Not sure what he was thinking about putting that tie with suit. I was getting a cold last June, taking a rest in the hotel room after a not-so-profitable dawn outing in Galway, when I saw this guy presenting the news on the tv. I like the moire from the camera sync. It matches my mood at the time.
I have dedicated most of the last three days to reorganizing my “stuff” after reading Getting Things Done by David Allen. The basic concept is to collect all of one’s outstanding commitments/ideas/projects into one place, process all the debris that emerges from the collection process, organize it, plan the next right action for each project, then do just that one thing.
If I want to be teachable, I think it’s important to follow instructions and not just cherry pick the parts I like. So I went to the supply store for file folders. And I’ve got a new labeler, which seemed extravagent, but I used up all of the first roll of labeling tape already.
It took me the better part of the first day to collect and file the scattered pieces of all of my projects. Note that “projects” are defined as anything requiring more than one step, from recycling the used AA batteries to getting my book published. Collecting and processing means email too; it toook me about an hour to process over 1,000 emails into folders and the trash. I’m now down to 2 emails in the my “Inbox”, which is a complete novelty for me.
On to the pile of papers from the collection: the first processing of the “stuff” resulted in 13 actions I could complete in less than 2 minutes. Already I was making progress.
The next step is to list all of the projects. I ended up counting somewhere between 80 and 90 active projects, with another couple dozen “incubating” on hold. Allen says this number is in the normal range, which otherwise would have freaked me out. And there is the essential point of the exercise. If my mind is trying to contain a list of 80-90 items, I’m not going to be very efficient at tracking them and moving them forward. Here’s a small sample:
1) Get the taxes to the accountant
2) Make a print I promised a friend from the U
Implement my Google analytics methodology
77) Add some more prints to the website
78) Wedding gown project
79) Reshoot a dog I photographed with a better background
Today I finished by defining the “next action” for each of these projects. Interesting results: 11 of them require a discussion with R, things like the remodel of the exercise room and reinvesting some retirement funds; 7 more projects got put on hold when I realized that I needed to wait for something significant before I could move forward, and 4 require additional planning to figure out the next right step. Not a bad percentage.
Now, after all that planning, comes the “doing” part. I did a number of “low hanging fruit” items today, crossing “projects” off the list. The remaining 60-70 next actions are all doable. My favorite ones are the ones where I am ready to go make more photos because they simply say: “get in the car.” See you out there.