My GTD system…

October 07, 2007 :: 8:13 PM

my office :: finally clean :: october seventh, two thousand seven

I’ve noticed that I have a lot of resistance to using spaces that don’t make me happy.  I’m not a big fan of my office because I don’t like the way the painting came out… so my office is almost always a mess.  Just another reason to stay out of it.

It’s amazing what finding Levenger desk sets on sale can do to inspire me to finally get the mess under control.  (And some unscheduling and GTD didn’t hurt either.) (For those really curious, I bought the entire Claremont set and it came out to about 50% off. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve wanted that set…)

Here’s what command central looks like.  All the wood furniture on the desk is the Levenger set. You can’t see it, but behind the chair is my hPDA dock.  I use a pocket ruled moleskine as my go everywhere inbox.  EVERYTHING goes in it. Notes, receipts, MTBA charlie cards, you name it. (I LOVE the pocket in the back!) I have a tiny pocket sized calendar there (with “It’s time to crank the widgets” on it).  I also keep a Jr. sized Circa notebook with a personalized cover there as well.  (Right now, the cover features reunion pictures of me, the other half of my brain and my little brother.) Inside the Circa, I have bits of two sets of the old colored tab dividers—blue, red, green, red, blue—I like it better balanced.

The Circa is divided as follows:

  • In front of the first tab: NA lists—@ computer, @calls, @errands, @home, @ waiting for and some smurfed 3” x 5” index cards
  • Behind the blue tab: Levenger Things To Do checklists -> Auditing and Advanced Accounting classes—all homework due dates
  • Behind the red tab: Random lists—Info on the trip to Ohio, books to read, pre-project brain dumps (If I think I want to do something, I write down everything I can think of.  During my not-quite-weekly-or-even-monthly review, I decide if it stays on my radar, goes S/M, or becomes a real live project.
  • Behind the green tab: unused Levenger Project/Goal Planner forms. (Not a huge fan of these, Corrie has some nice ones that just don’t quite do it for me… I may do my own. Someday.)
  • Behind the second red tab: more lined Circa paper
  • Behind the second blue tab: more Things to Do pages

This is really my second go at GTD.  I tried it & went to a Roadmap - got really excited, refined my system, was cranking widgets like there was no tomorrow and then fell off the wagon HARD when school and work got incredibly busy and I couldn’t be arsed to keep it up.  (Right when I should have dug in deeper… *sigh*) After work calmed down a bit, I got back into it there and it’s paid off in spades! I’m trying to bring it back to my personal life.

I’m having a little success - my biggest problem is that I’m impatient and have trouble deciding what’s a real project vs a S/M.  I’m also still having trouble with the contexts and really drilling down to the next action.  I don’t know why work can be so concrete and my personal life so fuzzy. My guess is that at work, I’m truely “cranking widgets” (invoices into QB, invoices into inventory system, invoices into QB, lather, rinse, repeat).  Home is more like “an amorphous blob of undoability”.  “Fix shower in bathroom”—yeah I can break that down into N/A, but then I get all freaked out about it.  It’s our (unfriendly & unskilled) builder’s fault it’s broken; repairing it means ripping out the kitchen wall (and dishwasher and cabinets) and I just can’t go there right now financially or emotionally.  “Paint scrapbook room” - do I really HAVE to? (All the next actions in the world won’t get me motivated there.)

Writing that out, I just realized my problem.  I’m a planner.  I think eighty steps ahead of where I should start, so before I even commit the item to paper, I’m all freaked out about the zillion steps it will take to get from “paint scrapbook room” to “finally enjoy being in scrapbook room”.  Maybe I should just really focus on the next action & the proper context, huh? *grin*

It’s Sunday night, it’s the start of a new week, and my office is clean… maybe it’s a good time to do a review.

ETA: Dave gets my GTD at home problem. I feel better now.