I’m in the cult of productivity. Give me a prioritized to-do list (colour-coded, please!) and I’m a happy camper. I like to write in fountain ink, and do my crossing-out with a Sharpie. Nothing beats the satisfaction of striking a big, thick line through a list of niggling tasks. With a full-time job, a part-time job and both school and volunteer commitments, I have to find easy ways of staying on top of multiple projects and deadlines. But with more and more productivity tools, the job hasn’t necessarily gotten any easier.
If you’ve ever attempted to get your life in order and streamline your systems, you may have already encountered the work of David Allen, author of Getting Things Done and Making it all Work. I recently borrowed Getting Things Done on book CD, so that I could multi-task by listening to the book as I organized my desk, and filed my papers. What I really love about Allen’s approach is that it works for any sized project – whether it’s day-to-day workflow or planning large events. Those who follow his method (check the blogosphere – there are legions!) often swear by it, because it makes them feel so much more in control. Allen wants us to get every single thing down on paper. From dentist appointments, to light repair work, to thank-you notes that need to be sent, and so on. It sounds onerous, but really isn’t; once our have-to-do items are down on paper, they're no longer monopolizing our mental real estate or causing us stress.
If you think you could benefit from more elegant organization, give the GTD method a try! Get things done, and stop worrying about them!
(Now, don’t just make a mental note of the title – write it down!)