Any suggestions/tips to reduce/eliminate 'List(s) Numbness'?

mcogilvie

Registered
What do you mean when you say “numbness”? Do you mean you don’t want to look at your lists, or that you look at them and can’t find something you want to do? Are next actions not important enough, or not clear enough? Have conditions changed? A weekly review can help with all of these things, but some reflection on specific things can help too. Sometimes it’s helpful to remind yourself of things you are looking forward to. Sometimes it’s helpful to do something very small.

How long have you had this feeling? Everybody has bad days and bad weeks. Maybe you feel too busy, and don’t have much discretionary time. Maybe you hear bad news, and you need time to reflect on it. Both were true for me this past week, and I am looking forward to regrouping this weekend. I have been trying to do my weekly review on Friday, but this week I had a long zoom meeting instead. So part of regrouping will be my weekly review, which I’m eager and ready to start right now.
 

gtdstudente

Registered
What do you mean when you say “numbness”? Do you mean you don’t want to look at your lists, or that you look at them and can’t find something you want to do? Are next actions not important enough, or not clear enough? Have conditions changed? A weekly review can help with all of these things, but some reflection on specific things can help too. Sometimes it’s helpful to remind yourself of things you are looking forward to. Sometimes it’s helpful to do something very small.

How long have you had this feeling? Everybody has bad days and bad weeks. Maybe you feel too busy, and don’t have much discretionary time. Maybe you hear bad news, and you need time to reflect on it. Both were true for me this past week, and I am looking forward to regrouping this weekend. I have been trying to do my weekly review on Friday, but this week I had a long zoom meeting instead. So part of regrouping will be my weekly review, which I’m eager and ready to start right now.
@mcogilvie,

While the Weekly Review is indispensable in keeping List(s) relevant . . . List(s) reviewing remains unattractive . . . tried breaking down into 'smaller' more 'manageable' List(s) which does help with the 'Numbness', however, any additional List(s) to 'manage' seems to contribute to 'hassle fatugue'

List(s) goal Outcome, within reason, is for the List(s) review to be the first 'go-to' before doing anything in order 'to know what I am not doing" prior to doing anything if that makes GTD sense . . . this would seem to mean that any friction to do so needs to be 'crushed'

Thus with above concerns, looking/needing more elegant GTD List(s) management solution . . . even tried Rizzo's book on Lists and came up 'cold'

Hope I am appropriately replying to your most appreciated reply, thank you very much
 
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DKPhoto

Registered
I find looking at your lists in a different way helps.

I use digital lists so can sort by start date, due, creation, context, project, area of focus or A-Z.

Seeing the same thing differently makes it seem new.
 

René Lie

Certified GTD Trainer
Another thing to consider is that if you go numb to your lists because they are too long, remember to utilize the Someday/Maybe list(s). You will review those in your next weekly review anyway, so you don't have to worry about things falling through the cracks!
 

cfoley

Registered
Sometimes I go numb to my lists because they are full of obligations that no longer excite me. Renegotiating those obligations (usually with myself) makes room for the things I really want to do.
 

gtdstudente

Registered
I find looking at your lists in a different way helps.

I use digital lists so can sort by start date, due, creation, context, project, area of focus or A-Z.

Seeing the same thing differently makes it seem new.
@DKPhoto,

Agree wholeheartedly with "I find looking at your lists in a different way helps." and "Seeing the same thing differently makes it seem new."

Your GTD insight clearly addresses the heart of the GTD concern for ways and reason and to keep List(s) friction minimized through a new sense of engagement

Your seven fresh resorting technique for List(s) "by start date, due, creation, context, project, area of focus or A-Z." seems to offer much for optimizing GTD List(s) engagement

Therefore what digital formats have you used thus far and which digital platform(s) have you discovered to reliably endure the test of time?

Fingers crossed for Docs or would Sheets' sorting capabilities make it a minimal platform worthy for digital consideration?

Thank you very much
 

gtdstudente

Registered
Another thing to consider is that if you go numb to your lists because they are too long, remember to utilize the Someday/Maybe list(s). You will review those in your next weekly review anyway, so you don't have to worry about things falling through the cracks!
@René Lie,

Yes, utilizing the Someday/Maybe list(s) can serve as an 'off-site' inventory/on-docket List(s) to reduce detrimental numbness friction for the seemingly more important/urgent List(s) items while providing the additional sense of good GTD Weekly Review urgency to keep GTD List(s) relevantly fresh and "know what I am not doing" on a weekly basis might be sufficient

Thank you very much
 

gtdstudente

Registered
Sometimes I go numb to my lists because they are full of obligations that no longer excite me. Renegotiating those obligations (usually with myself) makes room for the things I really want to do.
@cfoley,

Thank you for raising very good List(s) engagement points

While seeing knowing what "I am not doing" in order to optimize what I am doing is very GTD helpful, however, perhaps the Weekly Review can also be used for demoting/regulating List(s) items to Someday/Maybe list(s) as @René Lie GTD competently suggest in this David Allen Company Forum thread above

As you gratefully offer, perhaps at least implicitly, to also see 'numbness' as a readily means for questioning/renegotiating any particular List(s) items' for life's obligatory relevance, since some List(s) items might very well be dragging down one's GTD system and possibly the GTD user by inappropriately crowding 'limited GTD space' with irrelevant List(s) items, if GTD methodology can be objectively understood as a 'limited' personal/subjective system inherent to all systems for optimal application?

