Wednesday, November 28, 2007

End of Year Thoughts

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. --- Thomas Edison
I know that November is not yet over, but our December will be pretty well filled, so I am trying to organize as much of my life as I can now, so I will be ready for the new year. I've talked about David Allen's Getting Things Done book on organization. I have been trying to use his techniques (collect, process, organize, review, and DO) and they have worked very well with getting the cottage set up. There was a lot of work, but although I was tired, I never felt that I "forgot" something or I was missing some essential process. I simply wrote down everything that needed doing, wrote down the action steps to complete each task, and worked on each task as time and energy allowed without worrying if I would finish "everything". I did all the major tasks and ignored those that were no longer essential when looked at objectively. If some of these tasks look more important when we return in January, I still have my list. I have forgotten nothing and I am not sitting here worrying about what I might have forgotten or still need to do. I know I did what I could. It's a good feeling.

But, of course, there are a dozen or more projects in my life that are still rustling around in my head claiming my time and my attention, because I have not written them down. It just shows me how a system (any system) is only as good as you put the energy into it. We all "clean up", but how long before we let things get out of hand again? So I need to "clean up" my mind and get all those little nagging thoughts out into the open and down on paper so that I can face them and really decide if and when they are getting done (or not).

This blog has been very good for getting my goals (and finishes) down out in the open for me to see. Other people's blogs inspire me, but this blog shows me how I really live my life and not how I think I live my life. I can look back and see what I have actually accomplished in almost a year. I can see the projects that made me happy and those that did not and why. By January I should have a good list of projects. Some of them will be fulfilled in 2008 and others will not, but none of them should nag me for being disregarded. Deciding not to do something is as important as doing something. So here's what I am doing to make 2008 even more productive than 2007.
Get everything out of your head. Make decisions about actions required on stuff when it shows up -- not when it blows up. Organize reminders of your projects and the next actions on them in appropriate categories. Keep your system current, complete, and reviewed sufficiently to trust your intuitive choices about what you're doing (and not doing) at any time. -- David Allen


debijeanm said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I ordered the book. I was 15 minutes late for my dentist's appointment today because I simply cannot keep it all in my head anymore.

Jeanne said...

Funny you should mention this. I was listening to the abridged audiobook last night! I have the book, too, and need to make time to read it over the holidays, and figure out what my system is going to be.

Ruth said...

Jeez Kathryn. Did you have to make this post to *me.* lol Don't wait until things explodes???? I'm not sure I'd know what to do at work next if it weren't for the consant explosions. lol Ok, ok. Right after I find the center of my desk, I plan on figuring out what really needs to happen, how it needs to happen, and when it needs to happen. Sigh.

P.S. Thanks for the inspiring reminder that maybe, just maybe I can get a handle on things. :)