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Getting from 99% to 100%

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  • Getting from 99% to 100%

    I've finally now "know this like I know money" (to quote Merlin), that my system will never be perfect. I now believe this with more certainty and fervor than anything else in GTD. There is no free lunch, and there is no way my system can be what I want it to be at all times, but rather is a series of compromises that help me in most situations. In defense of this theory, I think we've all had times where we felt 100% clean with systems that in retrospect.... were terrible.

    I, as many people in the forum, have agonized over every little last detail until it is far more of a net loss than to just live with the imperfect system. I've reached the point in that improvements in my system will be emergent, and can't be forced, and isn't worth spending time other than in the monthly review on trying to improve.

    For me, achieving 100% clean has nothing to do with my system anymore, and everything to do with my newest realization about GTD, that the final 1% is just trusting yourself to use it... and to "just do it".


    Sooooo, the whole point of this thread, besides sharing what was very enlightening for myself (and hoping it helps someone), was to test my theory through your eyes. Are there times where you reach that 100% by doing something *other* than just cranking a widget and acting?

  • #2
    Nothing Occurs to Me

    I've started having more instances where I get to a point in a mind sweep where ... there's nothing else I can think of.

    There's a ton of stuff already ON my lists but I can't think of anything that's not already there.

    Not often but every now and again ...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mark Jantzen View Post
      I've started having more instances where I get to a point in a mind sweep where ... there's nothing else I can think of.

      There's a ton of stuff already ON my lists but I can't think of anything that's not already there.

      Not often but every now and again ...
      That's a great holistic sensation of complete "Collection" phase. Good stuff. Those are the rare moments where your mind can "breathe". You haven't done it all, you may not know how to get the resources, time, money, contacts, organizing steps, outcome-visioning, prioritizing of next actions, and the like, but atleast it's all THERE. You've got it all done. You have all your "stuff".

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tor View Post
        I've finally now "know this like I know money" (to quote Merlin), that my system will never be perfect. I now believe this with more certainty and fervor than anything else in GTD. There is no free lunch, and there is no way my system can be what I want it to be at all times, but rather is a series of compromises that help me in most situations. In defense of this theory, I think we've all had times where we felt 100% clean with systems that in retrospect.... were terrible.
        Wait...so what's your premise? That 100% clean no loose ends, nothing on mind is only relevant if you have a good productivity organization system?? I'd say that's true, but kind of obvious don't you think?

        Edward de Bono, 20th, British psychologist – “Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of the car is separate from the way the car is driven.” (Life intelligently from intelligence – you need both).

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        • #5
          Great Solution for Massively Multitasking on a Mac

          Huge problem I had. I'd have about 2-10 projects opened with pieces and chunks scattered in web browser tabs, open Finder folders and open documents from multiple programs. My computer "doing" clutter was a tornado of chaos.

          solution. Any project that is currently open. Meaning some task of it is open in some program, you move that project from the projects folder to a "workspace folder" so you know you're actively working on it.

          I'll have

          Example
          Write now active proejcts are
          increase credit score
          weed out and organize passwords file

          So those two projects means I've got multiple "what does xyz financial term mean?" research tabs open, a yahoo! question or two, a glossary of financial terms in another browser tab, and then a passowrd file open.

          So just those TWO projects means I've got open 5-10 browser tabs and 2-3 programs with 2 key documents and other supplementary documents.

          It's a lot ot keep track of while multi-tasking all on a laptop!!

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          • #6
            You can't do two Projects at once.

            Best you can do is a bit of one, then a bit of another, so quickly that it seems simultaneous.

            What would happen if you worked on just one project, until you reached a natural stopping point, I wonder? It certainly sounds like you're stressed out by your current system.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by validatelife View Post
              That 100% clean no loose ends, nothing on mind is only relevant if you have a good productivity organization system?? I'd say that's true, but kind of obvious don't you think?
              No, that's actually antithetical to the point I'm making. 100% has far more to do with just "trusting your system" which is a very very internal important step, and completely dependent on you. 100% has almost nothing to do with your system, and everything to do with accepting that the system you have (even if it's not remotely clean or even resembling a sane "system") is good enough to act now, to crank widgets and focus all your attention on doing rather than managing.
              Last edited by tor; 06-10-2008, 04:09 PM. Reason: stupid spelling and grammar

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              • #8
                I had a similar discernment a time ago. I would extend the 'trust in your original post to not only 'trust in your system, but trusting your self. Trusting your self that the best thing you could do is in your system. A matter of self esteem, maybe. GTD is an onion.
                Last edited by Cpu_Modern; 06-11-2008, 02:55 AM.

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                • #9
                  Every endeavor has diminishing returns. 100% perfection is rarely worth the additional effort.

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                  • #10
                    Diminishing returns and the fact that you have to pay additional costs with your own time and life which is exactly what you are trying to most efficiently manage and extract the most from.

                    Improvement comes best from low hanging fruit, something you can implement with little cost which helps tremendously. Basically, a different way of doing things which results in major improvement. Always keep your eyes open for new ways or processes and don't get too dogmatic in your current system.

                    Next comes those trade offs that have significant costs but are offset by a good margin in the improvements they bring. If there is significant positive net gain, then that's a more efficient way to do things.

                    The road to obsession comes in an effort to make everything perfect. When one starts making inefficient choices in implementing systems that merely patch a current worry about a system or neurosis. It's the control and "build the best possible box" trap as opposed to finding the box which best fits your real needs and getting comfortable enough with it so that you can use it and move on to enjoying yourself. The mind will always find chinks, it's nature is to troubleshoot and it will find it in whatever systems you put in place. This becomes a matter of evaluating and then implementing only what improves your efficiency rather than getting all twisted about letting your system run you.

                    It's natural to fall into this trap. I suppose it's healthy to do it because you learn but it's unhealthy to spend too much time on it and torque your life over a prolonged period (precious commodity). Probably a natural process. It's kind of like the crazy diet person who isn't overweight yet measures everything with ridiculous accuracy to a fraction of a gram - that type of obsession is what it took them to lose 100lbs in the first place or worse and more to this point, someone who now needs to do it to feel good about themselves. Find the balance you need in life, re-evaluate and re-balance as required.

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