Accidental GTD.

For the past week or so, my host has been having a lot of problems with email. Last week I went two days without an inbound email and today the problem occurred again. It’s been incredibly annoying to not know who sent messages, how many were missed, when the messages finally will come in.

They were able to fix the problem last week and I did get most of my mail. Some even trickled in despite the problems. But today was an all out blackout. That is, until about 5pm. At 5pm the floodgates opened and all my email for the day arrived in my inbox.

And I was surprised at how much more enjoyable email was this way. Then I remembered GTD and how the system recommends for you to cut down on how often you read email. And I think I understand why. It might be time for me to read the book now. Ironically, I wrote this about a month ago about GTD:

I’m remarkably able to keep on top of things at work, only 12 emails in my inbox right now, but in my personal life, I’m a mess. Me with the 119 open tabs in Firefox, 168 unlistened to podcasts, 1000+ mailing list emails, and several long time voicemails not returned. And a pile of about 12-15 books I want to read. The good news: only 3 things on my DVR right now, but most of that is thanks to the summer TV schedule.

I did find an inspiring nugget recently. I’m reading The Dip by Seth Godin. It’s a tiny little book, but it contains a solid message. “Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other.”

What I’m having a problem with is that I’m passionate about a lot of things, probably too many things. And I’m drowning in them. It’s a good drowning, I really love these things. But do I love one less than the others to quit? Time management appeals to me, but I’m just not about to focus on anything in the 4-Hour Work Week or GTD kind of way. They just seem so robotic and that’s just not me. One day I’m the UX guy, the next day a music guy, the next day a wine guy, and then a stock market guy. I float between these passions, fulfilling whatever part of me is most in need.

Ultimately, it doesn’t bother me all that much that those things are there and seemingly too large to tackle. But I’ve given up on trying to get there as a goal, it’s just too hard. Would I love to have fewer unlistened to podcasts in my iTunes? Sure i would, but then what would I listen to?