Getting Things Done
I started by checking David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity out of the library. (I had read about it on Wess Daniels’ blog.)
The good news is that I am already using elements of his system, so it doesn't feel foreign or undoable to me. I expect I will assimilate a few more tips and not worry about working the whole system exactly.
The next step was collecting all my stuff. Which is a project in itself. I have done this before, but not in a while. This meant walking around the house and collecting all the stuff that belongs in my office, pulling everything off the shelves (and out of the file drawers) in my office that isn’t where it belongs, and then writing down all the things I know I have to/want to/might do on separate pieces of paper. This established one giant “in box,” or rather a set of “in” piles which took up almost half the floor of my office. Just that much took most of the morning.
The second half of yesterday plus the first half of today were spent sorting through the piles. Allen has a great flow chart for sorting through “in.” The most important advice was to just start at the top and keep going, although I did cheat a little by first culling out the things that took up the most space or were the most destabilizing in my piles – like books and odd shaped things. My in box is now empty. I made it thus far without hyperventilating or crying, but only by resorting to the aid of sufficient chocolate.
I also spent some time last night clearing out my email. There are still way too many old emails in my inbox, but that will be a longer term project that I’ll have to come back to later.
I like the idea of sorting tasks by where I can do them. I have been working through my list of things that will take under two minutes. That may be the best advice in the book, that I hadn’t heard before.
I still need to move my project files to more functional containers, but I'm giving myself some time to think about that.
Now I have to actually get some of the other things on my task lists DONE.
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