Clearing the fog - new start in 2006
(Ref www.davidco.com and by David Allen)
How are you in early January? Traditionally it heralds the winter blues, assisted by the passing of Christmas/New Year celebrations/expenditure, and the need for resolutions for a new lifestyle: an eating plan, a fitness regime, travel plans, goals for the year.
In recent times, Christmas/New Year seems to mark a more extended timeout from work, giving welcome peace and opportunity for our unconscious thinking and dreams to have free reign.
How clear are you about your goals/dreams and priorities for 2006?
Despite a personal tendency to ‘do’ rather than think (and I did fill in tax return as usual and catch up on business expenses this Christmas), I finally recognised the true value of taking a two week break. It was the perfect time to read again and study “Getting things done”, a book written by David Allen and recommended by Keith Mantell. Thanks Keith, you are a true friend: it feels great that my office is no longer one huge inbox/reference/pending file (the floor can now be Dyson’d!), because I finally took on board the book’s basic principles in managing paperwork.
I’m recommending this book to clients and incorporating its principles in coaching them use it, along with project management principles, to get better organised at work. I can honestly, even passionately(!) say that I feel a huge benefit of having all my actionable items out of my head and in a system which tells me at the appropriate time when things have to be done. My head has more clear space for thinking: musing, prioritising and planning and, importantly, the opportunity to think bigger: principles, vision, strategy, relationships rather than “sweating the small stuff” (don’t currently know what book that came from but the phrase just popped into my head so probably the first time I’ve really understood it! I’ll post the name as soon as I remember).
Special note to all those who hate planning: two ideas from “Getting things done”
- just work out the one (or more) next action and its deadline for each of your personal projects. Rather like Bryan Tracy’s idea of getting specific steps from a huge, undefined project ' frog' , it gets you moving.
- use a ‘tickler file’ (bring forward file) – the book shows you how to set one up for a full year.
For some reason (even though most people agree I’m very good with deadlines and project management) I’m a last minute purchaser/sender of Christmas Cards (not to mention last minute setting up of Christmas tree, decorations, getting food and social events organised).
A suggestion : do a quick review now of how Christmas was for you this year (what do you want the same and what do you want to be different?) and write down your goals for next Christmas now! Safely file them away and put an action in your tickler file for Oct/Nov or the date you want to bring them out and start planning your 2006 Christmas ‘project’ . I’m very pleased to have ‘organise Business Christmas cards’ action currently filed in August, so there’ll be time to decide what I want to do and do it (I know there'll be Christmas magazines through my letter box then!).
What are your personal thoughts/reactions: these may help you reflect on how you personally plan and get things done.