Image courtesy of Mateusz Stachowski
I am a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD). The GTD system has been very helpful for me as a way to look at what I have to do and get things organized into next steps. I am not perfect at it and am forever tweaking it to work for me personally. Stages in the GTD the system include:
· Collect things that command our attention
· Process what they mean and what to do about them
· Organize the results
· Review options
As an introvert, the collection phase is very important. According to Allen:
“If it’s not being directly managed in a trusted external system of yours, then it’s resident somewhere in your psyche. The fact that you haven’t put an item in your in-basket doesn’t mean you haven’t got it. But we’re talking here about making sure that everything you need is collected somewhere other than in your head.” tweet
In GTD, you do an initial collection of everything that you need to do and then capture things as they come up. According to Allen, if you don’t do this, those “un-captured” items will continue to stay on the top of your mind.
For example, if I know I need to finish my section of the training by Friday, I need to make a note of when I am going to do it and the steps I need to accomplish it. If I don’t, my brain will keep bringing it up so that I don’t forget. Having these to-do items bouncing around in my head prevents me from focusing on whatever I am supposed to be doing at the moment.
The capturing of my to-do’s and my ideas has been extremely valuable to me. As an introvert, my mind is where I spend more of my time. I have so many great ideas, but I have to capture those ideas to make room for the new ideas to come. If I can keep my mind clear, I can focus on the task at hand and all the while continue to come up with great ideas for the future.
Ideally, things to do will be captured as I go. However, when life gets a little busy, sometimes I need to step back and make sure that everything is recorded in a place to make sure it will get done.