Saturday, September 09, 2006

GTD - Order out of Chaos?

I've started to use the GTD (Getting Things Done) system. It is a system to organize the activities required to fulfill your projects (whichever they may be).

It includes things such as getting all important information into an external system you trust (such as a suitable computer program), filing everything appropriately, having a system for reminding you of important events, and so on.

The best thing about GTD isn't perhaps any specific idea it contains, but the way it all fits of them together into a nice closed system that covers all the activities in your life (in an overview-ish kind of way). And that it is fairly simple in its principles (always a good thing). It also leaves a lot of room for tweaking and personalizing.

It has helped me realize (again?) that a big reason for my own disorganization is indecision (which itself isn't news to me or my readers - indecision is my nemesis. One of them. Yes, I have many nemesis..es - ha! Ten point to whomever gets that reference!)

Indecision, how? Well, I let things pile up with the idea that I decide what to do about it later (e.g. should I answer this email? Let's decide later. Should I print out that info, or just throw the file way? I'll keep the file for now and decide later. Etc). And I used the same place for different purposes (the mails in my inbox would serve as reminders, containers of information - such as addresses needed in a few days, or reference material I might sometime need - and so on.) A similar pattern was/is present in other areas than my inbox.

And then new stuff arrives all the time, and it gets worse and worse until you force yourself to re-organize some (or all) of it. However, then the process of disorganization starts again, and chaos starts to build up. The secret is to organize it once and for all and then see to it that it never gets out of hand again. And that's what GTD will help you with.

GTD helps you establish a system which you then can apply to every new stuff that arrives in your life (whether it comes from within or without).

A funny detail - I don't think I really understood until now the crucial part incoming stuff plays in the creation of chaos.

To learn more, just search on GTD - Getting Things Done - and the author of the book, David Allen.

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