A few weeks ago, I started implementing the Getting Things Done Method. The basic premise: get everything out of your head and organized so you can have a clear mind.
I got the “emptying my head” part down. Every time I had a thought or to-do item, I wrote it in what David Allen calls a capture list. But then, you clear out and organize the list every few days. Instead, I let it pile up for weeks.
I kept delaying organizing my capture list. I wasn’t sure I knew how to organize it. Surely, I must read Getting Things Done entirely. Only then can I properly go through my capture list! Otherwise, how will I know what to do?
The more the list piled up the more anxious I got. Finally, I realized the list had gotten so long, that the idea of going through it was majorly uncomfortable. And what a good opportunity for a discomfort challenge!
My plan was to go through the list top to bottom and clear it out. No skipping around. Just quickly go through the list in order. I had a two minute virtual timer to keep me from spending more than two minutes on any item.
I knew I wasn’t organizing it in exactly the manner the book suggests. But better to do something wrong than not do it at all.
Do Anything and The Trap of Discomfortception
Doing something wrong trumps doing nothing because it builds context. If I do something the wrong way now, I’ll get experience learning how and why it’s not ideal. Which will give me context for how and why to do it the right way.
And you still get the benefits of learning how to do some of it correctly.
I expected the task to take hours and hours. But it only took an hour. And I spent so much time feeling dread over dreading the hours and hours. This is the trap of discomfortception: The discomfort you feel about the discomfort you expect to feel in the future.