Monday, May 24, 2010

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.

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