GTD stresses me

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by MartinJ, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. rash15

    rash15 Registered

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    MartinJ - some really good advice here, but this is my 2 cents. If some of the NAs triggered by the initial one are really short, then bearing in mind the "2 minute rule" just go ahead and do them, then you don't need to add them into your system. I can identify with how a next action can trigger lots more and sometimes its just better to follow those along and get them done, particularly if they can be done quickly and you have the materials to hand that you need. Once you hit a block, either in terms of time or materials you need, that may be the point to add things to your NA list. I found that sometimes I was adding things to the NA lists that literally took 2-5 mins and now I just do those as its not worth the effort (or overwhelm!) of adding them to your lists. It certainly made a difference to my flow and progress - and lists!

    In terms of tracking why you went with pipe A rather than pipe B, have you tried keeping some sort of daily work journal to record that? I come from a background of laboratory science and for years I kept a lab book that recorded what I did each day in the lab and the outcome of those actions. It also recorded information about materials I used, rationale and why I decided to take the next step in a process. The aim was to be able to go back and write up the work for publication, but if you need to record what you did and why, maybe something like that would work for you and remove it from your GTD system? That way only your NAs would be added to your GTD system and your other notes would stay in a dedicated book.
     
  2. CamJPete

    CamJPete Registered

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    MartinJ, I've experienced similar stresses to what you stated. Here are a few ideas.

    If you've already spent some amount of time emptying your head, consider it good enough for now. Going for 100% empty head can be distracting if it becomes an end rather than a means. You can always add to your lists as you go along.

    Also, I've found that next actions can sometimes be "too specific". Experiment with more general actions like "complete assembly drawing X". Use separate lists in support material for these tiny little actions that you may want to write down. Next actions are designed to remind you to start something. They are not needed if you are in the middle of working a project and things are cruising along.

    If GTD is causing too much stress, you may consider some simpler system. GTD is just one of many systems out there for productivity. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I have recently been using a "long list" with "simple scanning", developed by Mark Forster
    http://markforster.squarespace.com/blog/2017/12/2/simple-scanning-the-rules.html. If you try it, read through the past three or so years of blog posts and comments. It clarifies a lot of questions I had.

    Getting a little more personal, the stress may be caused by other things. Through other experiences, I have come to realize that I have generalized anxiety. Nothing debilitating, but it is definitely present. I have noticed that an interesting manifestation of anxiety is an unhealthy focus on optimizing my productivity methodology. When I take a low dose of anti-anxiety medication, it mostly fades away. When I fail to take it for a long while, it is definitely present. It is weird, but I have verified it through several rounds of not taking medication. I'm not recommending medication. Rather, just a comment that GTD lists may not solve every stress or anxiety.
     

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