This week I’ve been really trying to get it together here at work. I’m so unproductive it’s embarassing. This is why I find myself at 8:20 updating my blog. Because I am unproductive, and even though I want to BE HOME the most productivity seems to happen between the hours of 4 and 6 and honest, that’s no way to live.

Anyway, I read Getting Things Done by David Allen and have been spending a fair amount of time getting set up. I piled all kinds of things into my inbox and made a bunch of slips of paper with actions on them (I dumped my brain. It was great, and freeing, and my stack of next actions was about 1 inch thick). I printed out selected pages from the DIY Planner, and spoke to my admin point of contact about getting a dayplanner to customize. Last night I sat on the couch with the DIY planner pages and my little slips of paper spread out all around me and worked out a system that I think will be really useful. I don’t have the planner yet, but I am trying to work it from my binder clip (it’s just harder to go from page to page, and that’s kind of a hassle. Today at work I got my inbox vaguely sorted out into what they call “tickler” folders, which is supposed to be an organization system that you refer to constantly and that helps you achieve things. I ended up setting up things for invoices to approve, invoices to mark up and give to secretary, items to schedule, POs to complete, and task manager misc tasks. I hope I can keep things filed and get them done quickly that way.

The two things that seem most attractive about the Getting Things Done system are 1. it’s geared towards handling a job where you have things tossed in your lap constantly, and some of those things are on fire, and 2. it involves making a lot of lists, which I LOVE. It’s a bottom up system (unlike the Franklin Covey system, which involves setting goals for your whole life and then working towards them).

But then this morning I thought: is this new drive to organize just the best way of procrastination that I’ve ever come up with? Could be, grasshopper, could be. Know thy enemy, know thyself, indeed!

Anyway, here’s the system I’ve started to set up (and hope will be effective)

  • First section will be calendar, I bet. Once I get a day planner, or something.
  • To-Do sheet as a “To Do ASAP or drop dead!” sheet – work off of each day, and include dates. Try to keep daily only.
  • To-Do sheet for a list of calls and emails to make – work off of each day.
  • Agenda pages, for calls, PM meetings, client mtgs, etc. It’s a good brainstorming place too. Always date if possible, and review daily. Update as needed throughout the day.
  • Project Outlines, to store a rough project schedule including major tasks and dates, and job numbers. Review this weekly.
  • GTD All-In-One sheets, to list all project actions, dates if I have them, who’s working on the items now, and as the first place most things will go as I sort my inbox. Review daily.
  • Someday/Maybe lists, for things like personal errands/chores, CDs to get, books I want to read, and pie-in-the-sky dream items.
  • I’ll probably update more when I get around to it. If anyone is interested in the GTD system, there are a bunch of blogs and wikis out there. Good starting places are DIY Planner and 43 Folders.