Have your GTD lists become listless?

Have your GTD lists become listless? David Allen explains the three common causes when we find we’re less interested and involved with our lists.

  • The list is out of date
  • The list is incomplete
  • The list is not really what the list is about



We’ve all had this happen. We create a set of lists of relevant items, appropriately categorized. We’re excited, we feel in control, our brains relax, and life is good.

Then, over time (and often not a very long time), the luster fades. We only look at the lists when our guilt overcomes our apathy; and we gird our loins, committing to some sort of review of them, just because we know we “should.” Then we begin to resist looking at the lists at all, even though we know it’s the answer to renegotiating our agreements with ourselves. Then we go numb to our system, or at least a part of it. The thrill is gone. We’re in productivity purgatory.

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  1. This happened several times to me! And this explained why I change task management systems several times.

    The best way I found to alleviate this apathy, is to use mind maps for my to-dos, and set it up so I look at it daily, and make a habit out of it.

    What solutions do you suggest?

    Best regards,

  2. I have been using ‘things’ app for my lists and inbox, and thankfully I did create a paper backup of my lists, because I ended up dropping my Iphone breaking it, and have lost everything on it.
    For the frist month I wasn’t used to tracking everything on paper so my inbox exploded with a stack of “stuff”.
    I kept avoiding it and everyday I would see it and be reminded of it, and feel it pulling on my psyche, and yesterday I pulled out my “Getting Things Done” book and reread the chapter 6 Processing Getting In to empty.
    This morning I put a picture of the workflow diagram on my table and just went through my inbox, “what is it?, is it actionable? can I do it in 2 minutes? am I the best person to do it? etc
    Now, as of 10am today after 2 hours my inbox is empty once again, woohoo. Now just a matter of staying on top of this paper system

  3. Only smart people have the ability to numb themselves to go through the process of clearing the in box everyday..its boring, robotic and irritating, however, they do it consistently, quickly and get it done, and they rule the situation.
    The ability to do this is simply a muscle you need to exercise daily and a testament to your own true grit proving your standards of personal commitment daily, without skipping a beat.

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