Put Fun Tasks Into Your GTD

When I first read David Allen's book "Getting Things Done", I liked it. It sounded like a great way to organize your life. But somehow it did not work for me. I did not have the reliable and trusted system. I experimented with all kinds of software, but none fit. The first one that I really filled with my tasks and my thoughts was Thinking Rock. But somehow the system grew full of stuff that I was supposed to do, after a short while I developed a resistance to even look at it. I startet missing deadlines and mistrusted the system despite the fact, that it was technically reliable. I blamed the software, because I felt it was not pretty enough. When I converted to Mac, I started using OmniFocus which provided a better user experience.

But every so often, I feel the same awkward resistance because I know that it is full of stuff I should have done. Then it is time for a weekly review. I look at all of my projects, refine the goals and look if actions are already completed or need further breaking down.

Though David Allen wrote about the necessity of the weekly review in his book, it took me years to appreciate it's usefullness.

Only recently I found out the most important thing about organizing your life around GTD: Put fun things into your GTD-System. No, seriously, this is the most important thing. You will probably think, that you do not need a program to remind you to go see a movie, play with your children, spend some quality time with your wife or simply check out the latest comic on xkcd.

GTD means admitting, that you have a planning mode and a doing mode. After a while of doing GTD, you realize, that you need to dumb down your ideas and goals into simple executeable actions that you can do later. You have to admit to yourself, that the future version of you will be a lot dumber. The smart, planning version of yourself puts something in front of the door, so the dumber self will remember to take it with him when he goes to work the following morning.

But your future self is not only dumber. It is also very lazy. So the planning self needs to make sure the single actions will be interesting enough for your lazy future self to consider doing it. Of course this is not always possible.

Make your future self want to look into OmniFocus every time he looks for something new to do. If he knows that there are only hard tasks on the list, he will likely rather go visit the onion than facing the hard truth about your tasks. So throw him a bone, once in a while and reward him by saying, go play!

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