Getting Things Done – the book – part 11

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

The impact of Capturing

You incorporate a level of self-confidence in your engagement with your world that money cannot buy. Such is the power of capturing placeholders for anything that is incomplete or unprocessed in your life. It noticeably enhances your mental well-being and improves the quality of your communications and relationships, both personally and professionally.David Allen

In David Allen’s opinion, when you go through the full capturing process – something I have not done yet – and you get “all your stuff out of your head and in front of you”, you should feel better because “you automatically renegotiate your agreements with yourself when you look at them, think about them, and either act on them that very moment or say, ‘No, not now.’” You feel good because most of these open loops (i.e., things you should have dealt with but you didn’t) were broken agreements and a source of negative feelings. Not to mention that they were “creating stress by simply reminding yourself they exist and you need to do something about them.”

If you’re holding something only internally, it will be a broken agreement if you’re not moving on it in the moment.David Allen

“What about having too much to do? Could this explain my frustration and overwhelm?”
No, there’s always too much to do. If you felt bad simply because there was more to do than you could do, you’d never get rid of that feeling. Having too much to do is not the source of the negative feeling.

In keeping with his “broken agreement” logic, the author describes two other ways (other than Renegotiate the agreement; see above) to deal with (and eliminate) the negative feelings that come from them:

  • Don’t make the agreement
  • Complete the agreement

The first option involves either lowering your standards – No way, that is against CogitActive’s principles – or “[thinking] twice about making commitments internally that you don’t really need or want to make.” In that sense, I can see that many of my current projects will need to be moved to my Someday/Maybe list (see A difficult decision, for instance). That is indeed renegotiating them! As for the second option, it goes without saying that if I could I would! The all point of this mini-series on time management is that I don’t have enough time to complete all my agreements. Hopefully, the GTD method, together with the other tips and techniques – the more advanced one, in particular – that I have covered earlier, will allow me to get more things done, i.e., to complete more agreement as well.

Doing the capturing process as fully as you can, and then incorporating the behavior of gathering all the new things as they emerge, will be more empowering and productive than you can imagine.David Allen

To be continued…

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