I will frequently GTD too hard. Or perhaps a better assessment, is that I tend to distribute my GTD efforts quite poorly. I will ritually collect everything (always!) — but I don’t review with anywhere near the same level of determination.

For personal to-do’s, I deal with this just fine, acknowledging I don’t actually have to do them all. But for work, I haven’t managed to apply the same pragmatism about what I collect. The lists get long, spill over, and I start new lists. To-do’s in Things, notes in multiple .md files, folders with screenshots. Small and big tasks I think that I “really should” do something about.

My recent 3 week holiday 🌴 was 23 consecutive days of actively blocking out everything work related. I didn’t check email, stayed off Slack, didn’t look at my work calendar, didn’t receive any notifications or reminders about anything. Back at work again, I spent the first day going through those lists, and it was suddenly very easy to prioritize. I found a couple of tasks that I wanted to hang on to — but I happily deleted everything else.

I think the break reset my brain; gaining some distance and perspective.

  • “This is a good idea. It would be great to get it done. But nope. Not a priority.”
  • “Someone had a suggestion. Would be excellent if I did it. But it’s also fine that I don’t.”
  • “This hasn’t happened yet. It’s not going to happen… It’s okay to let it go.”

Note to self — Collect with less obsession. Review & delete with more realism.