i have started reading the book getting things done by david allen — a book that kind of took the world by storm last year, but that i am just now getting to.
that concept, “getting things done” is one that i’ve struggled with ever since i have had things that needed to be done.
my ADD is a huge factor in this, but also my personality (and it occurs to me that these things are inextricably linked) plays a role, i am sure.
whatever the reasons behind it, i have real problems in this area of life.
i am reminded of something my mom used to say to me a terrific number of times a day, it seemed then: if you would do what you were supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it, you wouldn’t be in trouble right now.
the problem for me (and i do not mean to discount the struggles everyone has with this stuff, but me is whom i’m concentrating on, and my own situation is simply being assessed here…) is that: i have a very hard time knowing what i need to do.
the things i need to do overwhelm me quickly, and when i’m overwhelmed, i close in, get stuck, make no progress.
so, the thing i need to learn — the thing i need to establish in my life — is how to go about knowing what it is i ought to be doing.
what needs moved along, and how do i move it along best?
i have tried things along the way, to more or less success. none of them have been effective enough to keep after, however.
i am really hoping that the system mr. allen is outlaying here is different.
so far, a mere twenty pages in, i have hope that it is.
he has already brought some things to mind that ring true, the first of which is “outcome thinking”; that is, intentionally making myself aware of what i desire the outcomes of the projects/situations in my life to be.
once i have sorted out what i want the outcomes to be, i can set about figuring out what the next step required in order to further progress toward that outcome.
the in box
another thing he’s hinted at that makes sense, but will be the big obstacle for me is, having a trusted (read: reliable) system outside of my mind to store all of the “inputs” in my life, that i regularly consult in my quest to know “what is it i ought to be doing right now?”.
(inputs are, apparently, all of the things which will eventually require my attention. bills, emails, voicemails, the laundry, blah, blah, blah. i don’t mean to pretend i have a grasp of all this yet.)
having something outside my mind is important, perhaps even more so than most people.
my mind is frustratingly unreliable.
i used to believe that i had an accurate picture of what has happened to me: the conversations i have had, the things i have done, the things i have said, the things people have asked of me, and i have committed myself to, consciously or otherwise.
at thirty-two i can now humbly admit that this is not the case: my memory is shit.
i forget soooooo very much, and it gets me into trouble.
having a system that i understand, consult regularly, and can safely “drop things into”, knowing that i will, then, run across them again as i access this system would be… stress relieving.
here’s to hoping this thing works.