

                            I have plenty of good ideas when I'm swimming but I can see no chance to write them down. Any suggestions?

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                            • #15
                              voice activated underwater recorder

                              With 30 seconds of brainstorming I came up with the following ideas:

                              1) pen and paper at edge of pool
                              2) waterproof recording device, e.g. underwater camera that records audio, as mentioned before
                              3) waterproof paper and pad, e.g. rite-in-rain and fisher space pen... tucked into pocket
                              4) permanent marker and write it on your hand
                              5) remember it
                              6) shout out to someone outside of the pool to write it down for you

                              I imagine that if a thought we have while swimming is life-changing, we will pause our swim to make a note of it.

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