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Staying up on my GTD

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  • Staying up on my GTD

    Back again with another problem needing help with.

    So now I'm out of school and I just work fulltime and freelance. That triple threat (school, work freelance) of 7 years is finally over and now I'm looking for a new balance in life because I feel I have too much free time.

    But anyway, on to the problem, after graduating from school, I feel as if I've stop giving any time to do my GTD stuff. I rarely review, and I throw something in my mobile inbox (inside a pocket moleskine I carry around) like once a week. Like I date each new item, so when I add something, the last item is from 4 days ago.

    I really don't want to get started on my context lists. I have about 4 of them inside that same moleskine (computer, calls, errands, home,) and some random lists I use over and over (house items --to buy; grocery list).

    Now I'm a webdesigner at both my fulltime job and freelance (9am to 5pm at work, 6pm to 11pm for freelance), so I'm trying to also use GTD for regular work, freelance, and then personal stuff too.

    Another thing is that I've been using GTD for the past year. Do you think my system is too complicated or too simple? I think I work better with a paper based system because then I feel more accomplished finishing stuff than if I cross stuff out digitally, but lately, I haven't been on my stuff. So thats why I've been having hard times keeping up with contacting my freelance clients on a daily basis, keeping up with my budget (making 33k a year and still struggling to buy a $700 couch), and scaring off women (I used to get girls all the time when I was super busy, but now when I have nothing to do for 6 hours because of down freelance time, I seem to piss females off more...another topic, but kind of fits this situation...maybe if I find a solution, it will help this problem out...you know...keep me busy...females love to bug busy men...lol, because of lack of attention..a tip just for you dudes that don't get any play..lol)

    Any help would be nice...thanks
    Last edited by whochrisporter; 05-14-2009, 07:41 AM.

  • #2
    First off, you just went through a massive life change. I'm not at all surprised that you've had this kind of reaction. Your mind may just be taking a break!

    Getting down to brass tacks: You describe a sense of unease, but I'm afraid I don't have enough information about what, specifically, is falling through the cracks. What "stuff" isn't getting done?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Brent View Post
      First off, you just went through a massive life change. I'm not at all surprised that you've had this kind of reaction. Your mind may just be taking a break!

      Getting down to brass tacks: You describe a sense of unease, but I'm afraid I don't have enough information about what, specifically, is falling through the cracks. What "stuff" isn't getting done?
      Thanks for asking that!

      So here are some good real examples:

      - I put together a call list of freelance clients to call, but then I never review my list when I get home from regular work to go over my call list...

      - I have to call the student loans people to try to settle that situation, have all my loans papers sitting on my desk, even have like an hour to spare to call, but never do...thats been my task for the past two weeks

      - Basically anything I throw down on my inbox, it rarely gets taken cared of unless my friends are over and want to know about GTD, so I show off like I'm heavy into GTD, completing tasks and carrying on....lol

      Basically stuff I really need to get done, like trying to defer my loans, housework (dishes are stack a mile high...lol) and anything dealing with web design freelance...

      Should I switch to a new system or basically come up with a way to get myself back into my current system?

      Comment


      • #4
        It sounds like the system for tracking your tasks is not the problem. The stuck point is doing.
        Eg student loans. When you are reminded, by whatever means, papers on desk, GTD list, doesn't matter. What stops you from actually doing it? Hate phonecalls in general? (I do, it fries my brain for some reason) Do you think something bad will happen? Are you missing some support material?

        Dishes. Does it seem like a never ending chore? Forgetting to put the hot water on? Crusty dishes that seem impossible to clean? Mouldy mess that you don't want to go near?

        Basically you need to figure out what's stopping you. Once you have defined the problem, you can figure out the next action.
        By telling your friends you show that you still like GTD, for whatever reason. It motivates you. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Linada View Post
          It sounds like the system for tracking your tasks is not the problem. The stuck point is doing.
          Eg student loans. When you are reminded, by whatever means, papers on desk, GTD list, doesn't matter. What stops you from actually doing it? Hate phonecalls in general? (I do, it fries my brain for some reason) Do you think something bad will happen? Are you missing some support material?

          Dishes. Does it seem like a never ending chore? Forgetting to put the hot water on? Crusty dishes that seem impossible to clean? Mouldy mess that you don't want to go near?

          Basically you need to figure out what's stopping you. Once you have defined the problem, you can figure out the next action.
          By telling your friends you show that you still like GTD, for whatever reason. It motivates you. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          Well I had a post on here earlier about me may having ADD (http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9135), but then I was diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). So I worry/fear a lot about things and then things don't get done. I take Lexapro to make me not worry and be paranoid so much, but i think I need a strong dosage now...lol

          So that maybe the problem...

          Comment


          • #6
            If worry is the main problem, try and pinpoint the worry. What do you think may happen? Think about how likely it really is. See if you could prepare for it.

            I know, generalized anxiety. But maybe you can unblock yourself for one task at a time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Linada View Post
              If worry is the main problem, try and pinpoint the worry. What do you think may happen? Think about how likely it really is. See if you could prepare for it.

