During our 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers series, we’ll be lining out the steps to setting up and implementing key strategies to keeping life – even home and family life – running without “where’d I put that bill?” or “We’re running late” sorts of stresses.
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A System Based on Common Sense
What David Allen proposes in Getting Things Done is having a system in place to deal with one’s stuff so that one can achieve “stress-free productivity,” a sense of “relaxed control,” through “natural planning” processes.
“Anxiety,” he claims, “is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action.” He posits that most people know how to plan and they know what to do, they just don’t do it. So his book is a step-by-step coaching towards doing completely and well what most people only do in crises or in a scattered manner.
His system is simple and easy to summarize:
- Keep an up-to-date calendar
- Keep ideas & action steps in lists — not in your head
- Have a place to keep reference information so that you can find it when you need it.
There you have it. Now you can ignore the rest of this series if you already have those three things under control.
What he proposes is a system based on common sense principles, core methods that don’t change with the times or the technology. You can implement it as low-tech or high-tech as you want; you can implement it if you are a CEO, a pawn in an office, or – a mother at home. Allen goes so far as to say that what he is about to lay out, when applied consistently, always works.
That is because it all comes down merely to systematically and consistently applying common sense.
Now, I found (and what even the author admits) that you don’t have to set up and implement a total system as he outlines. If you even only pick up a few tricks here and there, you will reap benefits. So, you can implement the total system, cull a handful of tricks, or use his steps as a process to get things back under control again as needed.
“Even when only portions of the model are inserted,” Allen admits, “tremendous benefit ensues.” So, if you follow along with me, do not feel like you must do all or nothing. Read merely with curiosity and interest, picking up a few hints here or there. There is no pressure.