September 15, 2009

TCB Tuesday :: Getting Things Done

"Operate at a high level of productivity".

This is a line from David Allen's Getting Things Done that pretty much sums up how I feel about my life. I would say that most of us feel like we are constantly going, have an endless to do list, an endless email inbox, there's always something.

With two small businesses, a husband, an 18 mo. old & a household there is always something. and something else. and another thing...and I would probably be up until 2am every night working (or crying) without "GTD" - as we followers call it. ha - oh you haven't read his book? Amazon. Now. the link is up there, I won't even care if you leave to go order it.

Probably the biggest piece of the book that helped me is the Grand To Do list - the list where everything in your life that needs an action goes. There are so many places to keep your To Do list, but I've figured out I'm a pen & paper girl & like to have my list in front of my eyes all the time. So I divide a piece of paper in four sections labeled with the four major areas of my life:

pinkpenny (album design)
• personal
• house

Each Tuesday I start with a clean sheet of paper, carry over what went undone from last week and write down any and all new things that have come up. The key is to write down "next actions", not big lofty To Do's like "launch new website". Just write down the first little action you need to take to get to launching your new website. Then when you complete that one, write down the next & so on. Having a list like this enables you not to think, but DO.

This is just a tiny snippet of this concept, but it really has helped me so much. If this has struck a chord with you at all I say get the book! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

P.S. One more concept I LOVE is, "if it will take you less than 2 min. to do, do it NOW". I apply this to email a lot since I have a tendency to compulsively check my email like 20 times a day, but not actually reply to any of the emails I get. If it's a quick reply I try to do just send it right away or else it might sit in my starred folder for a week. Truthfully, I'm still working on the email thing. I'll let you know if/when I get a handle on that one.

P.P.S. And if this has bored you, sorry. I'll be back tomorrow with pretty photos : )


montague said...

thanks for the reccomendation. my brother in law told me about the book a while ago, but i never got around to it! i will pick it up today!

mary said...

Great advice -- I like how your to-do list can be folded so that you can look at all or one of the columns at a time. I'm off to check out that book on Amazon! :)

faithsalutes said...

good post raya.

Jessica said...

Yes - getting things done! Yes yes! It helps! I second your recomendation!

Colleen Hickey said...

ong not bring at all! Totally helpful. Thanks!

OldBagNewTricks said...

Hi, I am sorry to hi-jack your blog, however, I am on a mission to win -- rather to help someone else win. There is a woman nominated to win a Martha Stewart contest -- her business designs and decorates battered women's shelters. Please go peek at my latest blog post and follow the link at the bottom. And if you have time can you do a blog post to help spread the word about Terry Grahl. Thanks loads.


Julie said...

Ok, hi-jacker. Back to the real post.... Love the hot-dog-fold-your-list idea. I'm a total list maker- perfect fit!

Heather said...

I love that book.

Also, on the email - a great tip I've heard is set two times during the workday to check your email and respond (like noon and 4:00) - whatever works - and then take 10 minutes each time and DO IT. :)

Maybe that's too rigid for some people - but they say that checking emails throughout the day drastically cuts down on productivity, which from my own experience, I often believe. :)

Good luck!

Chantile said...

I LOVE those post-its! I have them too! :)

Erin said...

Thanks Raya. I am having a hard time staying focused & organized this week. Ugh. I have so much sewing to do. My action item for today will be to set up my sewing machine. Maybe I can manage that.

Ruth Gyllenhammer said...

I am going to go check out that book from the library right now!

jennifer said...

yup, i need a list at my desk. great advice about the next action!!!