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Finding why I don't trust my system

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  • #16
    Originally posted by quantumgardener View Post
    Acceptance of "good enough" is the enemy of "perfect" as well. I like to be able to make a choice. GTD works well because it gives us the information we need to choose in the moment.
    The challenge, of course, is to focus one's energy on the areas where perfection will be rewarded, and to be willing to settle for good enough elsewhere. Two old adages come to mind:
    * A good plan (or system) today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
    * (Attrib. to Mark Twain) The difference between the exactly right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.

    Yours in thread hijacking,

    Katherine

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    • #17
      Originally posted by quantumgardener View Post
      Do you mean accept as in, this is where my system is now or accept as in, resign yourself to the fact that it can't improve?

      When I coach people I work with their moods and there is an important distinction between the mood of acceptance and the mood of resignation. The latter is insidious because the language hides the true belief i.e.. we say accept when we mean resign. In a mood of acceptance we acknowledge that things are the way they are. In starting this thread I accepted the limitations of my system. It's a powerful platform for moving forward. I could just as easily say the same, but do so from a mood of resignation. In other words it is what is is and there is no possibility for improvement.
      I concur with Katherine that "the perfect is the enemy of good enough" and that "The challenge, of course, is to focus one's energy on the areas where perfection will be rewarded." Even a black belt in the martial arts knows their limits. They -- perhaps most of all -- know their limits. And this is what allows them to focus their energy on the areas where perfection will be rewarded.

      I've been doing GTD for over 4 years now and the most surprising thing after all of that time is not how much more I'm getting done (though I *am* getting more done) -- but how much more I'm collecting and processing. I often process 70-100 new thoughts a day out of my inbox; and handle an average of 70 projects and 250 actionables a week. The problem is you can always collect and process more than you can do. And at this stage in my journey I'm realizing that there is a certain place I must come to in accepting/resigning myself to that reality. In this case I think that while the system might be able to be improved upon, I might learn something new I didn't realize before, etc. the basic reality of always being able to collect and process more than I can do confronts me with a response of either denial or acceptance -- accept my own limitations (I can only do so much every day) and resign myself to the fact that this is okay.

      It's a stage in the journey I think. We begin with an almost idealistic optimism that GTD will be that magic fix for us. And this optimism may be what we need to propel us into learning the habits. I remember thinking that GTD was going to solve all of my productivity woes. But eventually one moves beyond this stage -- and the youthful confidence is replaced with an aged wisdom; a wisdom that looks over the vertical and horizontal landscapes with the knowledge that, at most, it can only rule a city and not the world.

      Hope that helps.

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      • #18
        Learning what to ignore

        Todd's post made me think of a post from Penelope Trunk I came across yesterday.

        Basically covers how you can figure out what can be ignored/dropped. As Todd said, we can get so much more processed, and be more productive with our time, but there is a limit to what we can do. When we hit that limit, we then need to make some tough choices.

        Cheers,

        Adam

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Todd V View Post
          The problem is you can always collect and process more than you can do. And at this stage in my journey I'm realizing that there is a certain place I must come to in accepting/resigning myself to that reality.
          Todd, your journey sounds somewhat like mine. I've come to the point where I can collect and process without responding to each item instantly in a knee-jerk manner as a must-do, which results in anxiety and panic, but rather as an enriching part of my stock, or bank, of things I can choose from in the future (or perhaps never). (Maybe this is one way of moving more things to the S/M list??)

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