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Author Topic: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK TWO+THREE ASSIGNMENT  (Read 41266 times)
mouser
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« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2006, 10:20:40 PM »

of course, anyone is welcome to jump in whenever they discover this.
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nudone
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« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2006, 03:19:07 AM »

i've got the lists and notes of what to do. i'm busy doing things. sounds good doesn't it?

well, it seems very clear to me that i'm not going to get things done in the timescale i first thought to use.

why? because being busy and going through the list is good as it feels like you are on top of things, i can see that i'm making progress but i'm still not putting in enough effort to meet my invented deadlines. maybe i'm being too harsh on myself (and unrealistic).

it's certainly better to be doing things this way - the biggest revelation and help to me was simply being made aware of how procrastination manifests itself and how to recognise it - and define it as something intrusive.

if i can meet my deadlines i'll be happy - just need to know how to become more disciplined about doing it.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2006, 03:20:52 AM by nudone » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2006, 03:25:07 AM »

I'd say i'm in somewhat the same position in that i'm writing new todo item cards constantly and it feels like i suddenly "have more to do" than i did before.. However in reality i know what's happening is much more beneficial.  What's happening is i'm writing out and filing ideas and tasks that before just floated around in my mind and got lost and re-found over and over again.. Doing it this was at least means i can scan through my list and find little things i can work on if i ever get a free moment to spend, rather than not being able to think of something and wasting time.

One of the things D. Allen mentions that I'm finding is true is that having a nice long/diverse list/collection of "actionable" items that require different amounts of energy means you can frequently reach in and find something to match your energy level, instead of casting about trying to remember something to do.
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nudone
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« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2006, 03:47:24 AM »

i agree. (i think.)

the lifestyle i've lead for most of my life has meant i've had way, way too much time on my hands - but i've always had things that i could do to fill this free time - hence my lists going back 10, 15 or even 20 years.

but it is all too clear that i obviously haven't used that time wisely - the lists are still there, waiting, challenging me, taunting me.

the thing i'd like to make a point of that really hasn't been mentioned anywhere is the notion/concept of BOREDOM. up until recently - a few days before the beginning of this experiment - i would have been BORED quite often. i used to find this disturbing and very annoying as i knew there were many things i could be getting on with - all my lists said so.

so, it obviously isn't enough just to make and compile lists - you have to make a leap of faith - reinterpret yourself as someone that 'does' things 'now' rather than 'plans' things for 'tomorrow'. you have to believe you've changed and recognise your progression - keep it rolling.

so, yes, it's definitely better to keep busy working through the list - even if the bigger goals aren't getting done, it certainly beats being bored and doing nothing.

(i realise that i may be talking about a personal situation that doesn't really reflect anyone else - i assume that most people will have a life that has been full of things that just had to be done so boredom has never been an issue.)
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mouser
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« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2006, 04:00:38 AM »

I guess I might interpret the situation a little differently.

I very much value the time i spend *contemplating* and *planning* things to do.  There is a real pleasure in that.
And I think all evidence shows that sometimes we just need to spend time mulling over ideas before they are "ripe" enough to put into action.

The danger though is that you start to enjoy the thinking and planning and imagining too much and the actual "doing" suffers.. So one needs strategies to ensure you dont spend ALL your time planning and cogitating..
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nudone
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« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2006, 04:56:26 AM »

i agree.

nothing to do with self-motivation techniques but having lots of free time definitely allows you to start 'thinking'. this appears to be a luxury (and maybe a curse) as you begin to realise/perceive things that a great number of people don't pick up on. i won't dwell or try to extrapolate further as i will just sound like a ranting armchair philosopher - which i am.
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momonan
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« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2006, 09:14:55 AM »

I'm surprised there aren't more additions to this thread.  Could it be that everyone is busy experimenting with  getting things done? tongue

On a related note: In addition to the focus on GTD, one of the things I have been doing is keeping track of how I actually spend time and reviewing it for improvement.  What I knew -- but didn't want to face -- was the tremendous amount of wasted procrastinating time I spend at the computer: browsing, games, just-one-more news site, etc.  Just like it's not good money management to spend thousands of $$ a year on Starbucks (or other brand) coffee, this is not good time management.

