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need new impetus for updating my lists

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  • need new impetus for updating my lists

    Hello fellow GTDers, I've been doing GTD for so many years now.. 6 or 7 years maybe... But for months now I haven't been rigorous in updating my lists, except for the bare essentials. I mean, there are things there that had been there for a loooongg time already, and I haven't had the energy to go through each of them and delete the ones that could already be deleted. FYI I use Palm Desktop. My calendar is almost always up to date, my @work gets up to date maybe twice a month, my @errands list contain some things that should go to someday/maybe, but I don't have the energy to transfer them since my someday/maybe list gets looked at maybe twice a year at most. I have memos for almost everything. I can't remember when I last visited my areas of focus. But I still do GTD (or a version of it) everyday. I mainly use my calendar, @work, @errands, projects, agenda, and a few memos, populating and deleting them when done, while leaving the rest of my lists untouched. Yeah, sometimes I get to read them and add a few things once in a while, but overall it's kinda stale. And no, I haven't done a weekly review for a long time already. Any comments/tips would be appreciated. Thanks

  • #2
    One more thing. My filing cabinet needs refreshing and I haven't quite finished it yet. I have updated/thrown out/refiled parts of it, but a good number of files I haven't gone through yet. I have bought a new filing cabinet which I plan to use as archive of previous years' files, but so far a lot of previous years' files are still in my "old" filing cabinet.

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    • #3
      I used to listen to GTDFast! over and over again in my car as a form of inspiration, but haven't done so in long while.

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      • #4
        Start over

        It sounds like you have resistance to your system, hence the reason you review so infrequently. I noticed that when I don't want to look at my lists, it's because I know (implicitly, not explicitly) they're not complete.

        I've been following GTD for a number of years as well and was experiencing a similar difficulty. My weekly reviews took 5 hours or so and even when done, I only felt good about them for a few hours, then the stress returned. I didn't want to look at my lists.

        So I invented to "start over" and blocked out 2 days in my upcoming holiday to do that initial GTD cleanup that David talks about in the book. It was pretty amazing and actually lasted a little over 3 days but well worth it. In the 4 week since, I've been less stressed and more productive than I have been in a long time.

        Just a thought.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bradenchase View Post

          So I invented to "start over" and blocked out 2 days in my upcoming holiday to do that initial GTD cleanup that David talks about in the book. It was pretty amazing and actually lasted a little over 3 days but well worth it. In the 4 week since, I've been less stressed and more productive than I have been in a long time.

          Just a thought.
          Good to hear that. I've had plenty of start overs given my years in doing GTD. And I'm pretty sure I need one right now. Just need to kickstart myself into "cleaning those cobwebs" again. What I really need right now is to stop all the thinking and just start doing, to quote David, "bypass my mental process". I haven't really gotten into the level where David describes as being in a higher standard that one cannot stand not doing GTD, because I need to constantly force/inspire myself to refresh my system. I guess blackbelt GTD is quite difficult to get to.

          Anyone think GTD is high-maintenance?

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          • #6
            Just found this in my Lessons to Self List, thought I'd share:

            How to overcome a full inbox and an overwhelming amount of to do's...

            - Check your watch. Allot a few hours (or even a whole day) to tackle the job. Gird your loins and just keep on processing, one at a time, finishing off two minute actions and deferring those that take longer. It is daunting, but it is also possible. Once you've finished off your inbox, then start on your tasks, one at a time. For motivation, you could choose the easier tasks to give yourself a sense of completion, then mark off that action as done. Keep at it. Slowly you will see your tasks get trimmed down. And it will be worth it, because you never know what surprises will come. So better be ready.
            *Whenever something gets into your inbox right after you've just emptied it to zero, process it at once. Don't allow it to pile up anymore, unless you're not at the office.

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            • #7
              I agree that you should probably reboot your system. The most important part of it is that it's a trusted system; if you've let yours fill up with junk, it becomes hard to trust it.

              Fortunately, in my experience, a complete reboot doesn't take nearly as long as you might fear.



              Cheers,
              Roger

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roger View Post
                I agree that you should probably reboot your system. The most important part of it is that it's a trusted system; if you've let yours fill up with junk, it becomes hard to trust it.

                Fortunately, in my experience, a complete reboot doesn't take nearly as long as you might fear.



                Cheers,
                Roger
                Thanks. I've started to compartmentalize my time too. No internet allowed until after 5pm

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                • #9
                  I think it's a bit like housework, it's easier if you try to tidy up after yourself after every job you do rather than leaving it all to one big session. You still need to have a weekly clean, but it won't be so big a chore if the house is already tidy.

