There’s a neat, little website I just started using called Joe’s Goals. I’m using it to track my daily goals and log other kinds of things, like what time I go to bed and what time I arise each morning. I’m resisting the temptation to try and add too many things at once. I want to develop each new habit slowly so that it sticks. Then I’ll gradually start layering new ones on. I found out about this site from #20 of the “Top 20 Motivation Hacks” listed on the Zen Habits blog.
Archive for GTD
I’ve read David Allen’s Getting Things Done several times, and I’ve tried unsuccessfully several times to stick with it. For a while, I was interested in designing and tweaking my own geeky, low-tech system, and treating it like an engineering problem. Well, now I could care less about the system. All I want are the promised results. But I’m willing to make gradual changes, and I don’t expect everything to happen all at once. As wonderful as David makes it sound, I still haven’t gotten to that point of having 100% of everything into that proverbial trusted external system. I believe him that it makes a difference, but I have to content myself with an intermediate, incomplete system on my way there.
Today, I’m reading through Leo Babauta’s “Zen to Done (ZTD)” e-book. The key insight that he offers is that implementing GTD involves a series of habit changes, and attempts to change habits are much more successful when they’re tackled one at a time. So I’m hereby committing to developing the first of the 10 habits he lists: Collect. I’ve got a pocket-sized Moleskine in one pocket and a pen in the other pocket, so I have everything I need. The next time something pops into my head about something I need to do or some bill I need to pay, I’ll immediately offload it from my brain and into the notebook.
I bought my first Moleskine journals tonight (a small squared notebook and a large ruled notebook).
I intend to use some combination of these and 3×5 cards to implement the “Getting Things Done” system.
One idea I had was to use one 3×5 card for each Next Action and then store them in the accordion folder at the back of my Moleskine (probably the large one). A good preliminary exercise would be to destroy some cards just to start getting the feel for it and to break past any conservatism that would keep me from freely dispensing with the cards. Actually, I can leverage my own desire to preserve my nice things by keeping the card count small so as not to put too much wear and tear on my expensive Moleskine. That could be a good motivating factor for knocking things off my Next Actions pile.
Anyway, here are some of the blog entries that inspired me this evening:
This is a random idea. I would like to model the Getting Things Done workflow process in XSLT, if for no other better reason than to wrap my brain around it. I would model various “inbox” items as XML elements and then string them together in different orders inside sample documents. Then I would set up my rule set, encoded as XSLT template rules. There would be a corresponding XML vocabulary to the various decisions (“Do it”, “Delegate it”, “Defer it”) and to the various buckets (“Next Actions”, “Waiting”, “Calendar”, etc.). The incoming events would be processed according to the template rules, and the result would reflect the decisions made and the resulting state of the system as it responds to the events.
The next step would be to set up an overall loop somehow and allow the system state to evolve over time as new events come in.
There is usually an inverse proportion between how much something is on your mind and how much it’s getting done.
My morning writing times have begun to bear witness to that. The time comes every day. I don’t have to make it happen. I can trust that it will come and that progress will be made. And I don’t think about it at all through the rest of my day! It is not looming over my head and it does not add any stress to my life.
If the above quote is true in general, just think of the possibilities that uncluttering your mind could bring.