David Allen received this email from a student:
I consider myself to be very smart and imaginative. The people that get to know me always have a very good impression of me and have great expectations from me. More importantly, I have a lot of dreams and ideas. But I’m not very practical and everything ends at a theoretical phase. I never have clear objectives and I’m always confused by dozens of thoughts and can’t focus properly on what I do.
Most of the time I feel like I’m wasting my time, and would rather be doing something else. I always feel I ought to organize, so I make a nice, tight schedule. But after a couple of days it’s gone, and I’m back at the beginning.
If I had to describe the last 10 years of my life in a sentence I would say: “I woke up every morning to row in yet another direction.”
I have read your book and tried to apply roughly your technique. I have to admit that it works to some extent, but it did not bring the radical change in my life that I expected.
Thank you for reaching out with your email. I empathize with your situation — I’ve been there myself many times in my earlier life.
The best thing to do is to ask yourself, “What do I really want to be experiencing in my life?” And then, when you have that short list in front of you, ask yourself, “What is the most immediate thing I could commit to, that would start to move me in the direction of getting those experiences?”
You may find that the experiences will show up sooner than you think!
I hope that may be of some help to you. And you have my best wishes.