Resolving to Get Organized
By Rebeldad Brian Reid
Thanks to all who bucked Leslie's anti-personal-resolution stance and offered up their New Year's resolutions yesterday. My last really successful New Year's resolution came on April 19, 2005 (I run chronically late). My desk at the time was set up according to an organization principle I held dearly: the pile. I had two piles flanking my monitor, each over a foot in height and teeming with journal articles and medical claim forms and credit card statements and half-finished thank-you notes and unreadable receipts from who knows when.
"Of course I know where it is," I'd brag whenever my wife asked me about this or that, "it's in the pile -- right at arm's length!" My wife didn't buy it. And, deep down inside, neither did I. So on that April 19 -- with New Year's Day-level clarity -- I resolved to get my act together. I ran to Barnes & Noble and bought a copy of Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen, which seemed to be the productivity guide of choice for hip bloggers.
That day (and the book) changed my life. Forty-eight hours later, I'd filled two contractor-grade trash bags with stuff from the pile (and other debris), and could take deep breaths in my office for the first time in years. And though I am a different man now, almost three years later, I'm still not quite what you'd call organized. So this year, I've rededicated myself to getting things done by Getting Things Done.
In practice, this means doing three things well:
- Writing down absolutely every commitment I have with myself or anyone else, from "take the kids to Casey's birthday party," to "call the car dealership" to "write On Balance post." No more assuming I'm smart enough to remember it all.
- Deciding immediately what to do with every little bit of information that comes my way. If I decide it's important, GTD gives me three options: do it, defer it, or delegate it. No more telling myself "I'll think about this statement/invitation/e-mail later."
- Taking time out once a week to review all the commitments I have written down. No more sticking the doctor's bill in the pile and hoping I never see it again.
Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: DandyLion | January 3, 2008 7:55 AM
Posted by: chittybangbang | January 3, 2008 8:32 AM
Posted by: Irishgirl | January 3, 2008 8:44 AM
Posted by: ArmyBrat | January 3, 2008 8:59 AM
Posted by: floof | January 3, 2008 9:16 AM
Posted by: atb2 | January 3, 2008 9:51 AM
Posted by: dkfalcon | January 3, 2008 10:00 AM
Posted by: laura33 | January 3, 2008 10:03 AM
Posted by: cjbriggs | January 3, 2008 12:21 PM
Posted by: tntkate | January 3, 2008 12:22 PM
Posted by: Irishgirl | January 3, 2008 12:41 PM
Posted by: jenniferbeall | January 3, 2008 12:57 PM
Posted by: laura33 | January 3, 2008 2:09 PM
Posted by: maryland_mother | January 3, 2008 2:12 PM
Posted by: mn.188 | January 3, 2008 3:02 PM
Posted by: mehitabel | January 3, 2008 3:46 PM
Posted by: ethele | January 3, 2008 4:53 PM
Posted by: TheDameDomain | January 4, 2008 2:19 PM
Posted by: babsy1 | January 4, 2008 9:22 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.