Monday, May 31, 2010

GTD Project Planning is Amazing!!!


I am on fire today with GTD methodology. Yesterday I listened to Chapter 3 of GTD - all about Project Planning. Mr. Allen offers some questions to consider when doing project planning. These are:
1. What is your primary purpose? Why are you doing this project?
2. What are the standards and behaviors to adhere to in order to make this project successful?
3. Envision success in this project: What are the desired outcomes (financial, reputation etc)? What innovative things might happen if you achieve success in your project?
4. Brainstorm: Put all your ideas on the table, map them out
5. Is there anything that might effect your desired outcome?
6. What are your mission-critical components?
7. What are your key milestones
8. What are your deliverables?
9. What are all the things you can do NOW (next actions and name person responsible for each action)

Today, I decided to answer those questions for myself, beginning with: Why am I attempting to learn the GTD methodology? I answered that question and all of the rest of the questions listed above. AND!!! I even did a little mind-mapping (see picture).

And you know what I got? Clarity! Inspiration! Direction! Possibilities! It was incredibly inspiring.

Now, do you want to know what my answer was to why I am attempting this? Because I think it's going to help A LOT of people. I think by my learning, implementing, and practicing this approach I will be able to be of enormous service to my clients. I think it's going to enable me to help my clients free themselves from the shackles of their Task-Master mind. And, of course, I think it's going to free me from the same. In's already beginning to work!

Monday, May 24, 2010

GTD Chapter 1

I am listening to the audio version of "Getting Things Done".
Why I was inspired to download the book instead of buy it, I don't know. In part I guess it's because I didn't want one more book on my shelf unless I knew it was going to be a keeper.

Thank God for Amazon's

This weekend I listened to Chapter 1 and I was convinced. Really convinced that Mr. Allen is on to something. He outlined the problem that most of us have as productive members of society: We have a lot of things in our lives (tasks, items, ambitions, commitments, "should do's" "would like to do one day's" and the like) and we have no way to compartmentalize those actions in our human brain. Our human brain just kind of freaks out by all it has to face on its own, with its limited resources (Mental focus kind of juices that brain for all it's worth) and its inability to effectively process all that we humans want and need to get done.

I do believe in my heart of hearts that that is the nature of the problem, a brain that is doing work that it is not able to handle. My brain. And maybe yours too?

David Allen talks about focus and my heart kind of soars. I want focus. I really do want presence for each task I face. Not because I want to become some kind of output machine. But because to focus on life makes me feel alive. I experience life when I am focused and present.

The thing that takes me out of my life the quickest: a semi-militant brain that says "Do more! Do this! You should have done that! Did you forget to do that? When are you going to get to that?" And on and on.

Getting Things Done and My David Allen Experiment

I organize. That's what I do professionally. That is what I love to do. I love every aspect of it. And I talk about it. A lot.

So, one day I was telling a friend about my organizing business and he said "Have you ever read any David Allen stuff?" I hadn't even heard of the man, so I said "no". My friend told me to check out "Getting Things Done". It took me a year to get that done.

The reason I was finally open to hearing what Mr. Allen had to say about getting things done is because I have recently found myself at 2 interesting sticking points:

1) When organizing clients, I have no methodology to help act upon the large number of items that need to be addressed after one's space/environment has been organized. You see, in the process of sorting and purging items, a lot of discoveries are made. Some examples of these discoveries: Unpaid bills, lists of calls that should have been made last month, business cards of people we should have contacted a year ago, magazine subscriptions we no longer want, gift certificates we still want to cash in on, reminders from our dentists that we have not received our routine cleaning, cards we meant to send etc. etc. And all of these discoveries require action. This very often sends the client into a panic "Oh god! There is so much I have to do, where do I even begin?" So all of the peace that we have created by organizing the space is replaced by mental clutter. The to-do list. And up to this point, I have not known how to help my clients remove the mental clutter and work through their to-do list.

2) I, myself, have a gigantic and overwhelming to-do list. I am a very active person. I live a spicy, wonderful, variety-filled life. I own and run Good To Be Organized. I work part time managing a wonderful little diner. I am a musician with a lot of creative ideas and a strong team of people who want to see me succeed in doing music professionally. I love to ride my bike. I love to travel. I love spending time with my loved ones. I love to practice meditation. I love to cook and eat healthy meals. I love to read, to study. I am in the process of buying a new car, finding a new 1 bedroom apartment, and all around upgrading my lifestyle. On top of this, I have emails to respond to, phone calls to make, marketing actions to take, clothes that need to be washed, appointments to make and keep, and on and on. And I share my clients question "Where do I even begin?!?!?"

So you see, both professionally and personally, I am in need of a methodology to help address the overwhelming number of "To-do's" and "Want to do's" in my life. And that is why I am looking to David Allen for help.

They call Mr. Allen the "Productivity" guru and so I guess you can say, the guru has a new student.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The purpose of this blog... to share with you my experience - both as a person who helps others to get organized and a person who is learning new techniques to organize her own life.