I think I’m in too…
I already have many goals on my plate. But I,ll listen to what happens here and participate.
I am still recovering from last year's experiment...trying to get the old me back. This past year has been the least productive in my whole life. It hasn't been easy to reverse and go back to the way I used to do things.
No, I won't be trying this again. I have things really want to get done some time soon...or at least get started with before the end of this year. And I want the fun back in my life so that I can enjoy the things I used to love.
I really empathize. One has to be careful with any systematization. It's easy to fall for an ideology, fall for a map, and forget about the territory, the importance of direct experience, spontaneity, personal needs, etc. One must not mutilate or stretch oneself unduly to fit an arbitrary and external structure...
I am all for maps though. But carefully, without ever loosing touch with the territory, the basic needs, the important goals, the self. It can be tough to find the right balance between abstract structures and organic flow.
I've been using the same system for the last 6 month (used different versions of it in the last 10 years) and I like it.
The main improvements I've seen in my life are :
- I keep track better of my main projects and goals (especially those that have a tendency to get forgotten because they're harder to achieve or because they fall outside my comfort zone, so to speak)
- I never forget an appointment
- I never forget important tasks
- I feel that I have a better "control" over my life and it feels good (don't worry : there are plenty of areas which I have not control at all -- which is great. Convergence needs to be balanced with divergence).
Have to admit hat it took me a while to set my system up. A long while — but it was worth it. Even if its principles are simple and coherent (a mix of S. COvey and D. Allen), I'm sure it would be fairly difficult for somebody else to implement it and get use to it (I use Outlook 2003, almost exclusively -- tried at least 15 different other PIM and organizers and came back to Outlook; I borrowed some ideas in the process though...
). And I would NEVER try to convert anybody to it!!! It’s really MY system tailored to my territory.
Tracking all my tasks, projects, etc. meant also developping a "new" skill : the ability trash or put away stuff more quickly than before (tasks or projects tend to accumulate and, yes, App, it'S easy to get caught in the multitude of unimportant details)!
Anyway : You seem to be happy with the way you work and handle your life now, so your decision to leave it as it is certainly a good one!!
Even though DC got to interview the two superpowers back then (Allen and Forster) and we reviewed plenty of time-management systems and applications, I'm not sure we got much out of it. I, for one, have abandoned the system I was using in 2006.
I didn't participate to the experiment, so I can't comment on it.
But I'd be interested to know why you abandoned the system you were using and not just adapted it to your needs?
@Mouser: the 'tweak virus' is another bad habit. In my view, the system should be so simple that you don't even pay attention to it, and you should train yourself to make it a habit. If you have to think on how to improve (read: tweak) it, that's bad news.
Sorry to be so negative.
IMHO it,s just a matter of equilibrium. Tweaking can be counter productive when it makes you unhappy, deeply unsatisfied, when it slows you down and makes you less productive, when it’s just bad procrastination... But if it makes you happier, satisfied and doesn't slow you down, why would it be bad ? It can actually be very beneficial.
When I was a professional musician (in another life), studying in UNiversity, even if my basic "system" (my drumming technique) was pretty good and allowed me to play very well, it was necessary (essential...) to pay attention to it. Don't pay attention to a habit, whatever it is, and soon you’ll realise that it,s not the same habbit you thought you had developed… It transformed, it changed, and sometimes... not for the best!! Don't pay attention to a system (even if it’s simple and basic), and it falls apart (a problem in many companies).
I agree that the system needs to be simple, but just enough so that you can integrate it relatively easily. Simplicity is of course subjective, and something "simple" for someone can be "complex" for somebody else. so, anyway, IMO, the "need to pay attention" shouldn’t be the hint of a bad system -- especially in the beginning, when you're learning. Of course, if you need to think too hard -- even after many weeks of learning --, if your organizational system slows you down and can't be transformed into helpful habits... That's another problem. Than, it's just a matter of adapting the "map" or changing it! No?