Getting Ready For 2010 – Preparation
Once up on a time, I used to write New Year’s resolutions and try to dream up new and exciting plans for coming year. But, like most exercises in fantasy and “blue-sky” imagination, these dreams seldom amounted to much. Work and creativity are more about momentum and turning up every day than big mountain-top wishes […]
Once up on a time, I used to write New Year’s resolutions and try to dream up new and exciting plans for coming year. But, like most exercises in fantasy and “blue-sky” imagination, these dreams seldom amounted to much. Work and creativity are more about momentum and turning up every day than big mountain-top wishes and “visions.”
That’s not to say that reflection and planning are not important. But, unless you have a system for organising your ideas into projects, or a sense of where your work is already taking you, all the dreams and resolutions you come up will be washed away the moment the tide of life comes rolling in.
That’s why in so many years, once the high of Christmas and New Year is past, February ends up looking a lot like November and, if we are not careful, each year just starts to feel like and older and slower version of the last.
So, on Friday I blocked out the whole day to go through my projects, plans and obligations. These past six months have seen an explosion of new commitments, relationships and opportunities. That has been forcing me to reassess some long standing ways of working.
As I’ve written before, I’m committed to the GTD, or Getting Things Done. This involves weekly reviews of outstanding commitments. Sometimes, however you need a more substantial review.
A critical part of the GTD approach is to have a single collection point for all the stuff that comes into your life. For me, that means a big physical box (from G.O.D. in Hong Kong) and Omnifocus, as an electronic notepad.
Collection means all the stuff in your life that is unprocessed. That could be emails, or camera memory cards, or broken clocks, or newspaper clippings, or bills, or uninstalled software. It all gets collected and made ready for review and processing.
To be honest, this is a tough process. I habitually leave stuff all around the house, create piles of unread magazines or, worse still, mix up stuff I need to process with stuff that is ready to be filed (or just thrown out).
In fact, the last point – mixing up things that are at different stages of being processing – is one of the major causes of home and work clutter. For me, it has been a common cause of stress.
For this review day, I took extra care to gather every loose and new thing up and inbox it, either physically or on the computer. In fact, that was a few hours work before the day itself.
With all that stuff collected the night before, I booked a meeting room in the building I live in, for a 7am start. Tomorrow I’ll outline that review day in more detail.