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I hate processing and organizing

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  • I hate processing and organizing

    Iíve been doing GTD a while now and lately Iíve started to realize that I really donít like P&O. Itís not that I think P&O is a bad idea or anything, I just donít like doing it: I postpone it, put it off, and a few days ago literally got nothing done all day because I didnít want to start other work before P&O but couldnít make myself process and organize.

    I donít exactly know what it is about P&O that I hate so much; itís not particularly boring; it can sometimes be challenging, sure, but I enjoy other challenging things. At times Iíve found P&O to be gloriously fun and rewarding as I bask in how much clarity and productivity it gives me. Maybe Iím scared of something? Another possibility is that itís just too difficult at the times of day Iím trying to do it (morning or evening).

    Sometimes I think the reason why GTD works so well is because it forces people to do P&O that people usually avoid like the plague. Maybe thereís something inherent in P&O that people hate.

    Does anybody have any ideas why I*might be having this problem, experience a similar things, or know how I could fix it?

  • #2
    I have no problem with P&O. I scheduled one hour daily at the end of my work day to finish it. I go through all my inboxes and P&O all the out coming Next Actions. What I have trouble with is Doing Is your doing OK?

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    • #3
      My doing is pretty good right now.

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      • #4
        Hard to say for sure. I mean if you dont like what it is your organising (i.e. your job) then that could be something.

        For me I found P&O fun at first, but then as I used GTD a bit more found that there were areas in my system that had a little too much friction. Bits of paper that went in awkward places around the office, too much time putting emails into folders rather than archiving the whole lot, or software that wasnt smooth to use. Your tools need to be fun and easy to use. Maybe thats something else to think about.

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        • #5
          Processing I find easy, but sometimes quite time consuming. It's often most organising that I have the trouble with. Where should I put that? I have no idea. I think organising is the reason GTD takes 2 years to get to black belt. I've been going for over a year now and still haven't finished organising my work or home completely yet. It's tedious and requires lots of hierarchical thinking which is hard. But once a part is setup and organised, the next time you have to P&O something similar, it is so much easier.

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          • #6
            Overwhelmed? Long Lists?

            I find when I'm overwhelmed or over-committed, when I'm tired of seeing things on my lists that have been there for way too long, the last thing I want to do is add more things to my lists and watch them grow longer.

            Ironic, one of the things David Allen recommends when you overwhelmed is lots of P&O so that you get clear.

            Something that has helped, when this has been the case, is making more use of my Someday/Maybe list (or Projects on Hold if you're not comfortable moving an item to SDMB.) Making sure you review SDMB every week empowers you to easily move projects on and off that list. It's made me feel better at times to do a rigorous review of my Project and Next Action Lists, and move many items that I don't honestly have to do in the next 7-14 days to SDMB. Then, getting completely clear (finishing P&O) feels good.

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            • #7
              negative thoughts? Complexity? Excessivly positive thoughts? Warmup/recovery?

              Maybe you are mentally doing to yourself what I sometimes do--any suggestions welcome!

              Negative thoughts: When processing and organizing I sometimes have negative thoughts about what I am processing or organizing. I get stuck in why I did or did not do something, why something failed, or be really upset with myself because a problem is cycling around again. All gets very depressing.

              Complexity: I will sometimes get caught up in the dependency of next actions--I can't do this until I do that, I can't do that until I do this, and so on. Then I face the real reason, it is sometimes not a happy realization. Often I need help and I can't get anyone on board without a huge amount of effort and negotiation. Or, I don't have the financial or mental resources to do what I want to do. Sometimes however, all it takes to get out of that is simplification--asking myself what is the most basic element that will do, what is the essential. For example, I know I can't get a consensus on having a nice custom bookshelf built by a carpenter but I can get some glass blocks and planks for $100.00 and get the books out of their boxes.

              Also,at times when I start putting the hard scape on the calendar and the reminders of start and finish dates and then I get very anxious and freaked out, especially about how I will communicate all the info and negotiate my obligations. But sometimes that is smugly empowering because I spot the conflicts so I can take the lead in how to resolve them.

              Overly positive: At the other end of the emotional spectrum, I will sometimes get wildly excited about a project or a method or a new plan. I will want to drop everything and just do that planning or that task, which I thought would take two minutes and before I know the overflowing in box and the backlog are still waiting for my attention.

              Warm up/recovery:A yoga teacher friend reminded me that all hard work needs a warm up and a recovery and to be open to the the fact that just as the practice of the same pose by the same person will be different each time, so will other efforts toward enlightenment. I have not a clue as to the appropriate warm up and recovery are for processing and organizing. I find that NPR and similar news stories and interviews kind of help as a warm up. So far, I have not found music that helps but I am open to it.

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              • #8
                I dont have any problems with organizing now but I used to when my system was too complex and slow so that might be your problem as well... It just wasnt smooth and fast enough so I resisted doing it as often.

                P&O is a mentally demanding process so thats enough of a reason to resist it to begin with but if your system is also not fast and smooth enough it just makes it an even less appealing thing to do.

                How long does it take to organize stuff? What do you use as system? Maybe there are some bottlenecks?

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                • #9
                  This has often helped me.

                  Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
                  Processing I find easy, but sometimes quite time consuming. It's often most organising that I have the trouble with. Where should I put that? I have no idea. I think organising is the reason GTD takes 2 years to get to black belt. I've been going for over a year now and still haven't finished organising my work or home completely yet. It's tedious and requires lots of hierarchical thinking which is hard. But once a part is setup and organised, the next time you have to P&O something similar, it is so much easier.
                  When filing or looking for a place for an object I have asked myself the question, "where will I look for this when I need it?". Usually, the answer pops into my thoughts right away.

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                  • #10
                    I have the same problem. I think I've identified the cause of my problem is that I don't totally trust my system yet (not reviewing often enough). I'm afraid that once I decide what it means and where it goes, it will just sit there.

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