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Procrastination and Collection

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  • Procrastination and Collection

    Hmmm....I've blocked out some time to get started implementing GTD and I'm AMAZED at how I can procrastinate!

    I've gone to the store and got a really big plastic tub for my initial collection. I also stocked up on some folders. (I already have a great labeler, good file cabinets, lots of note cards for random thoughts). Then I took a nap. Now I'm sitting here typing notes, reading mail, anything other than getting started.

    What's stopping me?

    Fear, I guess. Fear of starting and not finishing. Collecting everything into one place only works if you then process them. Fear of the huge amount of information I'll have to process when I'm done. Fear of spending more time "preparing to do" than actually "doing".

    I've also got some loose ends...what do I want the system to look like when I'm done? I've chosen to avoid using a PDA and have a three-ring, gorgeous lime green notebook. But I know I type faster than I write, so my first lists will be typewritten and then put into the notebook.

    How am I going to handle some of the ugly things? I have stacks of books on every flat surface. I need to purge the books, and find appropriate bookshelves.

    Ahh...wait. Organized doesn't mean neat, does it. I don't have to deal with all those books right now. I just need to know that I've chosen not to deal with the books. I need to know that I have an action item on my list to "Process books".

    That feels better already.

    I'm going to go put on my funny little vest with all the big pockets, stack the pockets full of 3x5 cards and the new pen I bought this morning that feels heavy and good in my hands, grab my iPod (and the new headphones I also picked up this morning when I was putting off getting started), and get to it.

    I'll also write down questions about my GTD implementation as they come up and post more later.

    Wish me luck.

  • #2
    Best of luck!

    I've found that sometimes I have to tell myself that I can always take things back *out* of the "To Process" pile if I have to. Invariably, I feel better having put them in there, but it's a way of reassuring my mind that I'm not taking a completely irreverisble step.


    • #3
      Re: Procrastination and Collection

      Originally posted by Anonymous
      I need to know that I have an action item on my list to "Process books".
      Nope. "Process books" is still huge, undoable stuff. It's a project. You need an action item that says something like "Decide whether to read Complete works of Mark Twain." or "Measure space for bookshelves."

      What is the very next, immediately doable to move the project forward? That's all you need to get started.



      • #4
        What's stopping me?

        Fear, I guess. Fear of starting and not finishing.
        In his excellent book "The Now Habit", Neil Fiore tackles this point. I like his remedy. We shouldn't focus on finishing something, because this leads to overwhelm. Instead, we need to focus on starting. And keep starting again and again. If we start often enough, we'll finally get to the end of it.

        If you combine this with GTD concepts, the overwhelming "something" you're trying to get a hold on is your project. Each starting point would then be a new "next action". So you just start, and when you stop working for the current session, you record your new starting point as your "next action".