I am intensely reflective, reflecting all the time on all kinds of stuff that am I occupied with in good and bad senses. So it’s not like I lack the capacity for reflection and recursion; I have that capacity in spades. What I need are more routinized habits of reflection. I need to sit down at particularly appropriate times and deliberately to think about things that are holding my attention–my classes, my scholarship (an article I can’t seem to get moving on), my service obligations (a committee I chair that I haven’t called a meeting of in a while), my family relationships, and so on, into a ever-expanding and increasingly cosmic concentric circles.
Maybe that’s forcing it into a tight little box, to schedule reflection time on matters of ultimate concerns, my family, my place in the universe. Maybe. But for sure, I could more deliberately schedule reflective time for thinking through most less-cosmic but still significant concerns.
This is on my mind because for about a year (with a serious and long fall off the wagon about a month in) I have been trying to adopt the principles of Getting Things Done (GTD) [see David Allen's site and this 43 folders post, if you are curious]. I have done an OK job on the collection phase of things (getting everything out of your head, capturing all your commitments), processing and organizing that stuff. And I’ve even gotten some things done. What I have not established, though, is a routine of reflection. GTD describes/prescribes a weekly review in which you systematically go through all your lists, calendars, clear out inboxes of all kinds, and so forth in order to clarify your commitments, manage your projects, etc. THIS, this, readers has been the thing I have bungled. I’m not beating myself up, mind you, just reflecting on the fact that I need to reflect in a more deliberate fashion.
In my previous post , I talked about how I blogged once before but not for long because I couldn’t sustain the habit. In part that was a perfectionism that I have and that slows me down, keeps me from saying things, etc. But I think another cause is a certain personality or maybe a brain that can’t doesn’t “naturally” shut off the reflection. I think about it too much, I guess I’m saying. Here’s what I want to do: shut off the all the time reflection on the things I need to do, hold that off for a weekly review, and use this brain for other things.
Do I contradict myself? (Whitman fans know what’s coming….) Very well, then. I contain multitudes!