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  • How to stop myself from going over things I have already dealt with

    I have a habit of thinking of something and then putting it in my collection bucket only to find that I have done that before and am either already dealing with it or have put it on a someday / maybe list.

    How can I stop myself from doing this. I find that this happens between the weekly review and I can go through my system each time I think I may be repeating myself.

    Should I just keep repeating myself as I then find out that I have already done it and this is better than not putting it into the bucket with the risk that I am not repeating myself and so will miss something.

    I hope that makes sense!

  • #2
    2 ideas for you

    From what you described I think I can see two possible reasons on why things creeping back in:

    1. You possibly only captured part of the action/idea you were originally thinking of. So while you captured part of the idea, you subconciously still think about it because you don't feel you captured the entire idea. I do this quite a bit on larger ideas as I'm trying them to form a project. Bits and pieces are captured, but then remelded into an action or project as part of my weekly review.

    2. Are you doing you're weekly review on a regular basis and really scanning all your lists? I had this problem when I wasn't doing my reviews on a regular basis and with some depth to them. I'd finally do a really good review and realize I had paraphrased the same idea/action 3-4 times because I wasn't in touch with what was on my list.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your reply.

      I think that what need to do when I do my weekly review is to have a look at my next actions list / projects list etc first and then do the mind dump - this is not in the traditional order but that was I will not mind dump things that I have already processed.

      I am hoping that will help

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      • #4
        When this happens to me

        It's because i haven't processed the idea properly/completely. It's one thing to have a new idea about an already existing project, but if the same project (or action/goal/etc) keeps coming up, you should "pay attention to what has your attention." It keeps pulling you back because you know (deep down) you haven't dealt with it properly.

        I like to mind map when this happens. Sometime I just need to think about the topic enough and put it on paper (or on the screen) and just watch as latent ideas materialize and connect and those meaningful connections are what bring the peace of mind afterward.

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        • #5
          Means it's higher priority

          When I keep getting the same ideas over and over again it usually means it's becasue it's a higher priority item than I though. MOst of my re-captured ideas are already on my list but tracked as a someday/maybe. When one keeps popping up I know it's a signal to think a bit more on that and see if what that really means is I need to make that project active and get working on it now rather than someday later.

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          • #6
            maybe just who you are

            Originally posted by macgrl View Post
            I have a habit of thinking of something and then putting it in my collection bucket only to find that I have done that before and am either already dealing with it or have put it on a someday / maybe list.

            How can I stop myself from doing this. I find that this happens between the weekly review and I can go through my system each time I think I may be repeating myself.

            Should I just keep repeating myself as I then find out that I have already done it and this is better than not putting it into the bucket with the risk that I am not repeating myself and so will miss something.

            I hope that makes sense!
            It may be also just the way that you are wired. You very well may be doing all the GTD best practices and stuff may still come up for you. Just keep processing and do not get frustrated with yourself or your behavior.

            Dave Littlehales
            delittlehales

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            • #7
              Thank you for all your comments.

              On a similar thread, do you keep a track of what you have done? So that you don't keep going over things that you have already completed?

              A completed list? I suppose that is a good way to see how much you have completed as a kind of motivator for things to do

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              • #8
                Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                On a similar thread, do you keep a track of what you have done? ... A completed list?
                I don't really try to track each and every project or individual action that I've finished. They stay around in my Omnifocus system for about a month and that's good enough.

                But I do have a document where I have summary diary of sorts with the start and stop of major completed activities. This is just an Open Office file with things on it like "L here to start on Middle Divider Fence" and "West Elk Fence Finished" I have a repeating task in my month end/start project that says to check my calendar and update this list with major milestones. I also keep a very accurate calendar in iCal with what I worked on every day. I can search it if I need to find out when we did something.

                The other way I document what I did is that I am an avid scrapbooker. I make scrapbooks for us that cover each year and a series of scrapbooks for the sheep flock, major construction projects, the poultry, major farm experiments and so on. I have a written table of contents for the sheep books and am working to make one for the rest of them because I have over 50 scrapbooks completed.

                We refer to them often. The construction ones show where the wires and plumbing is in the various buildings and barns we have restored or built on our farm. I have a lot of reference data on the sheep flock documented in the sheep ones. A lot of farm stuff is best documented with a picture not words so they are a useful reference for us.

                As an example we re-build our sheep shearing corrals each year under the hay barn after we've used enough of the hay. We can refer to the last year's pictures and my scrapbook notes about what worked, what didn't and what we want to change for this year as we still do not have a perfect set-up. Each year it gets better but it still needs work. The scrapbooks are also inspirational. On a farm a lot of times I feel we are making no progress. When I get discouraged I can go pull out a scrapbook from a couple of years ago and see how far we've come. Even just looking at the pictures of the sheep flock form 5 or 10 years ago vs now shows me the improvement in the flock due to my careful breeding.

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                • #9
                  Thanks Oogiem


                  There are some great ideas in there for me. Very much appreciated

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                  • #10
                    If you find yourself repeating and going over the same things again and again, there is something off. There are some great suggestions given already. Something that has helped me a lot is the touch it once principle. Anytime you get something on your plate, you decide right away what to do with it.

                    This is something that is touched in GTD (although I don't it's labeled as touch it once) but I cannot stress this enough. Especially for when you are processing your inbox or going through your single actions lists.

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