It takes time to develop consistency in a task management system. I forget. I climb back on the horse, but fall off again. It looks easy - and it is at times - but other times it feels like one more item on my to-do list.
All of the apps and systems are nice, but I go through seasons with them. People see my systems and might think I have it all together. I don’t. I forget things all the time. It’s why I gravitate to the structure: it gives me a place to put things so I can come back to them.
There are times when I fail to stick to them. It’s at those times that I drop the ball and miss a deadline, or disappoint my family. It sometimes takes a painful reminder to push me back into the lists. I know I can trust them, but I don’t always.
But the time I spend away from them is continually growing shorter. I climb back into the cockpit more quickly each time. If I continue to collect my thoughts and do something about them, I know they’re taken care of. I know that I can go play with my girls without being concerned about work.
Here is one of the deterrents to GTD: You put a system together, but a big urgent project comes up and you put the structure aside. A month goes by before you notice that thoughts about work are invading your family time and that when you’re at work all you want to do is go home. You come back to the system and start to find clarity again.
It takes time to trust the system in all seasons. I would say it takes years of developing your personal system before you can trust it in every circumstance. This ongoing cycle of leaving and returning builds the trust you need to mentally let go.
Develop a system you can trust and let loose.