This, GTD Day 25, I’ve decided will be our last day with Getting Things Done. It’s been an informative book and a useful tool, but I admit, a long haul. Hard to read, this book of Mr. Allen’s. Not inspiring in the least. Very dry. So, I’m bringing it to the closing of the curtains with the wrapping up of Chapters 12, 13 and the Conclusion in one fell swoop. Onto inspiration tomorrow, buddies! Can hardly wait!
Chapter 12: The Power of the Next-Action Decision
To reach completion on any project or task, we must define our next physical action(s) and act. To clear out all of your inbox, you simply begin by picking up the first piece of paper, making a decision what to do with it – what action needs to be taken? – and then, do it. Grasping the concept, yet? Execution still somewhat elusive? I feel ya. Baby steps, peeps. Small, tiny, baby steps. If you don’t take one small action at a time, you’ll never get anywhere.
Besides asking, “What’s the next action?” for each project, Mr. Allen also invites you to revisit your mind-sweep list, referenced on page 113, to help answer that question. Do you realize it only takes about 10 seconds to establish an answer for each of those projects or tasks on your list? Deciding the next action to get that task complete = 10 seconds.
So, why is it we procrastinate on answering the question? We don’t want to deal with it? We think if we ignore it, it’ll go away? It’s not going away. It’s growing into a big, ugly, scary monster and you need to tackle it before it grows even larger, hairy and uglier. I’m talking to me, here.
Focus on the outcome = an organized office or room and an organized head, since it will all be out of your head and organized where it should be = on your lists, tickled or reminders on your calendar. Sounds easy peasy. Anyone can learn how to be better organized and master productivity. And believe me, if I can do it, you can, too, because I am the worst! I’m working on it, a little bit, every day. After I post, I plan to attack my rows of stacks of items I’ve collected in my office. I haven’t worked on it much today or yesterday, but I’m getting back on the wagon this afternoon. I know how hard it is to look at the stuff. Honestly. I don’t want to look at mine, either, but we must go through all that stuff and decide what needs to be done with it. Are ya with me?
To actually make a decision on what the next action for a particular project should be is empowering. It’s one more step to getting it done and out-of-the-way, and out of your head. Less stress. Sounds good to me.
Once you get in the habit of deciding your next actions on projects and making progress on getting your stuff done, you will begin to notice a difference in not only the increase of your self-worth and self-esteem, but your entire outlook and your daily behavior will improve, as well. You will learn what it means to be more relaxed, knowing everything is being taken care of and you’ve left nothing just up in the air, floating around somewhere, or lost in the abyss of your office and plethora of stacks of papers all the way up to your eyeballs! No, my wish for you, and for me, is relaxation. Less stress: Good. 😉
When all our stuff has been routed to where it needs to be and our reminders are in place, AH! We can relax. We can smile and be glad in the satisfaction of knowing “we done good!” We got it done and we are no longer overwhelmed. We can now walk into our office and experience that sense of accomplishment and organizational bliss. That’s my dream, at least, for my very near future, and for yours. Let us become empowered, together!
Mr. Allen says it well in the last paragraph on Page 248, with, “When you start to make things happen, you really begin to believe that you can make things happen. And that makes things happen.” 😉
Chapter 13: The Power of Outcome Focusing
I love where Mr. Allen (on Page 251) references an expert in whole-brain learning, Steven Snyder, and quotes, “There are only two problems in life: (1) you know what you want, and you don’t know how to get it; and/or (2) you don’t know what you want.” The two solutions? (1) Make it up. (2) Make it happen.
In Conclusion, I’d like to add that it takes 21 days to develop or break a habit. It’s a fact. I can attest to this, as far as for me, doing something or not doing something for 21 days, can stick, and you then have taught yourself to do or not do something automatically. You can retrain your brain. I’ve done it. I’ve not done it, yet, as far as becoming organized, but I quit smoking (years ago), I started reading, writing and blogging every single day since, what Jan. 1 or 2 of this year? We can all develop and break habits, and we can work toward making it a habit of being organized by: (1) keep all the stuff out of our head, (2) decide next actions when we get the thing the first day, not later, and (3) review and update daily and weekly all of our open loops on those lists and calendars.
If you’d like more support, Mr. Allen’s information is found on Pages 258 and 259 of “Getting Things Done.”
It’s been real, and it’s been fun, but it hasn’t been real fun! I’m ready for “One Month to Live – Thirty Days To a No-Regrets Life,” which starts tomorrow. I’m ready for fun!!!
I trust you are making it a completely awesome Wednesday. Hallie has 9 weeks tests this week and she’s doing rather well, so far, although she’s not fond of being tested. I mean, who is? Right?! Catch y’all tomorrow! Love ya! *hug* Oh, and check out the poll below, if you are interested.