Today, I arranged and attended a training session called Getting Things Done. I’d described this to my co-workers as a time management training on steroids. I was looking forward to learning some tips and tricks so I can be more productive, considering there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks on my long to do list. By the way…to do lists are very passé now.
Lists are still very much in vogue. In fact, they now recommend more lists, not less. They just don’t call them to do lists anymore, they’ve evolved into something much greater. I’m supposed to empty my cluttered mind and put it all down on paper or in an electronic device every week. After I record all the various random thoughts in my head, I need to place them into categories…lots and lots of different categories.
E-mail has its own special rules and categories. There’s the e-mails I can take care of in two minutes or less and the Nike logo comes to mind-Just Do It. There’s the e-mails that require more than one action. The speaker called those projects. There’s the items that go in the trash. I love those. There’s the items we can delegate, defer, and ponder for a later date (I’m paraphrasing now). The items we can’t take care of in two minutes or less we need to put on a completely new set of lists to outline next actions. By now, my head is spinning because I don’t make lists on anything, not even in my weapons of mass distraction (another new term for all our electronic devices-iPhone, iPad, iWatch).
While talking to an exceptionally organized colleague who knows exactly what her next steps (actions) will be for everything, and described herself as a linear thinker, I knew I was in trouble. I am the opposite of a linear thinker. Random thoughts pop in my head all the time. I tackle projects haphazardly. I don’t even know who done it, until I write it.
I’m fascinated with technology so there was a small part of me that was excited when the speaker told us to pick a tool to organize our life. I promptly downloaded a note app. I was proud of myself. I thought, I could do this because I get to use my new iWatch.
Time will tell whether I’ll be able to follow the tips and tricks suggested. I do agree with David Allen, the founder of this training, that, “the mind is for having ideas and not holding them.” I plan to record my book ideas into my new iWatch app. When I wake up (in the middle of the night) with the entire dialogue for the next scene in my book whirling around in my head, I’ll record a note in the notes app.
If you want a front row seat into my cluttered mind…go ahead and click on the links below to check out my books.