Do Something About Something That Bothers You

Photo by Travis Gray

In everyone's
life there are things that bother us.  There are the big things like
global warming and whether or not my property taxes will go up again
this year.  Then, there are the small things which go unnoticed, left
under the radar and yet we know that they are hanging around.  These
things are more subtle.

Sometimes these things deal with stuff, the kinds of things that take up space in your home, such as...

  • The clutter in the back seat of my car- why don't I just clean it out?

  • The pile of clothes on the steps to go upstairs- why did I just walk by those again?

  • The stack of papers on the corner of my desk- why do I ignore those day after day?

Then there are those things that bother us that are in our head, concepts and perspectives and gems, such as...

  • The idea that keeps coming back to me three days in a row- why am I not acting on that nugget of wisdom?

  • The someday/maybe hobby that I'd love to tackle but don't seem to know how- why am I so reluctant to try something new?

If we're honest with ourselves, we could probably generate a list several pages long.  So what to do?

In the GTD
mindset, there is a clear-cut solution to all of this: capture your
thoughts and then act on them.  I was explaining this process to my
wife last night and our conversation went like this,

Cary: I don't have any thoughts in my head that bother me.
Mike: Come on, you can't be serious!
Cary: Well, we do have Linda's birthday coming up and I have to mail her gift but haven't done so yet...
Mike: Perfect, so what are you going to do about it?

Cary: I can mail it tomorrow...

Mike: Will you remember that?  Why not write it down on an errands list?

Cary: Good idea.  But what if I forget to check my list?

Mike: That's the key- checking the list. (*I may have added a "sweetie"
somewhere in the conversation, just to motivate in a nice sort of way)

This kind of dialogue shows that all of us have stuff
rolling around in our head but aren't sure what to do next with the
stuff.  Write it down, then act on it.  The level of clear thinking
that comes from this practice is unbelievable. 

So what to do
today about the things that bother you? Do something about them.  This
will serve two purposes- it will help you feel better (psychic RAM) and
as important, you'll get things done.  Now, how simple is that?

At WorkMike StPierre