Making it all work

When Getting Things Done, by David Allen, came out in 2001someone recommended it to me as a 'life changer'. So ever willing to change my life (one of the skills I need to demonstrate when supporting my clients in changing their organizations) I promptly bought a copy. It worked for me. I started to get a lot more perspective and control of my various projects. I still follow the precepts and suggestions and occasionally log on to the Dave Allen website for hints and tips. One of the tips I use most is to do with filing wallets. Before sticking on the label that names the wallet stick some Scotch tape on the label tab and then stick the label over the Scotch tape. Then when you want to change the label on the file it peels off easily. This works. (I think Dave Allen also boosted sales of labelers because one of his suggestions for stress-free productivity – the subtitle of the book – is to clearly label all files with a printed label).

Oh, I change labels on my files because one of the suggestions is to keep on reviewing everything in the various 'buckets'. I do that too so my paperwork is in ok order most of the time. I have noticed that gradually I'm converting a lot of paper stuff into online records so maybe the labeler will eventually be in the project headed 'To the thrift shop'.

Last year I was going to go to a seminar at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, where I was at the time, to hear David Allen presenting on his new book Making it all Work . At the last minute I couldn't go but the same friend who recommended me Getting Things Done took my place – and got a hardcopy of the new book. She said both the seminar and the book were great and took her to new heights in getting her things done.

I didn't rush out and buy my own copy of this book as, at the time it was hardback only, but yesterday mooching around the airport Borders I saw the paperback is now out and on an impulse bought it. Not necessarily the best move as I then decided not to do the piece of work I had planned to do on the flight but instead to read the book. (I changed priorities!) However, I rationalized this as a good return on investment. If reading book two made me more productive then I'd be organized enough to fit in the work I'd dropped in order to read the book.

I've read Chapters 1 and 2 which are revisions and explanations of Getting Things Done – all helpful in reminding me that although I use much of the approach I've still got a long way to go. I'm hoping that Chapter 3 "The Process" will spur me into further action towards stress-free living. It would certainly be timely given the new zone of turbulence I think I am entering.

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