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OK, I am now an official David Allen Getting Things Done fanboy!

August 3rd, 2010 at 11:29 pm

This post is dedicated to Homebody. Smile

After reading GTD about twelvedy-fifteen times, I think it FINALLY sunk in! I think the defining moment was when I realized that I could use my cell phone's Notepad to jot down notes of things that flit across my mind. (previously they just flitted right on through!) An age old principle, to write things down, but one I was never able to fully follow until now. It's hard to carry a pen or pencil and paper everywhere, but it sure is easy to carry a cell phone!

I have been keeping lists at work for years with pretty good results, but I only recently dumped out my work email inbox and it feels great! So I also dumped out my personal email inbox, although I did just stuff it all in a big folder called "limbo". The defining moment for that one was when I missed an ebay sale because my inbox was so full of crap that I avoided it like the plague and missed multiple mails. But I went in and unsubscribed to all the junk mail lists I was on (I think my ISP screwed up and has multiple people with my email address, hard as that is to believe). That one is a lot harder to keep empty even than work because it still gets so much junk, but so far I am stemming the tide.

So anyway, I also use a very cool Linux program at home called Tomboy Notes for my monthly log of things to do, things done, etc. I love it because it works just like Wikipedia or the WWW with hypertext. If you type a word that you already have a page for, it automagically creates a link. The resultant web very nicely mirrors the way I think. Smile For both of these simple new tools, it helps a lot that I enjoy using them, since if it is fun I will stick with it.

So anyway, I am flush with success after finally checking a few things off. It is especially satisfying to fit something fairly major into a small time window. For instance, I was able to change oil in our car in an hour between events because I had everything ready, and I was tired of looking at it on my list. Another example - I finally remembered to get a USB stick to back up those Tomboy notes and I actually did it - something that I had been putting off for months. A lot of the magic is in breaking tasks up into their smallest element, that is making sure the "next action" is really a doable action and not more of a project, which is a series of next actions.

I am excited because this is the closest I have come to breaking the procrastination and slovenly practices habit in ages! Yes, I still have a LOOONG way to go, but even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

7 Responses to “OK, I am now an official David Allen Getting Things Done fanboy!”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Congrats on getting things done and having a way that works for you.

  2. Homebody Says:

    Really, me? I feel so honored. Did I post about that or something, cannot even remember, need to go review my blog!

    I know it is great to feel that feeling you are describing though truly. Good for you. Stick with it.

    I am going to have to because my middle daughter just became engaged!

  3. Ralph Says:

    Yes, you were ribbing me about being uneducable since I said I had read it many times and yet my life was still an out of control mess. Big Grin

  4. Ralph Says:

    Thanks, creditcardfree. I guess the real proof that it is working will be when (if) I can use it to get creditcardfree myself.

  5. Homebody Says:

    Geez Ralph sorry, I must have had PMS or something! But hey it kicked you in the butt right so some good came of it!

  6. Jerry Says:

    I have been amused (and pleased) to see my daughter (5 years) walking around with her "To Do" list, checking little imaginary things off as she goes. I hope that it leads to her being as organized as she can be later, but there's no insurance for that stuff. Where did you find Tomboy Notes?
    Jerry

  7. Ralph Says:

    UTFG, Jerry! Smile Here it is: http://projects.gnome.org/tomboy/. Hmm, I am on version 1.0.0, time to upgrade I guess, although it works fine now, so I'll first look over the Release notes. Looks like it is also available for Windows.

    And that is very cute, Jerry - 5 year olds are the ultimate age for having fun with your kids! My kids are also pretty organized, each in their own way, and it is satisfying to see them with their calendars at hand.

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