Are you Getting Things Done?

We are thirty-two days into the year 2006 and the Chinese year of the dog has just begun. I see a lot of people talking about whether they’ve kickstarted their New Year Resolutions or whether they’ve begun to work towards a particular goal.

For me, it’s important to analyse what I’ve done and how effectively I’ve done it. Have I done it to the best of my ability, therefore using my time appropriately and not wasting any of it, or have I spent some time here and there, instead of using it productively?

If you’re reading this before 3pm on February 1st, I’m currently on the national rail heading to the south of England to meet with some individuals who run a music discussion group there. On the train journey, I’m working on understanding exactly what I’ve done this last month and figuring out the most effective ways for me to operate certain things. Apart from that, I’m also reading Shilpa Unalkat’s new book, “Corporate Head, Spiritual Heart” – I got the book from her book launch in London last night. I remember the last few months of last year, I worked on ensuring the effectiveness operation of my business so that I can spend only the time necessary and no time is wasted.

I’ve noticed that by writing down small lists of things I’ve got to do, it frees my mind of the job of remembering everything that I need to do, and I am able to concentrate fully on actually doing those things. I don’t really work on the basis of priorities, but rather taking one thing at a time and enjoying it thorougly. Over the last few days, I completed a report I thought would take me eight hours, in two hours. I wrote four blog posts in 90 minutes, rather than double the time. I enjoyed spending less time because it all got done well and I wasn’t frustrated with any of the results. By making a short list of what I’ve got to do, I found myself to be more productive and get things done more easily.

Ask yourself, what did you want to do in 2006 that you haven’t yet started? What have you started but not done effectively? What have you wasted time on? Make a note of all these things and one-by-one begin working in small time chunks on it.

I like this description of getting things done from David Allen’s book Ready for Anything:

“Get everything out of your head. Make decisions about actions required on stuff when it shows up — not when it blows up. Organize reminders of your projects and the next actions on them in appropriate categories. Keep your system current, complete, and reviewed sufficiently to trust your intuitive choices about what you’re doing (and not doing) at any time.”

It’s important to start now – don’t leave it till late. There are eleven more months left – utilise them most effectively.

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