Chapter 7 – Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets. Day 1 of 5.
Mr. Allen has set up this Workflow Diagram flowchart. The same chart for Processing, same for Organizing, then Processing chart again, Organizing chart again. They have different titles. Why?
He talks about the basic categories – the 7 primary types of things we will want to keep track of and manage, organizationally:
- A “Projects” list
- Project support material
- Calendared actions and information
- “Next Actions” lists
- A “Waiting For” list
- Reference material
- A “Someday/Maybe” list
He stresses the importance of keeping these items separated from each other or else the value of organizing will be lost. Makes sense to me. We go from chaotic disorganized stacks of stuff to organized chaos? Sounds funny but it makes sense to me.
One stack of things that need to be read when there’s time. One stack of things I need to go through and place on the calendar. One stack of things that need to go into the filing cabinet files, although he suggests filing those immediately upon going through your inbox. His idea is way better. Otherwise, you’ll have all these other stacks and half of the stacks really wouldn’t be there if you had just filed the dang papers when you had the chance. Besides, how likely are you to let that stack grow before actually getting around to filing those suckers? Honestly, now? I know me well enough to know that the stack would keep growing. I might get around to it one day. I did well Thursday and Friday. I filed a ton of stuff. I threw out a ton of stuff that I no longer needed in my filing system, if you indeed, could call it a filing system. I had a system. I just wasn’t utilizing it as I should have. I go for the easy way out, which is stacking it, and telling myself I’ll get to it one day. One day never comes.
That’s why this book and why I’m taking action now. The idea of doing this whole blog and picking subject matter that I can apply to my life with daily action exercises – these are baby steps to self-improvement. I know I need it. I’ve found a way that I can slurp out a little enjoyment while doing something – sometimes something that I don’t particularly like. I enjoy reading. I enjoy writing and blogging. I enjoy bettering myself. Win-win-win, right? I don’t like this organizing part so much, but I like when I’m done with something and I feel accomplished.
I try to be an honest person and I’m not going to say one thing and do something else. If I fail, you’ll know about it. If I do a great thing, I deserve to be pleased with myself and I’ll tell you about it. I’m not perfect. Far from it. I’m not that great of a person. I want to be better, so trying and my doing things this way is sort of holding me accountable. Accountable to myself, as well as you, whomever is out there. Is there anybody out there?
Is this book or blog helpful? I don’t know. The book has helped me, I admit. It’s just a slow, very dry, read is all. And that’s really the problem. It’s not engaging, not inspiring; it has helpful techniques and that’s great and all, but I can’t wait for it to be over, and maybe my office will be organized as a result, but will I ever want to pick up this book again? Probably not.
The first book of this blog? Definitely! That was an inspiring book! I woke up early every morning, chomping at the bit and hungry to read more. It made the Bible more user-friendly. It helped me to connect more closely with God and Jesus. I hope it helped you, too.
I’m sorry for blabbering, but just felt that needed to be said. I’m sure many are struggling or have struggled with getting through this book. And, I know I’ve been dry and uninspiring because I’m uninspired. Maybe I’m just a little depressed, because the job hunt has not gone so well.
Maybe sad because I’m a disorganized person and it’s hard to change and become organized after all these years. When I was in the Air Force, I was organized. How? I ask myself. Well, for one thing, we had inspection once a month, so everything had to be “just so.” People came through with white gloves. No dust allowed. No disorganization allowed. No ice caked up in the freezer and it was a pitiful freezer, so I had to defrost the sucker every month before inspection. Tub and sink shiny – glistening even. No water spots, no hair in the drain (YUK!), nothing. By the way, part of the time, I had a roommate, as well as a suitemate, which meant the person/people next door shared a bathroom with me/us. We cleaned it after using it, every day. Perhaps I’ve rebelled against the white gloves ever since. Because I can be disorganized, I allow myself to be? Stupid, huh? I know.
Ok, back to this particular book. When you are aware of what you need to track, all you need is lists and folders for reference and support materials. “Once you know what goes on the lists, things get much easier; then you just need a way to manage them.”
Remember (very important) to not put anything on your calendar that you do not HAVE to do that particular day. When you add things you’d LIKE to do and wind up not doing them, because you know they don’t have to be done, the things you HAVE to do don’t get done, either. Only have those items that HAVE to get done. Keep the other stuff on a list, so IF you have time between calendared HAVE TO items, you can get extra stuff done, as well. Keep it separated. This was me, by the way. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. Oh, I have the greatest of intentions but then the list becomes so long, I don’t want to even look at that list. Don’t make my mistake. I’m doing a little better now, though. 😉
As far as your “Next Actions” list, if it’s long and drawn out, such as 50-100 or more items on it, then it’s time to split that up, too. Separate it and do it based on your energy level. Have your “Calls” list, your “Errands,” your “At the Computer” work list. When you are in one particular mood or mode, do that section or part of the list.
The Most Common Categories of Action Reminders:
- “At Computer”
- “Office Actions” or “At Office” (miscellaneous)
- “At Home:
- “Agendas” (for people and meetings)
Your list could be as small as a Post-it that you keep in your planner, or pocket or on “a screen in an “Errands” category of the “To Do” section on your Palm organizer.”
Make it a super-duper Sunday! Do something fun with people you love. Love ya! *hug*