At least once every year I have a very disturbing thought:
10 x 365 = 3650 and 3650 x 3 = 10,950!!!

If I consistently looked at 10 pieces of paper in my file system each day, including stuff in my "stuff to read" stack, and decided which papers should be tossed, which should be kept where they are, and which should be re-filed in a more appropriate folder, then all the paper in my house would be properly culled and sorted in the best possible way in less than 3 years.

If I looked at 10 files/webpages/documents I've saved on my computer every day, all of them would be properly culled and organized in the best possible way in less than 3 years.

If I looked at 10 physical objects I own every day, and decided which should be tossed, which should be kept where they are , and which should be moved to a more appropriate location, then everything I own would be completely culled and perfectly organized in less than 3 years.

I keep having that same thought, and I keep trying to do it, but I keep getting distracted or lazy after a couple of weeks, and 20 years later, everything is still cluttered and disorganized.

David Allen says "in the entire world there are only two real problems: You don't know what you want, or you don't know how to get it."

I agree. But there's a third problem: What do you do if you know what you want, and you know how to get it, but you can't get your assingear or can't keep your assingear? His answer to that problem is to use the GTD system as an organizing and motivational tool, but unfortunately that requires a certain amount of will power.

I know from my occasional episodes of doing GTD that it really does work, but after I've made a bit of progress and things are a little bit better, I fall off the wagon and everything goes to heck again. --> Very frustrating <--

Of course David Allen also says that most people never accomplish any kind of long-lasting change until whatever is suboptimal in their life becomes painful enough that they're willing to do whatever is required to fix it. And he's right about that too.

One David Allen concept that I have whole-heartedly and faithfully embraced is the "I Don't Know" box. Whenever I come across something that I can't remember what it is or why I have it or whether I still own the thingamajig it's part of, I put it in my "I Don't Know" box. That way whenever I need something and it isn't where I think it should be, it's probably in the "I Don't Know" box. And every now and then I look at the stuff in the "I Don't Know" box to see if I recognize anything. The box is fairly small, and most of it's contents end up being recognized and retrieved or recognized and thrown away within a few months.

I've also like his "cheat" of temporarily avoiding dealing with a box, drawer, closet or whatever by putting a BIG sign on it that says "I Don't Want To Deal With This Right Now!" It works!!! That sign keeps you aware of the fact you need to deal with that thing, but gives you permission to not get uptight about it right now. A prime example is boxes of memorabilia that you know you'll get bogged down in if you try to go through them during emotional times like the holiday season or a deceased parent's birthday. Another example is boxes of old documents that have no current relevance. Some of them you may want/need to keep, but weeding out the wheat from the chaff in that particular filepile is probably a very low priority.

Does anyone else keep falling off the wagon or have quick useful hacks they've discovered?