Why do “no list” systems work, in spite of all our fears that we are going to miss something important?
I’m no psychologist, but my observations of myself, clients and the reported experiences of people writing in the forums on this site lead me to think that our minds like things like this:
- tasks which they know how to do
- questions - just so long as they don’t feel under pressure to find a “right” answer
- unfinished tasks
- feeling out of their depth
- having to work for too long on one thing
They like freedom
They like to be challenged but not overwhelmed
They like building connections
They avoid things which they are afraid of, and they are afraid of being taken out of their comfort zones.
The very worst thing you can do with your mind is to overwhelm it with a huge list of stuff to do with not enough time to do it. This results in resistance and avoidance, either by giving up altogether or working on trivial stuff.
On the other hand the best thing you can do with your mind is to let it get on with what it wants to do but record it so it can see and learn. Your mind loves building things and it loves progressing things.
A “catch all” system always ends by either building resistance to the list, or by processing endless amounts of trivia.
A “no list” system on the other hand concentrates on what you are actually involved in, and because you are actively involved in the work your mind works with enthusiasm. And because the system actively constructs the list of what you have done, your mind is able to learn and adjust for maximum creativity.