2008-08-27

Spam thoughts

The problem: There is not only spam information - there are also spam thoughts.
Spam is reducing our productivity and happiness. But there is not only spam mail and spam information - there are also spam thoughts.

The reason: We want to note everything down because our brain tends to forget.
We want to improve and learn from our experiences. Going to work in the morning offers a lot of impressions that triggers thoughts as every impression (as well as information) contains potential issues to learn. GTD tells us to write down everything - although there are also some critics on this.

The solution: Trust your brain and let go.
While on the go or while working on something else there are thoughts coming only loosely related to the topic of your focus. If it is important it will return, come back in the same or similar way on other opportunities. If the same thought returns more often then it is worth more being noted down and reviewed. Don't act immediately on a single thought or let a single thought be the reason for (big) decisions.

Related posts: Information overflow, Who cares?, All Done status, Crying for attention, Analysis and therapy.

1 comment:

Jarrod - Warrior Development said...

I don't really have experience with GTD but I think another reason not to write thoughts down is a matter of concentration.

If you are always acting upon spontaneous thoughts then you are letting yourself be distracted even if it is only momentary.

To build concentration you want to keep bringing the mind back on task as early as possible.

If you have the mindset that you can always change the task you are thinking about if a new thought arises then you don't train your concentration as well.

That being said, in either method as long as you are recognising when you have drifted off topic and coming back then you are doing some good work for your concentration.

But I think it is the difference between 95% and 99% efficiency in concentration.