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Is it too mechanic?

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  • Is it too mechanic?

    I wondered yesterday if taking everything out of your head does not go ever the limit.

    I want to give you two imaginary examples:

    Lets say you took a client in your car and went by your house for your wife to give hand his file on the way. Your wife came out of the house with the file, holding your young son's hand in her other hand, and just when you past by, you stopped for a second, and the client got the file through the open window. Just before you started going again, your son said somthing to his mother, and you loved the way she answered him - it was so tender and considerate you just loved her and wanted to tell her how much you admire her. But the traffic was awful and sombody tootled behind you, and the client was sitting by you - so you decided to do it tonight when you come back home and can speak privatly with your wife. When you get to the next traffic lights and wait for the green light, do you pick up your schedule to write it down for 9PM? Do you take out your Agenda list for your wife and write it there? Do you take out of your pocket your little notebook and write a note to be processed later in your office?

    Second example:
    Just going out of home after a quick lunch, your 10 year old son came with you to the door telling you that he had a bad day at school. You asked him what happend, and he told you that for years he kept on getting a 100 and not below 96 in every math exam held in class, and today was the first time he got 90! Although you were late for a meeting, you answered him with empathy, but couldn't have with him a longer coversation as you wanted, so running out to your car you thought to yourself you must talk with him again before he goes to sleep. Do you realy have to have it on a list to be done? Will your heart not be enough?

    Mic

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mic View Post
    Although you were late for a meeting, you answered him with empathy, but couldn't have with him a longer coversation as you wanted, so running out to your car you thought to yourself you must talk with him again before he goes to sleep. Do you realy have to have it on a list to be done? Will your heart not be enough?
    More than one parent has discovered that no, simply having a wish to talk to one's children *isn't* enough to make sure it gets done.

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kewms View Post
      More than one parent has discovered that no, simply having a wish to talk to one's children *isn't* enough to make sure it gets done.

      Katherine
      Katherine,

      I also know that. What's bothering me is that GTD is ment to bring one to 'mind like water' - whick means that you are totaly present and live the moment as deeply as posible. I feel that folding an experience like the ones I gave into a note and feeling free and ready for the conversation with the client instead, somehow misses the target.

      I don't suggest a better way, but I hope I expressed my feelings clearly enough so readers will be able to relate to the dilemma of - living the moment deeper - at least for another moment, if not even here and there during the day - or putting it back to the drawer of the system.

      Isn't there any place for the drawer of the heart?

      Mic
      Last edited by Mic; 12-15-2009, 02:17 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are forgetful, then I would put it on a list that you should tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. You can never do enough of that.

        If I'm not wrong, I think you are trying to say that the tactical action of capturing something that the heart should be able to recall on its own is overdoing it. Again this depends on one's ability to actually follow through. Capturing those things that are in your heart can include a myriad of things from the values you want for your family to playing ball with your son to achieving a family goal someday maybe. I think that is where we pursue our dreams. Being aware often only comes with the practical act of writing it down, digesting it and deciding what you want to do about it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mic View Post
          I also know that. What's bothering me is that GTD is ment to bring one to 'mind like water' - whick means that you are totaly present and live the moment as deeply as posible. I feel that folding an experience like the ones I gave into a note and feeling free and ready for the conversation with the client instead, somehow misses the target.

          I don't suggest a better way, but I hope I expressed my feelings clearly enough so readers will be able to relate to the dilemma of - living the moment deeper - at least for another moment, if not even here and there during the day - or putting it back to the drawer of the system.

          Isn't there any place for the drawer of the heart?
          DA actually touches on this a little bit. I think he would say that having all your stuff completely under control makes it easier to do things like this in the moment. It's easier to make time to talk with your son if you know what you're *not* doing at that particular moment, if you know that the world *won't* come to an end if you actually go home on time in order to allow that conversation to happen.

          So yes, in a fully established mature GTD system, you wouldn't necessarily need to keep a "drawer of the heart" in order to make sure that these kinds of conversations happen. But if it's a choice between making a note and forgetting to talk to your son *again,* making the note is by far the best choice.

          Katherine

          Comment


          • #6
            I would suggest that GTD is designed to help you make more and better instinctive, intuitive decisions about what to do, rather than replacing that process.