As Nudone said, by making a TODO list (and not putting "waste time on meaningless computer browsing" on it), it helps me think of something that would really be better to be doing every time I get that urge.

Another thing that is working for me is App103's InstantBoss http://www.appsapps.info/instantboss.php  I set it to work for 30 minutes with 5-minute breaks.  Then I race to get coffee, etc. and waste a little time, before it reminds me to get back to work.  Then after 5 of these sessions, I get a little applause and can relax for a while before starting again.

I'm still struggling with knowing WHAT to do, but I'm zeroing in on a method -- which will be a topic for a later post.  Good luck everybody.
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Arjen
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2006, 04:09:00 PM »

Hi everyone,

Here is my Getting Organized System I've worked out so far.

It's mostly based on what I've read about GTD. I've tried to keep it as simple as possible.

Here's what I want to use and don't want to use from GTD, as requested in this week's assignment.

I must say I'm not consequent in using my own system yet, but I will try of course. I do use the weekly schedule, but I don't have a project list yet, for example. A lot of things I want to do are still in my head - to get all that out is one of the big challenges... :-)

Your comments are welcome!

I'm off to do my very first weekly review...! :-)
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nudone
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2006, 04:13:36 PM »

great, do keep us informed of how you progress, arjendk - especially if you find things don't go to plan.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2006, 05:38:46 PM »

Well... I'm still going through the several ideas / systems for GTD.
But right now, i've settled on some stuff:

I like the "next actions" and the "instant boss" ideas. They will definitelly help me getting things done Wink
Right now, i am keeping on my desk only my computer, my cell phone, blank paper sheets and a space to put the next actions todo lists.
Although these todo lists in paper have a big problem with the portability that i need, i'm keeping them for now (i hope i'll find a better system in the upcoming weeks).
Tomorrow, i'll be getting myself a calendar to start setting days for doing stuff.

Right now, i'm only sure about the qualitity of one thing in my sistem: Instant Boss. It definitelly makes a big help in the working scheme, and looks like i've adapted to it quite well. Thanks app!!  Thmbsup
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2006, 11:27:28 PM »

I really like Next Tasks and Due Dates on my tasks that are floating around my pool.

I'm another ToDoList user (read a great review here you beat me to it urlwolf!), and this is the way I've set mine up (which  travels around on my USB Drive):

Next Tasks:
  • As SubTask
  • Priority 10 [highest]
  • Become filterable as: Show Incomplete Tasks + Above Priority #10

The nice thing about that is that I can have my Next Task for a "Someday Project" will still display when filtering, but it shows as a SubTask of the Someday Project [Priority 0].

Waiting for:
  • Allocated To
  • Allocated By (when not me)

Tasks that are allocated can be filtered as well.

Maybe Tasks/Projects:
  • Priority:=0

ToDoList only filters on priorities above #, so low priorities are not filterable by themselves.

Use "Due Date" as the calendar for keeping track of your appointments and commitments: ability to sort by date and show tasks due by day, week or month.

Projects can be formed in the TreeView as nodes and childnodes.

I'm using Categories to group Projects/tasks together  Wink: For example "GOE" is a Category at the moment!

The only other thing is some paper and a pen when TDL is not available  smiley

- Perry
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app103
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« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2006, 12:00:25 AM »


the thing i'd like to make a point of that really hasn't been mentioned anywhere is the notion/concept of BOREDOM. up until recently - a few days before the beginning of this experiment - i would have been BORED quite often. i used to find this disturbing and very annoying as i knew there were many things i could be getting on with - all my lists said so.


When I was a child, I once mentioned in my grandmother's* presence, that I was bored. It was the last time I ever said that, for a very long time.

My grandmother smacked me and told me to never say that again. She said if you are bored, chances are you are boring. Saying or thinking  "I am bored" is the same as saying "I am boring".

Interesting people don't get bored. They have plenty of interests to keep them busy.

