Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Handling Transactional Items in Transactional Ways (or - your spouse's inbox) Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Handling Transactional Items in Transactional Ways (or - your spouse's inbox)

    I recently listened to the GTD Fast CD's which has me thinking about a lot of "stuff" and I picked up a lot that I didn't catch in the book or at the seminar.

    One thing that I never quite "got" was why David Allen and his wife put things in each others in box when they are sitting right now to each other. I could see the point, but it seemed just a tad too purist for my own taste.

    In the CD's David talked about how studies have shown that 85% of the communication between spoues tends to be transational in nature (the drycleaning, the lawn, etc.) and that increases when a couple works in business together as they do. He is on the road a whole, whole lot - so if he can been traveling for two weeks and only has a day or two to spend with his wife before heading out again, the last thing he wants to do is deal with transactional stuff. He wants to just schmooze and hang out. So they try to deal with transactional stuff in transactional ways.

    Shortly after hearing that, I watched the movie "lost in translation". It was very interesting to observe Bill Murray's character's marriage. It was in deep trouble because it had become 100% transactional. At one point, he tries to engage his wife in a "higher level" conversation, and she pulled it right back to the transactional level.

    It would be great if in my relationship with my spouse I could "hang out" with him with zero transactional stuff on my mind. I'm trying to figure out the best way for us to communicate with each other on the transactional stuff so we can get it out of the way. It would be great if my husband could stop telling me that we need 100 watt lightbulbs while I'm giving the kids a bath (write it on the grocery list, pleeeeease). He probably thinks it would be great if I didn't hit him with a list of stuff that needs to be discussed as soon as he walks through the door. This could bring about some major stress reduction.

    I'd love people's ideas on this. I've been using his email/voice mail more, but what really need is dedicated time to talk about the transactional stuff and get it out of the way.

    WARNING, WARNING: Especially to you guys who sometimes tend to be more task orientated than the ladies in your life. Sometimes something a woman says LOOKS like it is transactional, but really it is schmoozing. Sometimes when I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, I'm looking to get him to just engage in the process as well as answer the question. It's a bit tricky.

  • #2
    Does your husband do GTD, or do you think he might be interested in it? That might at least plant the seed of writing things on the shopping list instead of telling you about them at a bad time. Is it possible to schedule time to handle at least the larger transactional items (and rely more on email or voice mail for the smaller ones, as you've already started to do)? That's what my husband and I do, but we don't have children so we don't have to worry about child care or interruptions if we need to spend a Saturday morning going over finances or something. We also spend 30 minutes to an hour on Sunday nights going over our respective weeks, which acts as a great trigger. These are not formal arrangements, just stuff that's evolved over a couple of years to make sure we know what's going on with each other and that things are getting handled while maintaining at least some time when we don't have to talk about process stuff.

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: "It's a bit tricky"

      Tricky did you say? Let's clarify that statement - what seems like a transactional event can be a a LAND MINE!

      Sometimes the question "What do you want for dinner?" can be answered by a simple "Spaghetti is fine with me". Other times, if we don't offer to go buy the noodles, make the salad, and shred the cheese there's going to be a HUGE price to pay. It's all so confusing....

      Comment


      • #4
        This is so, so funny!! No, it is not simple. Relationships never are!! Especially romantic ones between two very opposite people.

        Thanks everyone for your perspective and ideas!

        No, my husband doesn't use GTD. This really isn't about that.

        I think the trick here is that you need to decide together how you are going to communicate - at least some of the time. With David Allen and his wife, I'm guessing that that at some point they talked and they decided which stuff would be handled via email.

        My husband and I work opposite schedules so he works one of my days off and gets home about an hour before I need to go to bed - and we have two small kids. So our time together to talk is very limited.

        A few weeks ago, I asked my husband if would be OK if I used email and/or our home answering machine to pass along at least some of what he calls "daytimer stuff" - to do's, things involving schedules, follow ups on stuff we discussed. That way he would get the info written in his daytimer while he has it with him. So far, so good. When gets home, we can just use that tiny amount of time we have together to talk about more meaningful stuff than the fact I picked up the drycleaning today or whatever.

        So, as was mentioned by one of the other posters, I'm working in way that works with HIS system which makes it easy for him to implement.

        We do need to try to find a time for a regular meeting to talk about "businessy stuff" about once a week. It is a challenge. You know that resistance it seems like everyone feels about a weekly review....same thing goes here for us having a weekly meeting. Our life runs better when we have one but we have a hard time forcing ourselves to do it - ironically, they are sometimes some of the better conversations we have all week - getting a bunch of stuff settled.

        I did hear a marriage counselor once say that if you have a busy marriage (who doesn't), you need to try to find three seperate times to spend together weekly: 1) time to talk about running the household (schedules and other administrative stuff 2) time for fun 3) time to talk about the more serious issues in the relationship. That way when you are doing number 2, you can just relax and know you aren't going to get blindsided by number 1 or number 3. I guess in a perfect world, I could pull this off.

        Comment


        • #5
          Our informal "weekly review" usually happens around lunch on Sunday. We're both home, and Sunday tends to be an "errands" day anyway. (Saturday is our "fun" day.)

          I'm self-employed and work from home, so I'm usually the one who ends up sorting the mail, waiting for contractors, etc. That also makes it very convenient for me to leave notes and such in his "inbox" (actually on his office chair) instead of bothering him at work. I try to avoid email, since that often creates an interrupt for me when he calls to talk about whatever it is. It helps that all the finances are in a shared Quicken file, so either of us can check on things without needing to involve the other.

          Katherine

          Comment


          • #6
            very interesting topic!

            I'm not married, but when I observe the communication (or other) habits of couples I know...well, I doubt I ever will be.

            I thought this was a great insight:

            I did hear a marriage counselor once say that if you have a busy marriage (who doesn't), you need to try to find three seperate times to spend together weekly: 1) time to talk about running the household (schedules and other administrative stuff 2) time for fun 3) time to talk about the more serious issues in the relationship. That way when you are doing number 2, you can just relax and know you aren't going to get blindsided by number 1 or number 3. I guess in a perfect world, I could pull this off.

            Even if you fall short on time for one the categories, it seems like there's value in at least recognizing the fact, and trying to keep the 3s from poisoning the 1s and 2s.

            Comment


            • #7
              You know, I think having some degree of seperation of the three different types of communicating could have value in many relationships. It would definitley apply to roomates and kids. Even the people you work with - it is sometimes really nice to just hang out with my co-workers and go have lunch and make "work conversation" off-limits.

              And it can sometimes be a bit violating to be trying to have a "transactional" conversation with a co-worker who really wants to chat about what they did last weekend.......especially when pressed for time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CosmoGTD
                What i do is figure out HER system, and then use that.
                OK. *Ducking* So what happens when your spouse DOES NOT HAVE A SYSTEM!?!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CosmoGTD
                  I can say this, as i do not have a spouse!

                  Coz
                  I knew there was a catch or a punchline in there somewhere.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X