A GTD tip: When you’re sorting things at home and you come across something that should be in a different room, resist the urge to take it there straight away. That disrupts your flow. Instead put it in a pile of things to take to another room, and take them there later.
Perhaps each room should have an inbox in case you know that it needs to be in that room but you haven’t decided exactly where yet. Just remember to clear the inboxes as soon as possible!
I have spent the evening wading through piles of documentation and putting it into my new GTD alphabetical filing system. It feels good to have one place for all reference material. I started off analysing everything, putting it into date order, deciding what to throw away, but quickly decided i couldn’t manage all that. For the first iteration i have simply been putting things into folders.
I’ve chosen SimpleGTD.com as my preferred online GTD system. It’s really easy to enter actions and move them around and assign them to projects if you want to, but you don’t have to. Nicely AJAX-ified to make things faster. For times when i’m offline i have a little notebook to act as an inbox for thoughts until they can go in the online system.
It’s pretty cool to see how the online and offline can integrate. My sweet husband placed a £5 off Boots No 7 voucher in my inbox today. I created an action “Use No 7 voucher” under the context “Winchester” and the project “Actionable”. In my physical filing system i made a folder called “Actionable” into which i placed the voucher. So when i’m next going into town i can look under the context and remember where to find the voucher!
Well, that’s the idea! Let’s hope it works! I’ve always liked the idea of being super organised … just never really known how to do it. I really think GTD might work for me.
Reading the book, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, has helped me to understand why “Clean kitchen cupboards” has been overdue on MyChores for over a year. The reason is: it’s not a task; it’s a project!
As a project, it cannot all be done in one go. You have to get everything out of the cupboard you want to clean, and leave it out preferably overnight to ensure the cupboard dries properly before you put things back in again. There isn’t space to have everything out of the cupboards at the same time – so you have to do just one or two at a time.
With this in mind i got some sticky notes and stuck them to the cupboards which most pressingly need cleaning!
We then set about to give each cupboard a name: “pots and pans cupboard”, “cups and glasses cupboard”, “crockery cupboard”, “dry ingredients cupboard” … it was quite fun analysing the contents of each cupboard and wondering how and why we had chosen each for its purpose.
We deleted the overdue task from MyChores and created 11 new tasks in its place. We then cleaned two of the cupboards together last week.
We had planned to do two cupboards a day and get them all clean within the week. Unfortunately we’ve had such a busy week, it just didn’t happen. So now i have rescheduled them to do two a week and get them finished by the end of March. This also means that when the tasks recur on a 6-monthly basis, it will never feel like such a big job again.
I hope this post might encourage other people facing daunting tasks, to break them down into a smaller manageable size, and plan to do them at a schedule that you can reasonably manage.
I don’t do new year’s resolutions. For me, a year is too long a time. I do, however, always try to do something for Lent, and occasionally i make new week’s resolutions, which usually last just from Monday to Friday.
This week i am following a resolution that i was inspired to make after reading Nye’s Top tips for a tidy home. It is full of many excellent tips, but the part i really liked was this:
You’ve had a really hard day at work and you’re tired. Wait! Don’t sit down on the sofa, no matter how tempting it is. Do a couple of chores first and then sit down. Give yourself a pat on the back!
It is true, when i come home from work i am only mentally tired. It seems to work really well to balance that with some physical exercise that doesn’t require much brain power. This week i have aimed to do two chores, but ended up doing more because i found i actually had quite a lot of energy to use up.
Contrast that with my previous technique which was to put things off until after washing up, forgetting that i often don’t get round to washing up until 10pm, and if there is a lot of washing up to do, i don’t feel like doing chores afterwards at all. Meaning that i ended up doing most of my chores on a Sunday afternoon!
So thank you, Nye, your advice really seems to work well, and i hope that this will become a habit that lasts for more than just a week! :)
In other news, i just lol’d at this picture found on urban dictionary … what’s the opposite of ‘pro’?
The teacher is a total n00b not to know that the opposite of ‘pro’ is blatantly ‘n00b’!
So my epic holiday is nearly over … i go back to work tomorrow after more than 3 weeks away. I actually can’t wait to get back! I so enjoy the work that i do, and i appreciate the structure of knowing what is going to happen each day.
