September 28, 2007

The Accidental GTDer

My take on the 100 Thing Challenge has been going well this week. I've managed to sort through at least one box every day after work. The things inside go in their appropriate labeled boxes, the giveaway box, the reference box or the trash — and it's my first time I haven't made a "Deal With It Later" pile/box/grocery bag. I go shelf by shelf in my closet, pulling out the next box that needs sorting. Then I sort it from top to bottom, one item at a time, without putting any item back into the box that I just pulled it from. I just need to take this bit by bit so I don't burn out halfway through sorting this time.

The only thing I've been disappointed about this week is that my sudden need to declutter my craft stash interfered with the beginning stages of implementing GTD. No, really. My inbox is buried in craft supplies. So while I was at work yesterday, thinking about how I was failing miserably in my attempt to Get Things Done, I suddenly realised that I wasn't failing as miserably as I thought. Here's why:

  • Before I pulled the fabric boxes out from under the bed and took the bed apart, I visualized exactly what I wanted my end result to be for this project — a clean, tidy, even somewhat minimalist living space. I knew what I was going for before I started forming my plans.
  • I decided on my next action before starting: sort through the series of boxes by placing things in the keep boxes, giveaway boxes, reference box, or trash. This project consists of far more than this seemingly endless sorting.
  • Everything is sorted without advance thought to which boxes are easiest to sort through. If I pull out an easy box, cool. If I don't, it's sorted anyway.
  • The only things going back into the craft closet are clearly labeled clear plastic boxes containing things I want enough to keep (part of my project goal). They are not placed on unsorted shelves.
It's clumsy as far as GTD is concerned, but this somewhat GTD-influenced system is a lot easier and more efficient than any of my previous attempts. I think it's still a decent start for a fairly clueless beginner. Now to work on sorting so that I can find my inbox again.

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