In the past couple months, I’ve reached critical mass of “things” in my life. There are a lot of balls in the air (without sign of lessening that load any time soon – more likely increasing it), and I am at serious risk of dropping even more of them.
Since we came back from the wedding, I’d been driving myself absolutely batty, freaking out about uncharacteristically losing a few things.
I’d managed to misplace the secondary set of wedding rings we bought and wore on our honeymoon (and planned on wearing on vacations where we were apt to lose the real ones, or where they’d draw undue attention), along with a wedding card from a distant relative with a not-insignificant sum of cash inside. More recently I’d completely misplaced my Nexus card and, though I hadn’t looked for them, realized on my last trip I had no idea what I’d done with my noise-canceling headphones since the trip before that.
This is VERY unlike me. I do not lose things. Not even insignificant things, nevermind expensive ones.
I also knew I was getting to a dangerous point with bills. Not like I’d forget to pay anything, because most of it autopays out of my bank account – but there were months of statements I’d not gotten around to opening between trips. I really had no idea what the state of any of my accounts were.
I was feeling the same crunch at work. My normally manageable and well-filtered email inbox had hundreds of messages in it. I was firefighting to solve as many problems I’d created with my own scattered brain as had just arisen as problems are wont to do. I’m certainly not paid enough at this point to take on the kind of responsibility that would have me making decisions or missing actions that would sink ships – but I was certainly on my way to wholly preventable fuckups my boss and her bosses would notice.
It was beyond time to do something.
So I looked in to using David Allen’s Getting Things Done system.
I tackled it first at home: dealt with the stacks and scads of paper and crap that have been amassing in random piles all over the place, got an inbasket and made a bunch of files as I went. It’s not perfect yet, and it’s not done, but it feels SO GOOD to have started.
I plan on taking the day on July 1 to fully implement the system at work. The office should be mostly empty, so it’s a perfect opportunity to deal with things before I go away again, and be able to deal with the pileup once I return.
And considering with the little bit I’ve already done, I managed to find the rings, the greeting card, my Nexus card, my headphones, and a few other things I’d forgotten that I’d forgotten about – I have high hopes for a more organized, more productive future.
Have any of you implemented GTD or another productivity system in your lives? Want to? Tricks to share?