As you know I’m trying out David Allen’s Getting Things Done system lately. Here’s my illustrated notes about it, and here’s photos from when I set up an inbox system to collect shit.
As part of his productivity system, he recommends having a physical inbox to collect tasks, paperwork, forms, letters etc as they come in. Which, is nothing really new to me: I’ve used inboxes before!
But here’s the crucial distinction: the inbox must be emptied once a week as part of a “weekly review” process. Everything is either filed, trashed, or added to your to do list.
Whereas I would just put things in the inbox… and then never really go through it until it was just teeming with shit 6 months later. YOLO! So the idea of a weekly review was wildly helpful!
Now, because I’ve not used the GTD system before… my inbox was fucking FULL. I went around the house, my bedroom & my office to collect all the paperwork & crap that needed to be actioned. And there was SO much it ended up making three huge piles. So I decided to make a headstart on it yesterday, even though it wasn’t really my “weekly review” day because I suspected it would take a fair bit of work. Plus, I was EXCITED!
That’s the after photo. It took me about 2.5 hours to clear it, and I’ll be honest, I wanted to fucking DIE by the end. I did learn critical things from this exercise however:
You really DO need to stick to the GTD protocol. If a task is going to take more than 2 minutes, it needs to be added to a to do list to be done later. I was an eedjit who started working on projects that I’d find in the inbox, and half an hour would pass and I’d still be surrounded in a massive inbox that needed to be processed.
Of course, each week my inbox won’t be this full. This was really just sorting through the backlog of all the shit I have EVERYWHERE.
I do feel WAY more organised and clear knowing I have ONE spot as a dump zone for things that need to be actioned. I no longer have to remember where they all are!
Lastly, I realised I actually needed TWO inboxes: the first being the inbox on top to put new things in to process each week. And a “Hold” box for things I’ve already processed and have a task assigned to my task list. They are kind of a library of projects for me to work on. So for example: I bought some magnetic photoframes, so they were in the inbox. I added to my to do list that I need to get photos printed. Once the photos are printed, I’ll be able to put them up using the photoframes. In the meantime, they are hanging out in my project box.
That way, each week when I process my inbox, I don’t have to go through all the items I’ve already assigned to my to do list. They can just hang out in my project box until they are ready for the next stage. I’ve also got mail to send, things to give to friends, collaborative art journals in there – all of which I’ve got a task on my list for, and are just waiting for the right time to be worked on.
I also decided to start using Google Keep for digital notes & reminder lists. This was after watching spellbound notes‘ original video about the Getting Things Done system that I did illustrated notes of here.
I was using a mash of platforms before Google Keep. I used Reminders on my phone for grocery lists – which was annoying because whenever I’d remember I needed something, I’d have to go find my phone. With Google Keep, I can add to those lists from my laptops or iPad or phone, AND I can also share those specific lists with my husband as well. That way, he can add to them as well, and also access them on his phone when he’s shopping by himself.
I also had digital notes spread from fucking here to Timbuktu. I ended up going through all four of my regularly used devices (2 x laptops, iPad & iPhone) to collate all the notes I had in there and transfer them to Keep. All in all, I’m digging having this more central repository.
I’m including in it:
- favourite quotes
- digital coupons
- blog post ideas
- health notes.
In other news, I’ve noticed my levels of autistic overstimulation from going out are way down when I use weighted blankets in the car.
I use a 2kg weighted lap blanket from Calming Moments, and I also found a weighted shoulder pad at Aldi that I either wrap around my shoulders or double up on the lap blanket. I find the lap blanket does double time as a sensory gadget as well – I really like squeezing it!
Next up on my GTD system agenda: I need to decide when I complete the rest of the weekly review. I’ll either do it Fridays or Mondays. I wonder if Monday would be more useful – I feel like I’ll either forget my review over the weekend, or it will amp me up and I’ll work during the weekend instead because damn do I love to achieve some goals. Neither is ideal. Whether I do it Friday or Monday, it’s all a glorious experiment to see what works!
I’m sending you all so much love!
May you be merry, may you be whole, may you have rest.
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