Now that I am older, I can see her wisdom...and I agree with her 100%. I know if I am feeling bored, I am doing something seriously wrong with my time.

And for those rare occasions that I do feel bored, I would never admit to it now.  embarassed

*My grandmother was one of the most interesting people I have ever known, who had multiple careers over the course of her life...from farmer to investigative journalist (back when it was a taboo career for a woman) to school teacher.
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nudone
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« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2006, 01:25:01 AM »

app, i have to take issue with your comment on being bored. as i mentioned earlier - the concept of boredom doesn't seem to be addressed anywhere by self-motivation gurus - not very surprising i suppose.

i've steered clear of making the glib "if you say you're bored then it is you that is boring" remark in the past as that is a disservice to the nature of boredom - perhaps it is appropriate to say to a child, it certainly had the desired effect with you, but i think 'adult' boredom is more serious an issue - from personal experience i would say that it is connected with depression.

i said earlier that i had a whole list of things i could have been doing when i felt bored - i have often tried to sound profound when talking with friends about boredom by saying that you can only feel bored if you have something to do - you are just refusing to do it. i've always had something to do in life, i've always had more interests than i know what to do with - really, who hasn't?

thankfully i haven't been bored for years - well, except during my last job - that's why i quit. i'm sure i'm a very boring person to some people but i don't think that is why i was bored - there were a few things i could have done to relieve the boredom whilst i was at work - like having a lobotomy or shouting "fire, fire" but other than that i don't know what i could do. i was trapped in a place where i had to work a certain mundane way, do certain tedious things - i felt like a robot - it depressed me - i became BORED.

self inflicted boredom, like the mardy child, that wants others to entertain it is something entirely different to an adult that feels incapable of finding motivation.
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mouser
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« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2006, 01:30:47 AM »

Good points nudone, i think this is a case where there are really 2 totally difference concepts that just happen to have the same word assigned to them:

Boredom(1) - when you can't think of anything to do and want someone to suggest a good idea for you.
Boredom(2) - when you are forced to do some work/job which your brain fights against because it's not being stimulated and nourished.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2006, 04:28:27 AM »

you can only feel bored if you have something to do

That's a really interesting observation. My wife has identified something that happens to her. She's a normal over-busy woman who is generally storing away things to do when she's got some time. The probelm occurs when the time arrives and she chokes on it. She'll get to the end of the day and say "I'm sure there were things I wanted to do?"

Not that she's bored (but is is very similar); it's an interesting parallel to your comment (BTW: I'm hoping this GTD will rub off  Wink )

- Perry
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« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2006, 09:07:13 PM »

In my case, I use GTD on a todo.text file.A full text approach is quite useful.
Working in a bash console in linux it is pretty easy to insert tasks  to the file todo.txt, and retrieve information from it (projects, next actions, contexts, dates, etc).
I insert a task into todo.txt file with:
$: echo "project context task description due date">> todo.txt
When I need an information, for example, related to the issue x, I can get it using
$: less todo.txt |grep x
In this way, all GTD method can be managed in a very simple and effective way.
Hugo
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vrgrrl
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« Reply #41 on: September 11, 2006, 10:54:09 PM »

i went shopping with mouser yesterday to get my supplies and, as you may or may not recall...i HATE systems. but! this makes so much sense and so far is so exciting.

now i just have to watch for my old nemisis...the "fear" reaction. sometimes i feel so overwhelmed that i'll avoid looking at to do lists, etc so i don't have a panic attack. but so far, no panicking...so far so good!
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mouser
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« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2006, 11:05:23 PM »

I should note, vrgrrl is using my soon-to-be-patented "Index-card Based Allen-Forster Hybrid System", soon to be on sale at Target and Amazon.com for the low low price of $399.95.
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vrgrrl
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« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2006, 11:12:14 PM »

rofl. well, come on mouser...can't we give dc members a 4% off break?  cheesy
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mouser
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« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2006, 11:22:19 PM »

hmm... how about 1% off for the next 4 minutes?
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Arjen
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« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2006, 01:51:44 AM »

vrgrrl, I found the following article recently; if you don't like systems and todo lists you might find it interesting!

