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I like my Someday/Maybe list more than my Actions list!

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  • I like my Someday/Maybe list more than my Actions list!

    I often get neat ideas for future projects. I dutifully put them on my Someday/Maybe list. However, as I do that and glance at the list, I get excited about some of the ideas there, and I find myself thinking about them more than what's on my Actions list. When I look back at my Actions list, I'm not interested in doing any of that. I'm bored with my Actions list. So, for example, this week I accomplished nearly as many projects on my Someday/Maybe list as I accomplished on my Actions list! The "exciting" Someday/Maybe projects had my attention more than the "boring" Actions.

    I realize this is not a failing of GTD, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do?

  • #2
    No system can force you to do something that you aren't interested in.

    If the boring Actions are optional, then just skip them, or move the associated project to the Someday/Maybe list.

    If the boring Actions are non-optional, then any of the anti-procrastination methods out there might help. In this particular case, you might try using the interesting stuff on your Someday/Maybe list as a reward for the boring stuff on your Action list. "After I do my taxes, I'll reward myself by working on that shop project I've been planning." Or, if it gets really bad, "I can't look at my Someday/Maybe list until I do my taxes."

    You might also be able to substitute a more interesting action that works toward the same goal. This is especially true of research-type tasks, where you might be able to get the same information from a variety of sources.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, kewms! (I'm the original poster; I just forgot to log in when I posted)

      Almost everything on my Actions list is optional, at least in the short term. Examples include, "Burn CD for friend," "Practice Japanese," and "Return fan to home improvement store."

      I generally do immediately accomlish tasks that need to be done.

      Part of the problem is that I have different moods. Sometimes I really want to, say, write code, while at other times I really want to learn, and those are the times when I tend to focus on one type of project to the exclusion of others.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brent
        Almost everything on my Actions list is optional, at least in the short term. Examples include, "Burn CD for friend," "Practice Japanese," and "Return fan to home improvement store."

        I generally do immediately accomlish tasks that need to be done.

        Part of the problem is that I have different moods. Sometimes I really want to, say, write code, while at other times I really want to learn, and those are the times when I tend to focus on one type of project to the exclusion of others.
        Hi Brent,
        if you dont get in trouble working this way, it seems to me to be no problem. Just make sure that you don't miss any deadlines and don't let anyone wait too long.
        If you are able to categorize your moods you could make lists: @category.
        So you are ready far any mood.

        Yours
        Alexander

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        • #5
          Categorize my Next Action list by moods, eh? That's a fascinating idea. Thanks!

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          • #6
            I have an @Exhausted list. It lists tasks like empty paper bin, check office supplies, clean temp-folder on hard disk, ... .

            When I am really tired and not in the mood for heavy focussed work (after a 3 hour meeting, after a good but somewhat heavy lunch, ...), I pick one of those tasks. They look trivial, but when I am really tired, I cannot (do not want to?) think about what to do. So I listed them. Instead of gazing at my mails or surfing, I have some actual things to do. I noticed that doing one of these things, helps me to get started on more difficult tasks.

            In case of doubt, do something! (and it helps if you have some things listed )

            br,
            beyerst
            PS: I do not want to take credit for this idea. I got this idea either from this board or from Jason. Maybe from a posting of Jason on this board. Whatever...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brent
              Categorize my Next Action list by moods, eh? That's a fascinating idea. Thanks!
              Welcome!
              The idea sounds exotic but I think the best way to stimulate our performance is to boost our strengths and limit our faults.
              So if you work best with @moods go ahead this way.

              Yours
              Alexander

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