Interesting perspective from David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
If something is on your mind, Allen argues that it's almost always one of three things --
1. The desired outcome you want hasn't been defined.
2. The next action to perform hasn't been determined.
3. Or, you haven't set a reminder in an appropriate place you trust to let you know when it's relevant.
It's not quite a complete set of reasons something would be on your mind -- a lot of excitement about something coming up, being worried and not having the right techniques to dispel worry, or just turning something repeatedly over in your mind looking for solutions could all be reasons to think about something.
But it's an interesting very short checklist. I was meditating this morning, and a few thoughts kept resurfacing repeatedly. The still stood out to me after I got up, and I ran this check on all of them -- and sure enough, all of them were missing one of the three.
Definitely a useful diagnostic tool. Strong recommendation for GTD by the way -- a must read if you haven't read it, and a strong candidate for a re-read if it's been more than a year.
That's fascinating. It's been a while since I read GTD -- I found it a little too complex for me to keep up with regularly -- but I know there are some great concepts in it that I need to go back and revisit. And I am absolutely trying out that three-item list next time something's stuck in my mind.
Required read for sure. I recommend Wunderlist for a simple way to track next actions across all projects. I wrote a post on my blog about my basic implementation, http://www.howtobeast.com/instant-productivity/ check it out.
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger"
-- Shakespeare, Henry V
INTERNAL SCORECARD #12: ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH
I write these Internal Scorecards up, usually weekly, so that you can see the pragmatic applications of strategy, habits, operations, production, etc. The good and bad, the upsides and downs, and so on. I get a lot out of it too -- it gives me and external accountability mechanism, and good feedback.
This one covers 11 August to 17 August.
Life has been crazy lately, and I haven't seen my daily writing habit in months. I have a hundred blog posts written, but I forget exactly where they are, and I remember thinking none of them were amazing. So I'm in that position that I created that habit to get out of: it's the night before a post is "due", I'm unwilling to skip a day, and I've sat here for an hour writing intro sentences for a million different posts.
I wanted to write about how, when giving advice, I used to always just tell people to do exactly what I do. In time, I realized that the best way to support someone is to give the advice that will bring them closer to their goals and desires, rather than what you'd do with their resources to get to your own goal. I think I already wrote that post, though, and I'm not sure if I posted it or not. Then I realized that I spent about four hours today explaining to my friends why they should buy bitcoins and possibly buy a plane. So maybe I'm not so good at that, after all.
I scrapped that post and came back to an empty box. What am I thinking about these days, I asked myself?
Well, I have one cool project I'm doing, but it would ruin it to talk about it before it's done, so I have to wait on that. I know exactly what the blog post is going to be, though, and I can't wait to write it.