Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Me? Organized?

I'm noticing that some of the advice in Getting Things Done isn't really of much help to me, in terms of getting my physical space organized. He has some great ideas for reducing the mountain of paper, putting it in its proper and practical place. And I'm sure it works for most management-oriented people. That's because David Allen is assuming that most clutter is paper-based. That's not really true for me (or for most techies, I would imagine). Here's a picture of Problem Area #1:

As you can see, most of the clutter isn't paper-based. I've got tools, things to fix, things to listen to, more tools, cases of parts, spools of cable, and rock climbing gear (don't ask). And, true, some paper scattered in the middle. (Notice my new iMac -- cool!) It's this mountain of stuff that I'm having trouble coping with. The paper is just a matter of getting around to sorting and dealing with it; time-consuming, but not difficult. But all the pieces/parts and tools are more of a problem.

On the other hand, I'm enjoying a lot of the advice in GTD. I think it's actually helping me to organize my time (if not my workspace) better, and I like his ideas about processing projects in terms of next actions instead of the often-intimidating gestalt. It's less a book of specific advice on solving specific problems (though it does a fair amount of that), and more a philosophy, a way to approach time management, personal organization, and project management. And I do think it might help me get a better grip on what I'm doing and what I should be doing.

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