                  I've started the practice of whenever I spend a significant time on a project (>1hour) at the end of that I not only tick off my next action that I completed, but I also review that project list. It's a good time to capture any new ideas that might have emerged whilst doing the work, and it is good to review the lists whilst the project is fresh in your mind, it is much easier to remember the details and reviewing the lists is mentally easier.

                  Obviously this won't cover all of the projects, but it will at least mean a fair few will be reviewed by the end of the week, so in the weekly review you only need to look at those projects you didn't do much/any work on.

                  I've read in other posts that other people split the weekly review up over several days to make it a less onerous task, try this and see if it helps.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by corrallingyourstuff View Post
                    I haven't really gotten into the level where David describes as being in a higher standard that one cannot stand not doing GTD, because I need to constantly force/inspire myself to refresh my system. I guess blackbelt GTD is quite difficult to get to.

                    Anyone think GTD is high-maintenance?
                    I used to always have a messy desk, and since doing GTD and finally getting a clean desk, I now can't stand it when it is messy, and have to clean it up or it stresses me out. I love coming in and seeing it tidy. I love seeing my email inbox at zero, although that just comes and goes too quickly to get used to it.

                    GTD does feel like high maintenance, but I think it really just organises and clarifies what you've committed yourself to do, and then you realise you are overcommitted, so is really the unrealistic workload which is high maintenance.
                    I think the real advantage to GTD is that knowing everything that's on your plate, you have more confidence to say 'no', and to say 'maybe later' to new work coming your way. After all, if you don't have time to maintain a list of the next actions for a project, then it's highly likely you don't have the time to actually do the project.

                    Also think about whether the reason you are not motivated to review your lists is because you start to see how overcommitted you are, which can be depressing and demotivating. If you think that may be a cause then a review of the projects list may be in order, as well as reviewing the higher levels/areas of focus.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post

                      I've started the practice of whenever I spend a significant time on a project (>1hour) at the end of that I not only tick off my next action that I completed, but I also review that project list. It's a good time to capture any new ideas that might have emerged whilst doing the work, and it is good to review the lists whilst the project is fresh in your mind, it is much easier to remember the details and reviewing the lists is mentally easier.
                      I think I do some version of what you've just described, because one of the reasons my calendar is always up to date is I delete all entries from yesterday and beyond. But before doing so, I make sure I've clarified everything related to it, whether I need to add another action to complete the project it's related to, do I move it to a future date in case it's a recurring reminder, etc.

                      That brings me to wonder, I think I remember hearing David say that the Weekly Review consists not only of reviewing upcoming entries in the calendar, but also past entries. In my case, I don't have any past entries to review during my Weekly Review because they get deleted once they get more than a day old.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
                        I used to always have a messy desk, and since doing GTD and finally getting a clean desk, I now can't stand it when it is messy, and have to clean it up or it stresses me out. I love coming in and seeing it tidy. I love seeing my email inbox at zero, although that just comes and goes too quickly to get used to it.
                        Same here. I used to have a messy desk but now I can't stand it. But cleaning up my list is another story. Although I've done it countless times before, updating my lists so that it's alive and healthy. But it's always an on and off thing. Somehow a messy desks' yuck factor drives me more to clean it than a messy list does. But, I guess I just need to keep cleaning up my lists over and over again until I get really really used to it.

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                        • #13
                          What about history?

                          Originally posted by corrallingyourstuff View Post
                          one of the reasons my calendar is always up to date is I delete all entries from yesterday and beyond.
                          How do you handle keeping track of the history of stuff if you delete the events from your calendar?

                          I'm curious because I keep all the entries in my electronic calendar for many years. Currently I go back to 2000 on my desktop & iPod. I keep paper copies back even further, to 1989 and also PDF files as well. I like having backups of my calendar items.

                          The reason is I often have to go figure out what we did when and it may be years in the past that we did it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                            How do you handle keeping track of the history of stuff if you delete the events from your calendar?

                            I'm curious because I keep all the entries in my electronic calendar for many years. Currently I go back to 2000 on my desktop & iPod. I keep paper copies back even further, to 1989 and also PDF files as well. I like having backups of my calendar items.

                            The reason is I often have to go figure out what we did when and it may be years in the past that we did it.
                            I guess I don't feel the need to. My calendar items consist mostly of birthdays, deposit dates, due dates, meetings, remind myself about/to ____, so I don't think it's necessary to keep records. If it's something I'd like to remind myself about, say the day I got baptized, I'd put it on next year like "my baptism year 2007" and repeat it yearly. Again I delete it the day right after that date next year. I like to see my calendar clean of any flags from yesterday and beyond when I have it on week/month/year view.

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