Here is my holiday summary:
- A few days at home relaxing and getting ready
- Four days in Germany
- A week in De Panne, on the North coast of Belgium over Christmas
- Back home and time with family and friends
- Dealing with horrible damp mouldy walls that got really bad when we were away
For more details and photographs, read on … but beware of the mould pictures if they might squick you out!
We were given a rose plant as a wedding gift, which i think was a lovely idea – i like flowers, but it’s nice to have a plant that lasts. It is growing quite beautifully at the moment:
I’m so glad i’ve taken photos of the Leucothoe Scarletta plant, otherwise i would not realise how dramatically it has changed colour through the seasons. This was in June, mostly green and yellow:
At the end of July it was beginning to change colour:
Now in October, it has become a beautiful deep red. Just look at it now!
Resumo: Mi kulturis ĉi tiujn florojn el semo, kaj hodiaŭ ni havis visitanton al ili!
I feel incredibly blessed to think that these nasturtiums i grew from seed have flowered and are now considered worthy of a visit from a bumblebee!
This little visitor spent about ten minutes buzzing round all our flowers this morning, taking a little bit of pollen from each one. Yum yum, isn’t that delicious?! Don’t you just want to go and make some lovely honey from all that yummy pollen?! :) :) Next time we buy some honey i’ll like to think that we might have contributed to it with our flowers! :)
Here are two of the better pictures that i managed to take before i got too scared about annoying the bee!
Isn’t nature adorable?!
Look at all these flowers appearing! Last week there were only two; now there are seven or eight, and i can see lots of new buds too!
I never thought i was much of a flower person; i didn’t really see much point in flowers, but these are so pretty, and make me feel happy! They come in different colours too:
You can also eat them, apparently.
I just came home and noticed this on the balcony:
I have not really been looking after the plants terribly well, so this was very unexpected! It’s amazing what a little bit of sunshine can do! For reference, here is the story so far with this nasturtium plant …
Even more unexpectedly, even the Aster plant has produced some buds and looks about to burst into bloom, even though the leaves look almost dead:
The C# course was very good today; i learned how to produce and consume web services, and we did a bit of ASP.NET this afternoon. I am reluctantly quite impressed how you can code C# into a button on a web form, and i like how you can cache data into a DataSet and synchronise it with the database later. Much as i hate to acknowledge it, Microsoft do sometimes have a few good ideas! I got a certificate for being on the course, signed by Bill Gates!
I had a lovely evening with Nye last night, and it was great to be able to leave at 08:45 and just have a short tube journey to get to the course. Aster13 is on a train right now, coming to stay for the weekend. Yayness! :)
Oh, i’ve just remembered i forgot all about Bloglines this week! That’s going to take a while to catch up …
Thank you so much to all the kind people who have been giving their warm wishes for Suzie’s health. It really means such a lot to me.
We took Suzie to the vet today … good news is it’s not wet tail. But the bad news is, it’s a urinary tract infection, with the sticky eye as a side effect. Still, we have some anti biotics and instructions to clean Suzie’s eye and bottom once a day with warm water and cotton wool. This is good because it is what we did last night anyway. Suzie was very good tonight and ate up the milk drops without seeming to notice that they were spiked with anti biotics!
In other news, we got a bookcase today! Free off Freecycle, from someone else in Winchester who no longer wanted it! Amazing!! I have wanted one like this for ages … good thing my partner was on the email and ready to reply straight away today … things like this don’t come up very often!
Now we are happily filling it up with all sorts of stuff! :)
Don’t you hate it when you get to the end of an evening and you think, “What did i actually do tonight?”. And then you think of everything. And then you go, “Yes, but what else?!”. And then the only feasible next action is to waste a bit more time blogging about it!!
I don’t seem to cope well on my own. I was alright last night because i occupied myself with lots of chores and writing Christmas cards. But tonight i have gone all non-linear and don’t seem to be able to get around to doing anything much.
Well, there are some good things about tonight: i went for my run, i cooked a good meal, i folded the laundry and put some more on. I should certainly give myself a Well Done award for those, and maybe i can finish the day up well by getting to bed at a sensible time instead of hurriedly trying to achieve things to make me feel better.