Friday, August 17, 2007

How my desk (and study) is changing for the better

I know it might seem like I've become an evangelist for GTD, but I assure that's not the case. It's just that I'm actually quite amazed, and a little thrilled, about the difference getting more control into my study is making to me overall. I just happen to have alighted on GTD and I'm experimenting with it.

What I like is the simplicity of the approach: Collect-Process-Do. Actually trying to implement this strategy has given me the reason to tidy up my study, but it's not the whole reason.
The story begins with a number of realisations. First, I needed to be organised. My study was a mess and that meant my mind was a mess too. A mess in the sense of no order and no system to track and monitor what I was doing. Second, I came to the realisation that one thing that needs to change for us as a church is accountability. And if I'm not holding myself accountable for getting things done, then how can I hold other people accountable for what the should be getting done? Third, I want to be more effective in what I do. I have so many things with which I have some level of involvement that it's impossible to keep it all my head. Well now I'm learning how not to store it there but elsewhere.

These then were some of the reasons that I took the plunge, not only to tidy up, but also to try and instill some discipline into my workflow. Look at the results. The first picture is my desk as it typically was. The second is my desk as it is now. The thing is I haven't tidied it up for the picture, it's actually like this most of the time! At the end of most days, I put stuff away, I process it in order to leave my desk empty for the following day just like I now leave my email inbox empty. I know I'll have days when it gets a little messy. But at least now there are no piles of loose papers piling up on the corner.

And my filing cabinet top is the same. It used to have an 18" high pile of papers with three full trays behind it. Next to my printer was another tall stack and there was another unruly bunch of stuff on the floor. All this has gone and order is emerging.
And you know what, it feels good to finally be breaking the pattern of years of marginal, fly by the seat of your pants, disorganisation.
Have I missed anything in the last 2 weeks since I began this process? Yes. I meant to email a document to someone but didn't because... it never made it to my list of actions. On the other hand I think I've actually delivered in some ways that were not the case before.
I'ts a strange experience, but one I hope to get used to. So please forgive me if I sound like a compulsive organiser, I'm not, I'm just enjoying the freedom that comes with a bit of structure.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Ooooo aaaaah. More more..! ;)

Still trying to find time to take this plunge. I know that sounds like I'm not committed to wanting to be organized, but give me a first step here...