              I know, generalized anxiety. But maybe you can unblock yourself for one task at a time.
              A lot of people have been telling me that multi tasking is whats killing my productivity so I will try that. I will also try to take your advice, because the GAD has messed me up in taking advice (worried that it might work or not)...

              ex: 9 people told me to stop being so fast and pushy with a new girl i was talking to...didn't take no advice...was yelled at by the girl for being so fast and pushy and not taking it slow...got kicked to the curb first time in my life...

              why, worrying about good vs bad advice, and also from not having stuff to do (was better off triple threating it with school, work and freelance)...

              but yes, I will start to do more single tasking.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe you will do the wrong thing. But even than you will have some ROI in the form of gathered information; a learning experience. If you do nothing, you decided to do the wrong thing in any case. Doing nothing is making sure the right thing doesn't get done. It is better to mark some points and lose a battalion in the process, than waiting for the cup of poison in the shelter.

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                • #9
                  I study aikido.

                  Beginners never know what to do. They don't know how to stand, how to move their feet, what to do with their hands.... There's a lot to learn, and beginners don't know any of it.

                  So they just stand there.

                  But if you just stand there, you get hit. Repeatedly. That's no good.

                  If you move, either you'll succeed (Yay!) or you'll add to your list of things not to try the next time. Either way, it's progress.

                  Or, put another way, the best writing advice I know: There is no writing, no matter how awful, that can't be improved. But a blank page is just a blank page.

                  Katherine

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What you're describing sounds like me pre GTD, there was so much in my head I did nothing, ever, because I was to weighed down with actions that needed taking care of. If you are working FT and freelancing are you sure there isn't more that you need to be putting in your system. Are you only putting certain types of things in and letting the rest marinade in your head?

                    Perhaps you need to go back to the beginning and write down everything that is playing on your mind. Wipe the slate clean, perhaps buy a new moleskine, the old one represented a different you, you are in a different stage of your life now, make sure your new system represents what's important to you now.

                    worst case, even if it doesn't solve the problem, it's a few more hours of work you have to do, which sounds like that could be a good thing (also if you really feel you have too much time on your hands, then take something else on, volunteer somewhere, get a bar job, learn a new skill or hobby)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yoshimi View Post
                      What you're describing sounds like me pre GTD, there was so much in my head I did nothing, ever, because I was to weighed down with actions that needed taking care of. If you are working FT and freelancing are you sure there isn't more that you need to be putting in your system. Are you only putting certain types of things in and letting the rest marinade in your head?

                      Perhaps you need to go back to the beginning and write down everything that is playing on your mind. Wipe the slate clean, perhaps buy a new moleskine, the old one represented a different you, you are in a different stage of your life now, make sure your new system represents what's important to you now.

                      worst case, even if it doesn't solve the problem, it's a few more hours of work you have to do, which sounds like that could be a good thing (also if you really feel you have too much time on your hands, then take something else on, volunteer somewhere, get a bar job, learn a new skill or hobby)
                      Yeah I think its about time for me to start fresh and get a new moleskine. I'm usually more motivated to do things when I buy new things. I'm also thinking about just getting more freelance work to fill in that time and working out (exercise).

                      Right now I'm in a nice little predicament where I think GTD (and lots of budgeting) will help out. After getting paid a few days ago, I went out and bought a new couch (if you seen the old futon I had, you would buy a couch too). The couch swallowed 85% of my money, and won't get paid again until the 1st. So this is good for me to get my invoicing on for current freelance projects (GTD is important) and getting new projects (GTD is again important) or suffer for two weeks with little food and money.

                      So again this situation will help me out GTD wise because I know if I go heavy with GTD the right way, I can pull in $300-500 in a week.
                      Last edited by whochrisporter; 05-17-2009, 02:53 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by whochrisporter View Post
                        Now I'm a webdesigner at both my fulltime job and freelance (9am to 5pm at work, 6pm to 11pm for freelance), so I'm trying to also use GTD for regular work, freelance, and then personal stuff too.
                        Can you really work these hours ? I couldn't but then I'm in my 50's. Maybe something to think about.

                        I understand about the GAD -- a pain. Are you seeing anyone ? I tried CBT and it was quite useful.

                        Regards - Michael

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mmurray View Post
                          Can you really work these hours ? I couldn't but then I'm in my 50's. Maybe something to think about.

                          I understand about the GAD -- a pain. Are you seeing anyone ? I tried CBT and it was quite useful.

                          Regards - Michael
                          Actually, after fulltime, freelance can range from just 20 minutes of work to 5 hours. So some days I get really bored, or can have a full day. Its never consistent. I've been seeing someone for the GAD for a while and been taking Lexapro for it too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by whochrisporter View Post
                            Actually, after fulltime, freelance can range from just 20 minutes of work to 5 hours. So some days I get really bored, or can have a full day. Its never consistent. I've been seeing someone for the GAD for a while and been taking Lexapro for it too.
                            Ah OK. I thought you might be planning to work to 11 every evening! Good luck with the GAD.

                            Michael

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                            • #15
                              OK, I know I sound like a broken record, but I'm still going to suggest reading _Driven to Distraction_. Everything you say about yourself - the trouble staying focused, the interaction with women, the extra motivation when you do new things, the impulsivity of buying that couch and leaving yourself with little money - _screams_ ADHD to me.

                              I know that your doctor disagrees, but just reading the book can't hurt, and it might help.

                              Gardener

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