> I have been on and off the wagon several times with respect to GTD and
> have finally noticed that all the things I want/need to get to are
> just floating around and making my head spin.
I go in cycles as well, and every time I get a little closer to
something truly maintainable. Let me give you a tip from my latest
Use the hell out of your Someday/Maybe lists.
Before you put something on an action or project list, ask yourself:
when I find myself in the context to take action on this, am I really
going to do it? Do I really care? Have I actually committed to doing
this, or is it just something wich seems like I might want to do? If
you're not truly committing to doing it as soon as you're in that
context, put it on your Someday/Maybe list.
I keep a few S/M lists:
1. Someday Soon: Things I've pretty much decided I'll do, but I
haven't decided to start working on yet. I consult this weekly.
2. Someday Perhaps: Things I'm not sure I'll want to do, but which I
don't want to forget about. I consult this one weekly too, but with a
3. 40,000ft Options: Basically career paths which I might like to
shift to one day. I don't consult this one much, but it's good to
have a place to put those ideas.
4. Way Out There: Crazy ideas I'll probably never do, but which,
again, I feel better for having written down.
5. Movies to Watch, Books to Read, etc: a series of lists of media I'd
like to consume. I consult these when I'm looking for a good book,
All this means that my project and action lists have no noise.
They're all things that I'm ready to do at a moment's notice.
For this to work, the Weekly Review is critical. If you don't trust
that you'll see these things as often as you feel you need to see
them, you'll instinctively put them somewhere where you will. That
will probably be your action and project lists. Once those become
cluttered with things you haven't actually decided to do yet, you'll
stop trusting them, and then you've got nothing. I've been through
that cycle numerous times.
I used to put off my weekly reviews for all sorts of poor reasons.
Just schedule an hour or two every week at the same time and check
your lists for inconsistencies. You don't even have to think very
hard. If you just read over your action, project, and S/M lists, your
brain will tell you when something's in the wrong place, or out of
You can get better at the Weekly Review over time, but only if you
actually do it. It's far more important to *do* it than to do it