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Too many ideas (NA's, Projects, SM's, etc.)

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  • Too many ideas (NA's, Projects, SM's, etc.)

    I have a problem with being able to generate a seemingly endless
    list of projects, NA's, SM's, etc. If I attempt to capture them all, this
    leads to an unwieldly number of things to keep track of.

    I should point out that I'm trying to use gtd for both work and
    home, so pretty much everything is up for grabs.

    I need some toothpicks. That reminds me that I should buy some
    floss. And make a dentist's appointment. And maybe I should should
    schedule a physical. And since I'm thinking about health, I should start
    excercising more, so I should buy a new pair of athletic shoes. Which
    reminds me that I need winter boots. Oh, and a new snow shovel.
    etc., etc., etc...

    The simplest idea generates dozens of new ideas. How do other people
    keep this under control? I don't see the point in having 700 Someday/Maybe
    entries. However, self-censoring would seem to defeat the spirit of
    gtd.

    All suggestions welcome.

  • #2
    mediaGuy,

    Wow, that's quite a mind dump...

    One thing to keep in mind is that you're already keeping track of this stuff, just in your head rather than in an organized system!

    Not having 700 Someday/Maybes written down doesn't mean that you don't have them...

    It has been my experience that after that initial "mind dump", my subsequent mind dumps are less fruitful (i.e. you won't always have 700 or so new ideas). So, my advice is to capture it all... That's what I do.

    Hope this helps,

    Jim

    Comment


    • #3
      A couple of ideas...

      It sounds like many of the 700 things might be items that could go on a shopping list -- you might try keeping a running shopping list. Maybe one for grocery-type items, one for discount-store-type things, and another list for all other items you are thinking about purchasing. Then when you are out purchasing something, you might see some similar items, and get those while you are out.

      One think I do for tasks that I know have to be done *this week* (especially for simple tasks that will take very little time to do) -- I use a weekly planner with a column for each day. I keep a number of small post-it notes handy, and I write a task on a note, and stick it somewhere on the calendar page. That way, I see it, and it isn't exactly "hard landscape," but it motivates me to do the task so I can throw away the post-it note, making my calendar look less cluttered. Right now I have post-its for things like "contact X to reschedule Sunday's meeting," "get plane tickets for August trip," "register for marathon," "get musicians for Mothers Day event," etc. Tasks on my action lists sometimes tend to get overlooked or put off, and this has been a good way to make sure some of the "musts" for the week get done.

      Comment


      • #4
        First, write it down!

        Originally posted by jkgrossi
        mediaGuy,

        Wow, that's quite a mind dump...

        One thing to keep in mind is that you're already keeping track of this stuff, just in your head rather than in an organized system!

        Not having 700 Someday/Maybes written down doesn't mean that you don't have them...

        It has been my experience that after that initial "mind dump", my subsequent mind dumps are less fruitful (i.e. you won't always have 700 or so new ideas). So, my advice is to capture it all... That's what I do.

        Hope this helps,

        Jim
        Jim, I fully agree with you. All the stuff that looks like a problem to be solved, challenge, Someday/Maybe or just a creative idea must be recorded in a trusted system.

        Without this every such thought revolves in your head. If you think about the same problem five times your mind treats it like five different problems to process and becomes overwhelmed.

        If you do not dump it from your Psychic RAM the stuff multiplies itself and overloads your mind.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think 700 things in your Someday/Maybe list sounds just fine! A nice fertile ground that will grow interesting stuff some day. Maybe.

          I agree that the initial dump is completely insane, and then it tends to even out.

          Comment

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