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COMPLETE collection

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  • COMPLETE collection

    What do you use to make sure that your mind sweeps and collection is really really complete? What works and what hasn't worked for you? Is their anyone out there that finds they are consistently in a "clear" state or they are able to return to it quickly with a surefire method or is their no surefire collection method? Input, methods, different trigger lists, group activities are all appreciated.

  • #2
    I believe there's no surefire method this side of heaven!

    I do my best to clear my mind. I scour my mental landscape for anything that's nagging at me. I ask myself what I've been thinking about lately.

    And the more I do this, the better I get at keeping my mind clear. It's more a habit than anything else, in my opinion.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 12hourhalfday View Post
      What do you use to make sure that your mind sweeps and collection is really really complete? What works and what hasn't worked for you?
      After I think I am done I take an imaginary walk around the farm outside and look at everything. Where the various animals are, the fences, irrigation, water, grass, barns, everything. I do the same for the inside of all the buildings (house, guest house, both barns and the shop. I almost always uncover something that was bugging me during these imaginary walks. I write it down in my trusty notebook and add those pages to the paper inbox for further processing.

      If I am unsure I go out and take a physical look. In any case at least once a season I take a long detailed walk with pen and paper around the whole place.

      I also will take a short nap. Just lying back for 15 minutes (I set a timer) and relaxing allows my mind to bubble up low down projects, actions and concerns. I always do this with a pen and paper at hand as I always come up with at least 20-30 items. Most end up as either someday/maybe or dismissed as never.

      Both techniques have successfully uncovered very important (but not urgent) projects and plans that I have since started working on.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
        • I take an imaginary walk
        • If I am unsure I go out and take a physical look.
        • I also will take a short nap. Just lying back for 15 minutes (I set a timer) and relaxing allows my mind to bubble up low down projects, actions and concerns. I always do this with a pen and paper at hand as I always come up with at least 20-30 items. Most end up as either someday/maybe or dismissed as never.
        Thank you Oogie. These are some valuable tools. I am going to try them all in collection today.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 12hourhalfday View Post
          What do you use to make sure that your mind sweeps and collection is really really complete? What works and what hasn't worked for you? Is their anyone out there that finds they are consistently in a "clear" state or they are able to return to it quickly with a surefire method or is their no surefire collection method? Input, methods, different trigger lists, group activities are all appreciated.
          The thing that works the best for me is ubiquitous capture. Either writing the item in my moleskin or using Jott. I would sometimes resist capturing items that were already "in my system", but realized recently that if it's still on my mind, then its stuck for some reason, and it needs attention.

          I've also used trigger lists with good success as well.

          I find that I'm in a clear state until I'm not. The trick is to notice and take action.

          - Don

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          • #6
            Meetings

            As far as personal capture I think I am good, I can trigger list until my ears bleed and I won't uncover absolutely everything. In order to get closer to complete I will need to do to dig deeper through capture in meetings both personal and professional. This will reveal more open loops I am sure.

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            • #7
              Total Collection

              Here is my view on collection. I think that collection is kind of the "undiscovered country" of GTD.

              I break collection down into four sections:

              1. Mental Capture - Getting everything out of your head.
              2. Physical Capture - Collecting all of the paper that comes into your system.
              3. Digital Capture - Collection of all your email, voicemail, texts and all other digital inboxes.
              4. Activity Capture - Collection of all of the activities you need to complete on a regular basis.

              It's the fourth area that I call activity capture that I believe is the true black belt level of getting all things out of your head. While not necessary to have a complete and well functioning GTD system, I think that it's in this area where complete stress free productivity exists.

              I think that this is best illustrated by an NFL football coach. NFL coaches spend hours preparing for games. When game time arrives, you'll see these coaches with large laminated pieces of paper in their hands. These papers contain all the important decisions they need to make during the game. These decisions have all been pre-thought and collectively contain the best practices of all coaches for nearly all the situations their team may face. Do they go for two instead of the field goal? Do they go for it on fourth down?

              Why do they do this?

              When the game is on the line, it's too late for them to think about what to do. They need to KNOW what they are going to do. At the end of the game, all of their decisions are going to be scrutinized by everyone and their jobs are literally on the line. When questioned about their decisions, they can feel confident that they did the right thing that any NFL coach would do in that same situation.

              No matter our profession, we can view our careers with the same approach to excellence that NFL coaches do. By planning and plotting all of our actions we too can reduce the bulk of our daily decision making to specific sets of actions.

              How can we do that?

              By reducing our daily actions to specific sets of checklists and getting the actions required of us on paper, we can then get our actions out of our head as well. Imagine waking up and going to your job knowing exactly the steps you are going to take are because you've pre-thought everything down to the last detail.

              While these actions are for the most part second nature, these activities are still floating in our head taking up space. By creating checklists for these things, even the mundane tasks you complete everyday can be one less thing you have to think about.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 12hourhalfday View Post
                What do you use to make sure that your mind sweeps and collection is really really complete? What works and what hasn't worked for you? Is their anyone out there that finds they are consistently in a "clear" state or they are able to return to it quickly with a surefire method or is their no surefire collection method? Input, methods, different trigger lists, group activities are all appreciated.
                Isn't that a little perfectionistic? Whatever comes my way, externally or internally, I collect it. Otherwise I am clear, of course!

                As Don said, this just needs awareness and ubiquitous capture.

                Regards,
                Abhay

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                • #9
                  Brainstorming rules help!

                  Originally posted by 12hourhalfday View Post
                  What do you use to make sure that your mind sweeps and collection is really really complete? What works and what hasn't worked for you?
                  The simple old brainstorming rules, I think are the one that work.
                  • Collect all -writing down - the ideas, association without any classification bad or good
                  • Process them later

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by abhay View Post
                    Isn't that a little perfectionistic?
                    At this point it is more trying to fine tune my system and dig down for higher levels of productivity. Not exactly getting more things done but trying to gind better work to do. Through clearing the decks deep deep down I can make better choices at those levels.

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                    • #11
                      Higher levels

                      Then I think you need to clarify your pictures at various horizons, once with a lot of rigor. Later you just need to review and revise them periodically, but most of the revisions will not be significant, unless you change your mind or the world changes in a significant way. Capturing processes or mind sweeps will affect these things only intermittently.

                      Regards,
                      Abhay

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                      • #12
                        another big thing I just added to my trigger list is a list of all the important people in my world and the different Horizons I need to review them at for actions.

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