TCB & GSD

I'd like to think that I am organized in a cluttered way, if that makes sense.  I tend to hide my clutter, keep things for too long (both physical and digital), and become overwhelmed by tools that are meant to simplify my life.  All of my documents are in neat little folders, but there are a million things inside them.  I need to be able to clean up instead of just hide away.

Pre-Class: GSD.Lab Diagnostic Quiz

So, this happened.  Yikes.  There's a fire.  I think my problem generally stems from feeling overwhelmed–by work, personal projects, "life stuff," and even organizational tools themselves.  I tend to lock up, so it's not that I forget things, I just push them off because I get too stressed.  I thought maybe I was being too hard on myself–but I should be in order to force change!

Phase 1: Collecting Open Loops

I will be moving forward using Wunderlist.  I've already been using that for quite some time with fairly good results, just my own disorganization getting in the way (aka I have a massive inbox).  It has a lot of similar features to Evernote/Todoist, so I'd rather stick with what I know than add more programs to my arsenal.  Plus, I already had a ton of open loops within my Wunderlist lists.

Phase 2: Processing Tasks

This is going to be a challenge–I have been able to consolidate my to-do lists, it wasn't actually as bad as I thought, though I am concerned I still have too many buckets.  I want to try and consolidate categories as much as possible; I feel as though having a bunch of different labels may be the same problem (tons of open loops) in a different form.  The "Someday/Maybe" process almost seems too broad for me, although maybe that is a challenge I should be facing more head-on.

My email, on the other hand... that is going to be a project for another day.  Or weekend.  Or week.

Oooooh boy...

As far as labeling tasks, I was already pretty good at making my to-dos very action-oriented.  I appreciate it as a technique because it makes everything seem far less daunting–all you need to do is take a small step.  Then you can check it off and write down the next one until a project is complete.  The simple act of x-ing off a task, even on a computer program, is very satisfying.

I've realized one of my problems is due dates–I basically apply a due date of "today" to everything.  This means that every single task is in front of my face all the time, with big red text that it's due or past due.  I need to get better about managing my timelines and setting realistic ones, otherwise I can't appropriately prioritize.

Wunderlist already has the option to categorize everything under "areas of responsibility," and within this, you can add notes to each project.  For that reason, I think I am going to move ahead without Evernote, although I'm sure I'll see in the following steps why it may be better for me to still have an additional reference container.  For now, I feel that sticking to one program may keep this simple enough for me to stick with it.

The last note of the Processing phase really got to me: do it/delegate it/defer it.  I am a terrible delegator and try to do everything myself, which often leads to me becoming overwhelmed, even by two-minute tasks.  This is something I will need to work on as I create more comprehensive lists of things I want to get done, and assess what I could actually get help with.

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