Categories | Getting Started | Getting Things Done | Implementation
When you start climbing up the GTD implementation ladder you begin collecting, processing and organizing every cool idea that you come across. Pretty soon you have a huge list of projects together with an even more colossal list of next actions. It’s tempting to try and accomplish all of them; but what if you are @computer, @office and @call all at the same time? Do you feel like you should be doing many of the tasks in each of your multiple lists simultaneously? Suddenly you realize that you’re overwhelmed. Instead of eliminating this feeling from your life which is what GTD is supposed to do, it seems to have multiplied it instead!
So what do you do about it?
In one of the Teleseminars hosted on GTD Connect, a caller asked David this same question, i.e. “David my lists just keep getting longer and longer, what do I do about it?” David, admitted that, this is a difficult issue to handle.
David Says: “the trick is to keep getting better at being Okay when Not Doing something.”
Here are some tips that can help you do that:
- Learn the Limiting Criteria, and implement it ruthlessly. Be clear on which context you are in and how much time and energy you have and make decisions accordingly. If you have only 30 minutes and are feeling like burnt toast, you’re not likely to be in the mood to do some highly engaging task and would probably be okay with doing some fun, relaxing item from your Next Action list.
- Identify your goals and passions in life. Revisit the higher horizons frequently and see which of your projects and next actions are more aligned to it.
- We all have the same amount of time in a day, it’s maturing to the fact that there will always be some things that you can handle and some things that you can’t.
Here’s a lovely passage from Page after Page by Heather Sellers, that also beautifully addresses how to feel okay not being so busy.
“Are you swamped?” My colleague Nat likes to ask me.
I always force myself to say no. No, I’m Not Busy, I’m Not Swamped. Why would I get Swamped? That is not my life.
For me, its too passive, too fake, too braggy to be always saying how busy I am. “I wish I had two more weeks before the semester starts, ” my boss says every summer in late August. I feel like we’re feeling really insecure and unimportant when we talk like this. “I’m so important. I have been entrusted with so much work that there aren’t enough hours in the day for me. Look at me! So much work!”
Get real, I want to say to my “busy” friends. Be accurate and tell the truth. You do have two weeks before school starts. You do have time . Get a grip. Time is not all that surprising. If you can’t do a whole lot more stuff, it’s okay to just know that, and to stop orienting yourself in kinky ways to time.
Notice your passion.
Follow where these two intersect.
I am used to people saying to me they want to “write” (edit-insert your passion here) if only they had time. I always look up to the sky, and check in with the gods when I hear this. “We all get the same amount of time, right? “Yup,” say the gods. “You mortals all get the same allotment. It’s the single fair thing in life.” “Thanks, “ I say. “Just checking.”