Thank you very much
 

Oogiem

Registered
tried breaking down into 'smaller' more 'manageable' List(s) which does help with the 'Numbness', however, any additional List(s) to 'manage' seems to contribute to 'hassle
I like long lists, I also like lots of lists and rarely get list fatigue but I know I am an outlier in that.

My one suggestion: Ruthlessly go through and put into Someday/Maybe all the things you realistically can't consider this week. Review each context more carefully and adjust as needed. Do some not matter now? Can some be combined? Are some lists frustrating because the context is too broad and you need finer control over what it is? Try some options out, adjust at the next weekly review. Eventually you'll get a set that works for now. But plan on revisiting it periodically.
 

DKPhoto

Registered
@DKPhoto,

Agree wholeheartedly with "I find looking at your lists in a different way helps." and "Seeing the same thing differently makes it seem new."

Your GTD insight clearly addresses the heart of the GTD concern for ways and reason and to keep List(s) friction minimized through a new sense of engagement

Your seven fresh resorting technique for List(s) "by start date, due, creation, context, project, area of focus or A-Z." seems to offer much for optimizing GTD List(s) engagement

Therefore what digital formats have you used thus far and which digital platform(s) have you discovered to reliably endure the test of time?

Fingers crossed for Docs or would Sheets' sorting capabilities make it a minimal platform worthy for digital consideration?

Thank you very much
For the last ten years I have been using 2do app (Mac, iOS and Android only), which allows all these methods of sorting.

That seems enough for me.
 

Broomscot

Registered
List(s) goal Outcome, within reason, is for the List(s) review to be the first 'go-to' before doing anything in order 'to know what I am not doing" prior to doing anything if that makes GTD sense . . . this would seem to mean that any friction to do so needs to be 'crushed'
I have always struggled with the GTD practice of working from the next-action lists. I need my day's work to be more structured and intentional. So I keep the majority of my project next-actions off these lists. What I do instead is as follows -
  • maintain my project list and rough project plans in Tinderbox (any outliner would do)
  • at the weekly review, decide which projects I need to move forward in the coming week
  • for each of these chosen projects, I identify a weekly outcome, i.e. what aspect of that project do I want to have completed by the end of the week
  • I have an Area in Things 3 called 'Weekly Outcomes', I create a project in this area for each weekly outcome, and I list the projects in roughly the order that I plan to work on them
  • As an aside, if you use a Filofax, as I do, Things 3 prints these weekly outcomes very nicely on a single page
My understanding of the GTD approach is that my weekly-outcome tasks would be divided into those on the next-action lists (because they can be done now) and those still in project support materials (because they can't be done until one or more of the next actions have been completed), and that tasks from different projects would sit together on the next-action lists. For me personally, this doesn't provide sufficient clarity. But I think it's important to bend GTD a little to accommodate cognitive diversity.

For non-project tasks, which are mostly repeating tasks that help to maintain an Area of Focus, I use a physical tickler file. So each day I start with a small pile of A4 sheets on my desk that represent tasks to complete that day. I find that repeating tasks generally need to be completed on the day they fall due, unless I decide to defer them for a specific reason (e.g. deferring outdoor tasks when it's raining). So these are tasks that would go on my calendar rather than on my next-action lists if I used an electronic system.

I hope this makes sense!
 
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gtdstudente

Registered
I like long lists, I also like lots of lists and rarely get list fatigue but I know I am an outlier in that.

My one suggestion: Ruthlessly go through and put into Someday/Maybe all the things you realistically can't consider this week. Review each context more carefully and adjust as needed. Do some not matter now? Can some be combined? Are some lists frustrating because the context is too broad and you need finer control over what it is? Try some options out, adjust at the next weekly review. Eventually you'll get a set that works for now. But plan on revisiting it periodically.
@Oogiem,

Yes, agree, Someday/Maybe can be great list 'holder' for Next Action(s) Inventory/"On Docket"

Realizing that choosing from a multitude of Context possibilities and then Do the choice/choices is too ambitious since the 'choosing' from the plethora has in itself consumed too much energy in the moment needed for Doing

Seeing myself the day before choosing from Contexts List(s) what is likely to be the particular intuitive Next Actions for the following day which kind of = Calendar

As such the Calendar . . . seems the be the implicit "Intermediary Tool" between Projects and 'Contextualized Next Actions' as David Allen seemed to paraphrase/express: 'We Only need Focus on What Can Be Completed TODAY" . . . we shall see

Hopefully making sense

Thank you very much for your reply
 

Lucas W.

Registered
I review the GTD lists quite often, endlessly and piece by piece – I am more interested in the minimum below which I do not want to fall rather than the maximum which I rarely manage to reach. If you keep the lists up to date then there is not much to do during the weekly review.

I look on the screen and check the list:

Screenshot_20240205_220650_One UI Home.jpg

When the list is checked then I tap the screen:

Screenshot_20240205_220656_One UI Home.jpg

And so on. Fortunately during the weekend there is no need touch it ;)
 
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