Chapter 2, still. Last part.
Reviewing the entire picture of your life and your work is something you should do on a weekly basis. Keep all your lists organized and in a place that’s easily accessible so you can review all of your outstanding projects and open loops: your “Projects” list, a calendar, “Next Actions” lists, “Waiting For” list.
Most importantly, reviewing your calendar keeps you on top of all you need to do today. When you complete one task, review your calendar for what’s left to be done.
I’m so attention-deficit, that I “try” to keep everything that has an appointment, tagged onto a time slot in my day planner. I also “try” to plug that appointment into my iPhone calendar and set an alarm to remind me 15-30 minutes before the actual appointment, so I can get there on time.
I also have a printed out page or two of items I must complete today. I “try” to update it in the evening and morning (before the new day is printed). I have the day separated by times of day, so I have one chart for (morning) before I leave the house and items to take care of after I drop Hallie at school (3am till 830am) (and yes, I usually get up around 3. Crazy, huh?), another chart for things I need to take care of (mid-day) (830am till 5pm), and one for after 5 till bedtime (errands, dinner out with friends, school project with Hallie, things needed to do at home).
I also number each item by number of importance if they need to be done by a certain time and the others that need to be done just “some time today” are at the bottom of each chart or page for the day, depending on if there’s a certain part of the day needed to carry out the item. This is working better for me than just writing in my planner everything under the sun of what I think of I need to do. If it’s something that doesn’t have to be done today, it’s typed into my chart and I can move it easily to another day, but the numbered items HAVE to get done.
What works well for one doesn’t always work best for all. I suggest studying Mr. Allen’s book and implementing it’s very useful information and strategies. I also suggest your creating a plan that works best for you, along with your newfound knowledge that you have gained by studying this book.
After checking your calendar, you may want to review your “Next Actions” list, which is what items you can do next if you have any extra time during your day between or after things you completed on your calendar. Now, me? I have to keep it all on one or two pages for my complete day. I carry it around with me, checking things off as they are complete. The discretionary items, as I stated above, are at the bottom of my “blocks of time” charts or bottom of the day. It’s just easier for me to do it this way.
Your open loops or “Projects,” active project plans, “Next Actions,” “Waiting For,” and “Someday/Maybe” should be reviewed at least once a week, if just to keep it updated. Things change, and your lists may change, as well. It keeps everything collected, processed, and organized. This gives you a chance to “clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others.” Sounds easy enough, right? Once it’s all recorded in those different lists, maybe. I have to go through all the stuff first and get it organized. That’s the hard part. Much work in front of me. Staring at me. Leering at me!
Once you have everything organized on your lists and reviewed that week, you can then create a plan for what to do. There are three models for making action choices listed on pages 48-53. You may want to study each of these models. Each are helpful and help you with how to decide what’s most important, how to do the thing, what to do and when.
- The Four-Criteria Model for Choosing Actions in the Moment (page 49);
- The Threefold Model for Evaluating Daily Work (pages 50-51); and
- The Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work (pages 51-53).
One more chapter (Chapter 3 – Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning) to go in this Part 1: The Art of Getting Things Done. Then, on to Part 2: Practicing Stress-Free Productivity. Chapter 3 begins tomorrow and will most likely last 2-3 days.
On a personal note, I was laid off from my job yesterday, along with several others. I have peace about this change in my life. I feel that good things are going to happen and I’m not only shocked by this turn of events, but I’m also excited to see what God has in store for me. I find it quite strange that I feel calm and confident about the situation, but I suppose God is responsible for that one. If you could say a prayer for all of us who lost our jobs and all those people out there that have been searching for employment for quite a while, that would be a great help. He’s always listening, and answering prayers when the time is right. Thanks!
Y’all go out there and make it an awesome Friday Eve!!! I plan to run a few errands after I drop Hallie at school, since I have time to do them. Then, I’m going back home and organize my butt off! I’m so excited that I have most of the day to get some things accomplished. Looking forward to the day I can walk into my home office and see everything put away and organized and peaceful. Ah! I can see it now, or rather, visualize it. I can’t see it due to all the stinkin’ clutter! But I’m workin’ on it.
Love you guys! *hug*