Coming home last week from an event and I was listening to Steve Wright on Radio 2. (No, that’s not it, and Radio 2 isn’t for old people, with Russel Brand and co they have an eclectic mix of DJs). Still, back to my little narrative. Steve Wright plays a series of oldies, chosen by a listener, each afternoon. As I drove I thought I may switch the station as I didn’t really fancy listening to a bunch of old tracks, way before my time. However as the opening beats from the drum machine clicked in I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach. Oldies? That was the Human League!
I think it may be time for me to hang up the guitar and get out the pipe and slippers.
and that has been very helpful in clearing my desk and keeping my inbox empty.
Whether it is because of my personality (INTP last time I checked) or some other quirk that I have (and I have many), I have found that GTD hasn’t provided a complete answer for me. Although GTD talks about reviewing your life in terms of short term goals, longer term goals and life itself, the book itself is a little sparse at this point. In an interview with David Allen he said that this was an area that perhaps needed expanding. While he thinks about doing that I need to crack on with things though.
GTD has been for me a very ‘reactive’ approach to organisation. Dealing with items as they arrive, sorting them and dealing with them as and when they need to be. This works perfectly well and as a system is great. It is basically a bottom up system. I like to see the big picture, I like to view things a whole and therefore I crave a top down approach. The problem is, when I have tried top down approaches before I don’t get anything done, or I get things done way past the deadline.
Therefore I am working on my own hack of GTD (as most people do and as David Allen says use what works for you.) The main mantra of GTD is probably to aim for what is called the ‘mind like water’. This is that everything needs to be out of your head and onto lists. If it is in your head, it is on your mind and therefore causing you stress, worry and stopping you from being fully productive. My problem has been that the big things are also on my mind and so I need to deal with them. In this, I have found Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
The next steps I am going to take to move forward in this are the following. I’ll keep you all up to date on what I am doing and perhaps you’ll find some of the things helpful too.
Write a Personal Mission Statement
Create my 3 to 5 year goals
Create my 1 to 2 year goals
Note my areas of responsibility (this will provide me with things that need to be regularly done)
Keep a list of projects
Keep contextual next action lists handy
Although GTD advocates the above I want to be more proactive in putting things into my own ‘inbox’, for GTD purists I suppose it is making sure I do a weekly review and regular ‘mindsweep, but for me it is more about making sure my top down relates to my bottom up, and no that isn’t a euphemism.
Well this week has been and has almost gone, and it has been a strange one. It started off with me feeling very much under the weather, a mixture of sore throat, headache and hay fever. Yesterday I was out of the office but working and today I am back at work trying to catch up. The week will end with me watching the FA Cup final and then Dr Who, although I will also be doing a fair bit of writing on Saturday too. I’m not holding out too much hope for Dr Who this week as it is written by the head writer of Torchwood, as Stan Lee would say… ‘nuff said’.
Talking about Stan Lee I just realised I hadn’t written anymore about Spider-Man 3. Well I liked it. I didn’t think it was too busy and as a ‘comic book’ film it was most enjoyable. I did find I started to dislike Mary Jane through the film and have subsequently thought that she is perhaps the one actor who was wrongly cast, but time will tell. Sam Raimi has done a good job with these films and as someone who read Spider-man from its very beginnings, when realeased in the UK, I give it the thumbs up.
So to sign off I wish the lads of Manchester Utd all the best for tomorrow and now back to the inbox.