This is a guest post by Jennifer George of Lifemuncher.

Sometimes the most important thing GTD gives you isn’t on your list.

When gtdfrk asked me to write a guest post, I happily obliged. I spend so much time thinking about GTD and reorganizing my system that I figured it would be easy to dash off a few lines about my latest set of lists or the nifty new software I’ve been playing around with. (In case you’re wondering, it’s ZuluPad, a personal note-taking wiki program. Very cool.) After some thought, I decided instead to write about an important insight I had recently.

It started with Merlin Mann’s presentation to Google employees about Inbox Zero, and his admonitions about spending too much time fiddling with your organizational system rather than working and being productive. We’re all guilty of that to some extent. In fact, I would argue that blogs like mine (and maybe yours) often feed the temptation to think more about our system than the bigger-picture questions of how we live our lives and how we expend our resources. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the runway view rather than the 50,000-foot view, as David Allen might put it.

In this vein, I’ve been thinking about the difference between “someday/maybe” items and real next actions. When it comes down to it, do I really need to clean out my linen closet – an item on this weekend’s Most Important Tasks? Well, no, not really. I’m not going to get fired or evicted if I don’t do it. It’s a “could do” rather than a “must do.”

My Someday/Maybe list is full of could dos. I think of them all the time. I’m a master of thinking of new things I could do. And if I did them all I would have an even cleaner, more organized life. But so what? My life is pretty organized as it is. Does it really matter if I have a few extra papers in my files?

If I’m honest, my next actions list is missing a few things. It has chores like grocery shopping and appointments like taking the cats to the vet, but nowhere does it say anything about fun. I don’t see “read Stephen King book” on there. Or “watch ‘John From Cincinnati’.” Those are afterthoughts that I can feel good about doing after I’ve done my chores.

Neither does my list say anything about writing, which is a topic that I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. And when I say “struggled with” I mean something that terrifies me and something that I desperately want and need to do. I have a significant phobia about writing, one that fills me with constant anxiety and torment. (Cue violins.) But nowhere on my next actions list does it say “work on short story” or “write a poem.”

In one big flash I realized that there’s a huge part of my life that’s completely missing from my action plan. And I realized that my whole “someday/maybe” list was one big exercise in Structured Procrastination. It has all the things I could be doing except the one thing I really want to do.

Time for some more fiddling. Thank you Dave.

Your humble Lifemuncher, Jennifer George, spends her spare time compulsively improving, replacing, rethinking, and refining her organizational system. She earnestly believes that once she’s found the perfect notebook, she will achieve a mind like water, stress-free productivity, and eternal bliss. Until then, she writes the occasional blog post and enjoys her life as a nonprofit professional in Los Angeles. Her less productive blog posts can be found here.