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Not looking at lists because you know what's on them

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  • Not looking at lists because you know what's on them

    Has anybody had the problem of not looking at lists because you think you already know what's on them? I store my NAs in a single text file, aranged by context, so I have sections in the file for "at home", "at work", etc. During the day at work I mostly use the "at work" list. I've also got a "lunchtimes" list for NAs that can only be done on my lunch break and a "web" list for things I can only do when I've got web access. In theory, I should probably be looking at my "lunchtimes" and "web" lists every lunch time. Yet when I really really want to get a lunchtime or web task done, I find myself putting it in the "at work" section, so I don't forget to do it. I guess I don't trust the other list sections much. Semi-consciously I feel like I already know what's on those lists and the things aren't important, so I don't look at them(!).

    Should I get rid of the "lunchtimes" section and put all that stuff in the "at work" section? I can't really do that with the "web" section because I sometimes do look at that at home on the weekend too.

    Any suggestions or thoughts would be very much appreciated!

    Best regards,

    Rangi
    Last edited by rangi500; 01-09-2006, 08:51 PM.

  • #2
    I would encourage you to not say "in theory I should be..." and instead say "I will develop the habit of...".

    I am not saying that you have ADD, but books about organization for people who have ADD talk about how important it is for people with ADD to regularly review their calendars. Because even if they plan, it is typical for people with ADD to then not work their plan because they do not review it.

    David Allen has some wonderful concepts about getting the stuff in your head into a system. But then you have to use that system.

    While I would encourage you to adjust GTD to work with your personal style, I would not encourage you to not "hack" GTD to try ignore a specific problem that you have that you really need to solve.

    I would think that adding an action item to your work folder that says "check lunch context folder" would be as far as you should go. You can review that folder anytime. But based on how you described that you need to do specific stuff during lunch, I believe that during @lunch, you should be working from your @lunch folder.
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    • #3
      What worked for me is: (1) reviewing my calendar, project and action lists once in the morning, and (2) making it a rule to scan the appropriate list at least once whenever I enter a new context.

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      • #4
        Has anybody had the problem of not looking at lists because you think you already know what's on them?
        Why's that a problem? If you already know what's on your list, you can just knock your NAs off based on your context.

        when I really really want to get a lunchtime or web task done, I find myself putting it in the "at work" section, so I don't forget to do it
        The urgency of an NA shouldn't change its context. If your context list allows you shuffle context based on priority, you might want to revisit it. An @Web task can only happen online, regardless of whether you're at home or work.

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