            Cheers,
            Roger

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mic View Post
              Katherine,

              I also know that. What's bothering me is that GTD is ment to bring one to 'mind like water' - whick means that you are totaly present and live the moment as deeply as posible. I feel that folding an experience like the ones I gave into a note and feeling free and ready for the conversation with the client instead, somehow misses the target.

              I don't suggest a better way, but I hope I expressed my feelings clearly enough so readers will be able to relate to the dilemma of - living the moment deeper - at least for another moment, if not even here and there during the day - or putting it back to the drawer of the system.

              Isn't there any place for the drawer of the heart?

              Mic

              Either you abandon the client meeting because the family situation is too fraught to walk away from and therefore "remain in the moment" or you can decide that you must walk away from the situation and then do something about it later.

              In the latter case, you can either choose to "remember" to speak to your son, or you can write it down to prompt you later. Writing it down to prompt you later does not preclude you from remembering the situation in your head, it's just allowing yourself a chance to not worry about it.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you regularly talk with your son every evening, then you have already blocked out that time to be with him. When that time comes, you will naturally remember the particular subject you want to bring up, because it has been in your heart for less than a day and is still fresh.

                So the question is not whether to write down a note on a specific issue, but whether to have regular "face time" with your child (a decision you should not be agonizing over, anyway).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mic View Post
                  Isn't there any place for the drawer of the heart?
                  Sure, just make it an area of focus and review it periodically.

                  Seriously, what do you do when someone you care about needs you, and you have other responsibilities? If you just ignore everything else, you may feel virtuous, but you may lose other people's trust. If you can re-negotiate your responsibilities, you will be fine. However.. when I first became a parent, I remember reading an aphorism for parents of small children: "first things first, second things maybe, and the rest probably not."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kewms View Post
                    ... in a fully established mature GTD system, you wouldn't necessarily need to keep a "drawer of the heart" in order to make sure that these kinds of conversations happen. But if it's a choice between making a note and forgetting to talk to your son *again,* making the note is by far the best choice.
                    Katherine,

                    Let me expain myself. I do understand the efficiency factor, and that writing down will make sure that you *will* talk to your son and not forget and regret. If one feels that it's a choice between making a note and forgetting - he for sure should go ahead and make a note.

                    The point I was trying to raise was that somehow the collecting process has an affect of "closing" the subject for the moment. I feel that in emotional matters it lowers or shuts down feelings.

                    Yes, having everything out of your head is effective and productive, but I think this is a price we might be paying for it.

                    That's what I ment when I wrote 'drawer of the heart' - maybe there are things we should better keep in our heart. If they are important enough to us they will be done in the proper time, and if something does get lost, still our total emotional experience will be much deeper.

                    Mic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the further explanation, Mic! I must admit to being confused at the connection between the example and the point you're making, though.

                      In your example, how would writing down a reminder to talk to your son later have shut down your feelings? Just because it's off your mind doesn't mean it's off your heart. When you then went back to talk to your son, would the reminder on your list somehow make you less empathetic to your son?

                      Are you thinking that it would better to be distracted by your son's problem for the rest of the day? That having this weighing on your mind would be beneficial in some way? (I don't know; it's why I'm asking.) Do you think your son would be happy to know that his problem was exhausting you all day?

                      Remember, you're human. You can't stop feeling (well, unless you're a sociopath, which clearly you're not!). Putting it off your mind won't stop you from feeling about it; it will just put those emotions in appropriate contexts.

                      I'm just not getting it, I'm afraid. To me, this is like saying we should be ruled by our emotions; that any emotional problem should dictate our response. We should feel those feelings, yes, but we should also deal with them. Not all problems can be dealt with immediately, and in my mind it's better to have a reminder to deal with them than to not have one.

                      But, again, maybe I'm just not understanding your point. Could you explain further, please?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Brent, and thanks for the interest. I will try to explain myself.

                        Originally posted by Brent View Post
                        In your example, how would writing down a reminder to talk to your son later have shut down your feelings? Just because it's off your mind doesn't mean it's off your heart. When you then went back to talk to your son, would the reminder on your list somehow make you less empathetic to your son?
                        Of course not, but if I think about the issue a few times during the day because I did not put it in my lists, I think I might well react better, because it will get better digested. If, on the other hand, I get home, take out my palm, look at my @home list, recall this issue for the first time and say - oh-ya I have to talk with my kid - and just go and do it - well, yes, maybe I will do it less than the best I can.

