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...but I don't want to.

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  • ...but I don't want to.

    This is a simple, perhaps silly question, but I'm curious how people will answer it.
    What do you do when you've emptied your inbox, finished your weekly review, harmonized your horizons of focus, have open time and no distractions...

    ...but you don't want to do anything on your lists?

  • #2
    That´s simple, I will do something else

    Getting creative, listening to music, watching tv, reading a book or just push myself to do something because there´s a deadline in sight.

    Comment


    • #3
      ...but you don't want to do anything on your lists?
      Then don't! Follow your gut, your heart, or your intuition about what would be a better way to spend your time that would serve you best.

      Comment


      • #4
        That is the perfect time to sleep.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm...

          Originally posted by steeleky View Post
          What do you do when you've emptied your inbox, finished your weekly review, harmonized your horizons of focus, have open time and no distractions...

          ...but you don't want to do anything on your lists?
          I'm:
          • walking or running (and listening to podcasts)
          • windsurfing
          • reading
          • writing blog posts or comments
          • creating productive tunes
          • having conversations with my wife and/or my children

          Comment


          • #6
            If it happens once in a while...

            Interesting question.

            If it happens once in a while then may be your level of energy at that moment is such that you need some rest or distraction, some charging.

            But in principle, if I understand GTD right, the system is supposed to include everything you want in life. If at a certain point you feel there is something else you want, something which is not included in the system, not even in your sometime/maybe folder, then may be it is a good opportunity to review it. You have probably evolved and now there are new interests emerging which should find their way into the system.

            One scenario I can imagine is that when you established your system for the first time you were rather responding to pressing, urgent staff. Once you have addressed that (the situation you depict hints to it) time and energy are free for other things, less urgent but probably more important and satisfying. Have a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs for a background on this idea.

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            • #7
              ditto Kelly.

              If I am confronted with things that I could be doing from all the possibilities - including the someday maybe lists, and the R+D fun projects I have for family fun ... then my energy levels must be so low that I am either due a good rest, or it must be gym time

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't agree

                Originally posted by Marcelo View Post

                If it happens once in a while then may be your level of energy at that moment is such that you need some rest or distraction, some charging.
                how about looking at it the other way around: maybe you can afford yourself some time off, exactly BECAUSE everything you HAVE to do is well covered and taken care of in your gtd-system. So, this feeling "I have everything under control, but right now there is no need for me being busy with stuff from my lists" might just be that great liberating feeling knowing that you have (for this moment) no worries, that your stuff is under control. So, even with lots of energy, this might happen, and then you could just decide to go cycling, or get the kids out of school early and go to the movies, or whatever...

                Originally posted by Marcelo View Post
                But in principle, if I understand GTD right, the system is supposed to include everything you want in life.
                I don't agree... GTD is not supposed to include EVERYTHING... there is something like "free time", just hanging around, doing whatever you feel like doing (reading the newspaper, washing the dishes, watching television, ...), and no, I don't feel like all of that should be included in my GTD system.

                Myriam

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Myriam View Post
                  I don't agree... GTD is not supposed to include EVERYTHING... there is something like "free time", just hanging around, doing whatever you feel like doing (reading the newspaper, washing the dishes, watching television, ...), and no, I don't feel like all of that should be included in my GTD system.
                  Myriam
                  Well, it is not about feeling, but about what DA writes in GTD: your mind sweep should be such that it includes everything in your mind. If one thing that you want in your life is to enjoy free time (and I personally agree with that), then your system should relate to that wish too. If you are a very busy person you may need to set up times at which you deliberately do whatever you feel like. Otherwise, whenever you find yourself with free time, you enjoy it without any back thoughts about. Or both.

                  However, and this relates to understanding GTD, my take based on what DA writes, is that it is an all inclusive system.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by steeleky View Post
                    What do you do when you've emptied your inbox, finished your weekly review, harmonized your horizons of focus, have open time and no distractions...

                    ...but you don't want to do anything on your lists?
                    I usually take a nap. Everything is on my lists (actually even napping, not with any next action but described in the goals of stay focused and refreshed to be able to do what I want to do part of my statements for the Personal Development AOF )

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marcelo View Post
                      Well, it is not about feeling, but about what DA writes in GTD: your mind sweep should be such that it includes everything in your mind. If one thing that you want in your life is to enjoy free time (and I personally agree with that), then your system should relate to that wish too. If you are a very busy person you may need to set up times at which you deliberately do whatever you feel like. Otherwise, whenever you find yourself with free time, you enjoy it without any back thoughts about. Or both.

                      However, and this relates to understanding GTD, my take based on what DA writes, is that it is an all inclusive system.
                      In one of his books, there is this interesting quote:

                      You can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what your not doing
                      (perhaps not literally, but this is how I remember it). All you want and/or need to do should be in your system. And if you feel there is nothing in your system you would like to do or should do, you just don't and feel good about it.

                      This is how it works for me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why not Include Everything?

                        Originally posted by Myriam View Post
                        I don't agree... GTD is not supposed to include EVERYTHING... there is something like "free time", just hanging around, doing whatever you feel like doing (reading the newspaper, washing the dishes, watching television, ...), and no, I don't feel like all of that should be included in my GTD system.
                        I do include everything in my GTD system at least in some form. Things you mention, reading, housework even TV are all in my GTD system in some form. Sometimes as lists of books or magazines I want to read someday, my netflix queue for TV & movies, the checklist I try to use to keep the house somewhat under control, even the nap and recharge time under personal development.

                        So I'm more curious abut why you don't want to include all of that in your GTD system?

                        I found for me when I separated out GTD to only be the "work" stuff and no fun or dreaming blue sky stuff I *really* didn't want to look at my lists. Now because I know that all my lists have at least some next actions related to fun goals and things I enjoy I am more willing to review my lists and pick things from them. Usually if I end up doing something not actually on my next actions lists it's in my someday/maybe list but I just hadn't gotten around to activating that project yet.

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                        • #13
                          I'm sure I've heard DA say that he does plenty of stuff that isn't actually on his lists.

                          And even if he doesn't, well I agree that not everything you want to do should be. Lets face it, time for reading the newspaper, watching TV and many other things will get done whether they are on your list or not and putting them there is therefore a complete waste of time. Time when you could be doing what are on your lists.

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                          • #14
                            Don't limit the idea of the "GTD System" to your next actions list.
                            Even if you don't have "watch tv", "go for a run" or "take a nap" in your next actions, I'm sure you'll find something that relates to that in your 20,000 feet
                            I know that my personal wellbeing (fun, exercise, culture) is in my GTD system, and it keeps me reminded of that, even if its not explicit in a NA.

                            Regarding the original post, YES, I love having a big list and go and do something else
                            Just keep that behavior under observation... if you do that a lot, you might want to check if your next actions are really aligned with your higher horizons... much of our motivation comes from there.. the feeling of having a goal and purpose

                            cheers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You may be getting caught up in the overhead

                              I know that happens to me, and I have to force myself to get started on real work. The good news is inertia is with you whether you are being productive or not - the choice is up to you!

                              Especially at work, it can turn into a full time job just stemming the email tide. But email is not always real work. If all you do is produce emails, that ain't really worth that much, is it?

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