Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wow, I can see my brain again!

Just have to say that after a couple of weeks implementing as many of the GTD principles that I can cope with, life has changed!

The very best thing about my experience so far is the freedom I feel from being able to empty my head of all those little things I don't want to lose track of, but which I was losing track of anyway. They're out of the noggin, most of them, but they're in places that are easy to get to and review.

They aren't rigidly contained, the system is still fluid, and that is the most empowering thing of all for me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting Things Done

When I was a child, my mum used to say that procrastination was my middle name. Here I am over 40 and the same label is still a comforable fit! Having had a weakness for notebooks, new pens and organising systems for many years now and still finding myself disorganised, I'm wary and tend to look the other way when a 'new method' intrudes upon my consciousness. Partly because I don't like the guilt factor, and partly because when I find a method I like I've tended in the past to spend more time setting up pretty folders than actually getting on with what needed doing.

DIY Planners is a great site for templates and instructions for putting together your own paper based organiser. [Click here for their beginner's guide to setting up a planner, and here for their handbook on the same topic which has a GTD bent.] It's through this site that I came across Getting Things Done, by David Allen.
Click on the link in the last sentence to download his FREE articles (you do need to register, but there's no cost) on personal productivity, written in real english with not a hint of patronisation in sight. This man is like Jamie Oliver with his Ministry of Food; he has some simple but brilliant insights, and he's willing to give a whole chunk of it away free. Just because.

So this week I've had a lovely cool and sweet smelling breeze blow through my brain as I put together a paper based organiser in the leather (*yes!*) organiser folder that someone threw away last week. Rescued it after it'd been in the rain for quite a few hours, but it still seems fine. Thank you to my anonymous neighbour (kind of hope I don't find out which neighbour it is, I think) for this fine addition to my organising efforts!

I love what I've seen so far of the GTD things because they aren't telling me what to do. They're explaining what's happening when I'm disorganised, and suggesting ways to capture and tame information, that won't strain my brain. I love the idea of the InBox, this is the first thing I've set up and it's helping me to springboard to the rest of the principles. Flexibility is so important to me in any organising effort; if I can't make it fit the way I do things, if I can't make it change from day to day or minute to minute, then I won't use it for long.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Call for ideas! Eco/self reliance workshop

In early July this year our Stake Relief Society will be holding a day convention. I've been asked to lead one of the workshops, and the topic will be eco living and self reliance in the home (or something like that). This is exciting! My problem is deciding what to share in the 1/2 hour time frame, what should be concentrated on and what might be better left out.

My ideas so far:
Sandwich wraps and bags
Homemade alternatives for deodorant, shampoo, washing powder/liquid
Recycling/repurposing clothing

Please leave any ideas you may have as comments, I'd really appreciate input as to what you consider would be of worth to share in the workshop.

Modified to add:
Do you think it would totally freak people out if I addressed albeit briefly, the concept of non-disposable womens sanitary items? Like the Diva Cup / Moon Cup, and cloth pads. I think this is something all women should at least be aware of, but hey, no point alienating the audience if that's a bit too much for them to handle at this point.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How convenient is convenience, really?

"Convenience items are designed to be lifestyle addictive. They're designed, not to make your life easier, but to make you consume them over and over again. They give you the illusion of ease while sapping you of yet another lifeskill. Think microwave food - you don't have to cook! Some rob you of honest human interaction. Think bank ATM - no need to ever meet the person you are entrusting all your money to! Others remove the need to perform even a little bit of exercise. Think Swiffer - you never have to bend over to deal with a dust pan, just throw that nasty cloth right in the trash when you're done! The more convenience items we rely on the more consumption we become addicted to and we're getting more and more tired every day trying to keep up with it all."

You can read the rest of this inspirational post here, at Rabbit Hill Farm. I highly recommend paying this blog a visit and reading the rest of the post. The solution? Slow down! Pick one thing, just one thing, that you can do simply, the old fashioned way, the not-out-of-a-tin way. Then do it! And love doing it. When you're ready, choose something else.

Here's a random thought: ever since switching to all wooden pegs, I find I love hanging out the laundry! Some of my pegs are dolly pegs, which make me think of my grandmother. All the other pegs are hand oiled wood which are easy to mend if the spring comes off, and which seem to me to be able to.....breathe.