I can’t believe that I have the audacity to write about getting things done and productivity. My life is a flurry of constant activity and many times little accomplishment. I struggle with my lack of focus and attention throughout the day. I’ll go to the closet to get something, notice something else that needs doing, begin doing that, and totally forget why I went there in the first place. Can I blame that on menopause? Some do.
Instead of reading or listening to David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, I began with a blog called 43 Folders by Merlin Mann. I love his writing and his posts are always interesting no matter what the topic. He usually sticks with productivity and recommends some fantastic high tech and low tech tools. My favorites have been the Moleskine notebook, GTD Tiddly Wiki, Burnout menu, and Backpackit. These recommendations are sometimes dangerous as I’m a sucker for anything new and I have a very low attention span…a few nanoseconds for each thing.
Back to Getting Things Done. David Allen teaches a method of gathering all your to-dos, should dos, want-to dos and then processing them. I can’t tell you how much doing this has helped clear my mind for the myriad other things that come flying through my brain. It is a practice to keep these current. I’ve got the 43 folders that I use for holding invitations and items that are dated. The Burnout menu is for Next Actions, Deferred, and Waiting For items as it’s easy to move them from one folder to the next depending on status changes. The Wiki is great for context lists(phone calls, email), grocery lists, etc. I love Backpack for projects. The Moleskin notebook has beautiful paper and is easy to carry around. You can’t be turning your laptop on whenever an idea or thought comes up.
So I’ve got a lot to work on, but this system has really helped me. It’s also fun to try all this new stuff out. Thanks to the talented people who created these tools and to Merlin Mann at 43 Folders!