                        I am not saying that this is a way for many issues to be taken care of, but it could be that a small percentage - only such things - would better stay in our mind and not out of it. (And you will not be too distracted if you only decide that you ARE going to talk with him - even without writing that down).

                        (If it's something you can do only tomorrow, than yes, maybe you'd better write it down, because perspective changes after you sleep).

                        Further more, if I may add something, can you attest from your own experience what would hapen if your spouse or kid will see you looking at a list and then start talking with them about something of that sort? I don't think they will like to find out that something of their deep emotional interest has become an 'item' for you. And if they find it wrong, may be it is wrong, even if they don't find out about it.

                        Mic
                        Last edited by Mic; 12-17-2009, 11:13 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mic View Post
                          Of course not, but if I think about the issue a few times during the day because I did not put it in my lists, I think I might well react better, because it will get better digested. If, on the other hand, I get home, take out my palm, look at my @home list, recall this issue for the first time and say - oh-ya I have to talk with my kid - and just go and do it - well, yes, maybe I will do it less than the best I can.

                          Mic
                          do you go off half-cocked on the rest of your actions? If not then why do you think this action/project is different?
                          The bottom line is that you feel that it is immoral to write anything down that's relevant to the heart. that's not my opinion but I'm not trying to try and convert you.

                          However what do you plan to do when you have 5 or 6 affairs of the heart to remember?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mic View Post
                            Further more, if I may add something, can you attest from your own experience what would hapen if your spouse or kid will see you looking at a list and then start talking with them about something of that sort? I don't think they will like to find out that something of their deep emotional interest has become an 'item' for you. And if they find it wrong, may be it is wrong, even if they don't find out about it.

                            Mic
                            I agree with you that there are some inappropriate times to refer to your list, either to capture or to review, whether it's emotional or not. This applies to some family, friends, customers, bosses etc. (why are you busy with your blackberry?) You can try to explain it to them, but that doesn't always work.

                            Regarding putting emotional interests onto a list, I will have to agree with the others that doing so does not take the emotional value out of something or even someone. On the other hand, I do think it can give you a more objective view. Maybe I can say this because I'm a woman which IMHO are dealing with emotion issues more frequently than men (not in all cases I know).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mic View Post
                              Of course not, but if I think about the issue a few times during the day because I did not put it in my lists, I think I might well react better, because it will get better digested. If, on the other hand, I get home, take out my palm, look at my @home list, recall this issue for the first time and say - oh-ya I have to talk with my kid - and just go and do it - well, yes, maybe I will do it less than the best I can.

                              I am not saying that this is a way for many issues to be taken care of, but it could be that a small percentage - only such things - would better stay in our mind and not out of it. (And you will not be too distracted if you only decide that you ARE going to talk with him - even without writing that down).

                              (If it's something you can do only tomorrow, than yes, maybe you'd better write it down, because perspective changes after you sleep).

                              Further more, if I may add something, can you attest from your own experience what would hapen if your spouse or kid will see you looking at a list and then start talking with them about something of that sort? I don't think they will like to find out that something of their deep emotional interest has become an 'item' for you. And if they find it wrong, may be it is wrong, even if they don't find out about it.

                              Mic
                              A couple of things jumped out at me in this. First off, just because I write something emotional down on a list doesn't mean I never think about it. I also refer to my lists regularly so I will see it if I am in a position to do anything about it. For me at least keeping emotional things in my brain is a guarantee that I will do a worse job when it comes time to talk rather than a better one.

                              And from personal experience. My hubby and I do much better when we do have and refer to lists of items, most especially the emotional ones compared to talking off the cuff.

                              Keeping things "in my mind' is a prescription for shallow thoughts. I can't keep more than one or 2 in my mind at a time and I may have several emotionally charged issues I need to deal with. The very act of adding to a list makes me value the importance of it and make more of an effort to do it right. So I guess overall I strongly disagree that stuff should be kept in your mind, I find that's worse, especially for things of the heart as you put it.

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