I am in a period of aversion to OF and GTD, something that seems to occur in cycles for me. These cycles pretty much correlate directly with the amount of things collected that no longer seem relevant. It’s my sense that the method is to blame, but the software is an enabler.
I usually reckon with this state by clearing out the coffers, or even declaring bankruptcy, but this time I hit a wall, realizing my methods of asking Siri to remind me of this or that, or evoking the quick entry in a moment of optimism, leaves me in a future state with too many tasks that are good ideas that I just don’t want to do.
I’ve gone back to managing everything in my Bullet Journal as an antidote. Just yesterday, in the span of a single hour, I recorded the following items:
- Read Hailey’s thesis!
- Write a paper with Hugh
- Check out Mindful Moments initiative
- Read Tim’s paper
- Look up that essay by CS Lewis and the beam of light
- Get The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker
- Doodle poll for next meeting?
Easily a week’s worth of work jotted down in moments of fleeting inspiration. The only ones I feel inspired to migrate today are filling out the doodle poll, and maybe reading Hailey’s thesis and/or Tim’s paper, more like 3 hours of work. Had I entered them into OF, they would have sat patiently waiting for me forever. Right now in my bujo, they sit waiting for me to decide. Should I migrate or cross out? This bit of effort causes me pause and I cross out the things that were a good idea at the time, but have not aged well. After a day or an hour, I’ll forget them and so will the bujo and the problem of amassing aspirations is avoided.
I know review hygiene is supposed to fix issues like this, but that’s not been my reality. The inertia in review mode is for things to persist. It takes action to forget (delete) instead of action to remember.
This morning, the idea of a forget date occurred to me. In addition to due, defer, and review, one might image that every task also has a forget date that tells OF to drop the task in x amount of time (which could include an option “never”). If the task isn’t done in a day or six weeks or whatever, OF drops it without you needing to act. For the worriers among us (myself included) a perspective “show me forgotten tasks” might take the edge off such a risky setting.