It's called: Time Management for Right Brained People (Or-What to do if to-do lists are not your style) (PDF).
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app103
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« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2006, 04:31:33 AM »

vrgrrl, I found the following article recently; if you don't like systems and todo lists you might find it interesting!

It's called: Time Management for Right Brained People (Or-What to do if to-do lists are not your style) (PDF).


THANK YOU!!!

Your reply has brought a smile to my face.   smiley

Up until now, I have been a silent about a problem I was having with the whole GTD concept...the fact that it seems to come from another planet that I don't live on and is all in an alien language I can't really comprehend.

It was starting to get very frustrating to just think about it...and I react very poorly to frustration....it usually makes me cry. But I kind of felt obligated to continue with it because I said I would, and didn't want to be a disappointment to myself, and those that know me, by quitting....and being the first to quit.

That article seems to make more sense than all of the others I have read, put together.

I think I am going to start with some 'What have I Done' lists. (something not mentioned there but I think is necessary for me)

Then take a really good look at them and start making some 'Not ToDo' lists.

And use the 'Not ToDo' lists to help me learn how to say 'No'.

Then maybe I will have the time, energy, and desire to do the things I want to get done.

In my life I have too many ToDo lists...and most aren't even mine. Too many people around me use me as their ToDo list, knowing if they don't do it, I will.

Pretty good deal for them...after all, what other method of keeping a list guarantees that if you don't do everything on it that it will magically get done by the multi-talented list itself, doing it all for you?

Not a good deal for me though...I end up feeling drained of my energy and then lack the desire to work on my very short list.

I need to stop being so dependable, stop being the one that always picks up the slack for others, learn to say 'No' and stop being a doormat....and stop giving all my time and energy away for free.
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tomos
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« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2006, 04:44:57 AM »

Quote
didn't want to be a disappointment to myself, and those that know me, by quitting....and being the first to quit.
i reckon that prize is long gone smiley


Quote
Then take a really good look at them and start making some 'Not ToDo' lists.

i love it! (i could even list: stop thinking i cant do things ...)


Quote
And use the 'Not ToDo' lists to help me learn how to say 'No'.

i think thats a big one for lots of people (I'm learning myself!)
good luck with it all
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Tom
Arjen
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« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2006, 07:05:19 AM »

Up until now, I have been a silent about a problem I was having with the whole GTD concept...the fact that it seems to come from another planet that I don't live on and is all in an alien language I can't really comprehend.

It was starting to get very frustrating to just think about it...
Remember that this experiment is not about you having to do GTD, but about finding out what works for you. If GTD frustrates you it might not be for you. It might be interesting to look at what frustrates you: is it the concepts of GTD itself, or just the fact that it's explained in a way that is not your style? Or both?

Your todo lists sound a lot more like others-expect-me-to-do-this lists. Maybe you could try to make them I-want-to-do-this lists. Of course they could still contain stuff you want to do for others.

I used to think about getting organized, planning, setting goals etc. as something very stressful. (And I still do regularly.) But I'm trying to see it as exactly the opposite: getting organized as a way to make sure I can relax. If I have all my "stuff" organized I don't have to think about it and I can just do what I choose to do at that moment.
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mouser
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« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2006, 10:56:35 AM »

well said arjendk!

remember, the goal with this 3 month experiment is not to get you to use GTD or any specific pre-existing system, it's to help you FIND or CREATE a system that works for you.

I am 100% convinced that having SOME kind of specific "system" for yourself is a good thing - but what that system looks like is up to you completely.  Maybe you will find an existing one that is perfect for you, or maybe you will have to invent a totally new system.  But commit yourself to figuring out some kind of system of rules and techniques to help you stay organized.

Btw:
Mark Forster, who we will start looking at next week, makes a big deal about not liking TODO lists, and instead advocates WILL DO lists for each day.  The idea is to make lists that are completely achievable for each day, and contain only what you can accomplish for that day, and not let lists get bigger after you make one, so that you really can finish it each day.
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