Extract From Getting Things Done

1 min read

Most often, the reason something is “on your mind” is that you want it to be different than it currently is, and yet:

  • you haven’t clarified exactly what the intended outcome is;
  • you haven’t decided what the very next physical action step is; and/or
  • you haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust

Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.

Give yourself permission to capture and express any idea, and then later on figure out how it fits in and what to do with it. If nothing else (and there is plenty of “else”), this practice adds to your efficiency – when you have the idea, you grab it, which means you won’t have to go “have the idea” again.

The big problem is that your mind keeps reminding you of things when you can’t do anything about them. It has no sense of past or future.

Most people don’t have a really complete system, and they get no real payoff from reviewing things for just that reason; their overview isn’t total. They still have a vague sense that something may be missing. That’s why the rewards to be gained from implementing this whole process are at least geometric: the more complete the system is, the more you’ll trust it. And the more you trust it, the more complete you’ll be motivated to keep it. The Weekly Review is a master key to maintaining that standard.