The list of things to do is endless. Neither you nor I or anyone else will ever complete our list. Last time, we talked about priorities.
This time, we dig even deeper. We are entering the world of “Organizing All of Our Life.”
Sounds fancy, ostentatious and impossible…right?
Truth be told, it is a “Work in Progress. Having said that, the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen, goes a long way to relieving much of the stresses involved in getting organized. His system, we can call it GTD, hinges on getting the multiple lists of things to do out of our heads and onto paper.
GTD organizes the lists in such a way that we don’t have to remember stuff. Instead, we can focus on the task at hand. You will notice I said “task,” not “tasks.” Forget “multi-tasking.” It is, at best, a useless waste of time. We humans are built in such a way that it is next to impossible to do more than one thing at a time and do it well.
Instead, we are far better served by providing deep focus on one task or to-do item at a time. Get it done as best as it can be, the first time. Often, multi-tasking means having to come back and do it over again. What a time waster.
GTD recommends taking a block of time at first, to go through everything in your life. I chose to organize mine into two main areas: personal and business.
In the personal arena, I have these categories:
• To buy
• To contact
In my business life, I chose to organize thusly:
• To buy
• To write
• To contact
You may choose totally other categories based on your priorities.
The next step was going through everything that was in my head about things I wanted to do and write each one down on a sticky note. For example, “Read Peace Pilgrim’s book” is on one sticky in my personal section.
I have 5 stickies for areas of personal study. Many more for areas of health study, a decent list of things to buy, another of friends to contact and many in “other,” ranging from record some vinyl records into my computer to start an indoor herb garden to darn my wool socks to play “Kim’s Game.”
Similarly, there are stickies for many business projects.
I chose to use the Daytimers™ fold out pages, which can show me all four pages in one view. I can see all of my personal and business projects laid out on those four pages.
You can use the ideas from the previous tip (#103) to prioritize. I also learned from Dan Sullivan, “The Strategic Coach” and from T. Harv Eker’s “Success Trax” system.
You can choose categories such as health, business, money, personal and professional mastery and any other area that is a priority in your life.
Spend time daydreaming what an ideal life in each those categories would look like. Then write down what that ideal life would look like.
For example, in my Personal Mastery section, I wrote down a list:
• High loving energy level
• Living in love, let go of all fears
• Continued opening to God
This was written years ago now and I added the GTD system to it later. I feel I have made huge progress in each of those areas and the GTD system helped. From each of those lofty goals, a number of individual steps emerged onto stickies. From there, some of the projects have been completed and my energy has moved in the direction of those goals.
This is always a work in progress and we will always have improvements to make. It is not about the destination so much as the path. And it can become more and more joyous as we move forward.
I am not the only one who raves about GTD. In 2005, Wired called GTD "A new cult for the info age."
Allen's ideas have also been popularized through the Howard Stern Show and the Internet, especially via blogs such as Lifehacker.
In 2005, David Allen was interviewed for The Guardian, with an article called "Meet The Man Who Can Bring Order To Your Universe,” saying “…Allen's ideas are nothing short of life-changing."
In 2007, Time Magazine called Getting Things Done the self-help business book of its time.
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