Anyone who worked with me in the past, knows that I was susceptible to getting flustered. But things have changed for the better…
I’m now of the school that requires ones work and life to be lived with passion, fervor, and –especially when it comes to work — a high degree of organization. Maybe that last part is the anal German in me, who knows…
The idea is simple: if you have too much “stuff” in your brain, too much gnawing and vying for your attention in there, then ultimately your whole body and spirit will be overrun by those things:
- “did I forget to call Jack back?”
- “I have to make sure to pay that credit card bill today!”
- “ohhh shit, my inbox has 973 unread emails and some I know are important!”
The outcome is an uncool, unreachable, frantic, un-Mr Miagi, disorganized and generally ineffective person, colleague, or friend. This person is not living his highest potential. How sad it is when that person is a leader or boss of some sort. It’s impossible to run a strategic and tight ship if leaders aren’t organized.
The cycle of disorganization takes a toll until your body and mind literally become sick and reach a breaking-point. At one point or another you start to purge that cache of things, you block all the inputs from reaching you and most of all the stuff falls through the cracks and remains undone, ready to nag you another day.
I’ve been there. We’ve all been there and felt “overwhelmed.”
To remedy this, I try to keep as few projects and tasks in my head as possible, which means close to zero. And if a thought comes to me, I record it and file it in my trusted system in any given moment.
I’m not here to give you a 100 page dissertation on organization and the importance of it, but I think it’s important to share which methods of organization and task-management have helped me the most and send you on down the path of better organization.
In three words: Getting Things Done by David Allen (http://www.davidco.com). I highly recommend picking up the book or audiobook to get a primer on the trusted system through which you keep your mind clear and your work on-task.
There are tools based on that organization system. If you’re a Mac-User like me (since last month!), then I highly recommend Omnifocus (http://omnigroup.com). For PC users, there is the Getting Things Done Outlook plugin that I’ve used (https://secure.davidco.com/store/other.php?). It’s good, but because it lives in the E-mail client, you tend to get overrun by the hundreds of incoming emails and all the flood of inputs blowing you away and taking your focus off of actionable tasks.
If there were one actionable task I’d recommend as a result of this morning post, it is this:
if you can identify with the lost feeling of being overwhelmed by ideas, tasks, projects, work, life, then go get your feet wet in really learning deeply why and how personal task management and staying “on purpose” is so liberating. Pick up David Allen’s book on Amazon, his website, or iTunes (audiobook version). Also, as a free quick primer, check out this Omnifocus/ GTD White Paper.
Have a great day and I hope you take that first step to liberating your mind, day and life.