Friday, January 28, 2011

How to achieve stress-free productivity - or not

Today in work I lived the dream - or at least the organisational flowchart.

While in Daughter's I picked up a book that I'd noticed lying around.

{Pause in the proceedings at this point while I venture out into the freezing cold night to search for stupid dog who must, somehow, have found a way out of what we thought was our unescapeable garden. I find him holding up traffic as he meanders across the road and into the bible college. Stupid stupid dog is lucky to be alive.}

Back to the book. It was called Getting Things Done: how to achieve stress-free productivity, by David Allen. (I suggest one good idea would be to Rid Your Life of Dogs that Cause Unnecessary Stress.)

Slightly put off by the first page that was full of indecipherable Americanese workplace speak, I flicked through it a bit more and discovered the answer lies, not in the soil, but in lists. Okay his lists weren't necessarily the scrap of paper you then lose lists but however high tech the method the idea is the same.

Of course, it wasn't just a case of making a list - although I can see the point of writing down everything that is cluttering my brain and that I am sure to forget - but what you do with the list afterwards. You Throw, File, Delegate or Do depending.

I started to 'action' my new stress-free productivity workstyle today in Linden. Meaning I threw away a lot of stuff and I created two new files as recommended in what I am coming to think of as The Book. Big box files that labelled Reference (i.e. things I have no idea what to do with but suspect may be important one day and probably shouldn't throw out) and Maybe Sometime (i.e. things that I may have to do something with at some point in time - currently empty).

Now all I have to do is introduce this undoubtedly failsafe system into the rest of my life.

8 comments:

Puss-in-Boots said...

Sounds too stressful to me...

nick said...

And of course there should be a third box file entitled "Under Consideration" i.e. totally forgotten about until someone jogs my memory in six months' time.

The biggest source of stress is undoubtedly other people insisting you do something which you know is utterly stupid.

Leslie: said...

I agree with "Puss" - far too complicated for me. I use a calendar with large squares and on it I write my students' names at the bottom of the square and above I put in any appointments, etc. I have (ie personal stuff) and highlight the personal stuff in yellow or pink. It seems to work. :D

katney said...

I think I did some of that in my office last week. But I didn't read the book. I know I need to do more of it.

katney said...

And you know? A lot of the stressful part of it was things I had to figure out because someone else didn't follow directions.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I have lists too .
They're headed : Panic , Overdue , Today and This Week .
Perhaps I should find a file to put them in .
P.S. No one could run over a dog who was on his way to Bible College !

Furtheron said...

Lists work...

I have got back into them since the New Year and .... I've got things done and I feel good about it ...

Rose said...

Good luck:) I've found all these organizing experts say the same thing, but invariably once I throw something away I discover I needed it after all.

Meanwhile, just came back from getting Sophie out of the field as she was getting dangerously close to the road. Wonder what the cars passing by thought of me with my hair sticking out in strange ways and my ratty blue bathrobe hanging down past my coat. She and George must be related:)