When I first came across David Allen's Getting Things Done framework, I loved the concept but I thought it was a bit much. It took me another year after first reading to implement the thing.
In a nutshell, the idea is to keep nothing in your head. Capture everything. Either on paper or in a text document, in a notebook, or in an email to yourself. Capturing everything releases a lot of pressure on our psyche and gives us space to just be. Our brains are more like RAM than they are like a hard drive.
We capture more than just the stuff that has come out of our head - this is also messages, emails, event invitations, and mail. There are so many pigeonholes now. I like to have the least amount I can possibly have. Try and count how many you have.
Translate (aka process aka clarify)
Capturing will only feel good for so long. If we don't do something with all that stuff, we'll stop trusting the system. We have to translate the stuff that has come in into something we can actually work with.
What do I mean by translate?
Well, let's look at something I might have written down. In my notebook, I have a simple note: 17hats
Now I have to ask myself: What is it? What does it mean?
17hats is a software I'm thinking about using.
Ok. Next question: Is it actionable?
If no, there are 3 options:
- I can eliminate it. In this case, cross it out.
- I can incubate it. I can create a reminder to think about it at a later date.
- I can add it to my reference materials. I might create a note that says "If I want to change invoicing, proposals, quoting or contracts, 17hats might be worth considering." and pop it in a folder called "Software" or something. (This could vary widely depending on how one does reference materials.)
If yes, what is the next action?
In this case, it is actionable.
Actions need verbs. Doing words.
This is the part that actually takes the most brain power. Capturing it? Not hard. Doing the thing? Not that hard. Concretising the physical next step that I can DO? It takes a bit of thought. Not time, mind. Thought.
I'm switching accounting systems at the end of the year and I was thinking of Xero. I don't know if it handles AUD. I really like the contracts functionality. Is there an alternative? Hm. I need more information.
My next action is to
Google alternatives to 17hats
Next question: Will it take more than one step to be finished?
If it doesn't, move on to the next question.
If it does, what does finished look like? What's the overall desired outcome?
This is another thought-heavy one.
I guess I'll be done when I've decided whether or not to switch to 17hats. Oh but it's not that binary - I'll discover a few options, surely. I'll be done when I've picked which software? No, it might be a patchwork - currently I use a different system for a few different things. Maybe it's not just a decision. Because once I've decided, I'll have to implement. Ok. This is the desired outcome:
Set up an overall software solution for invoicing, proposals, contracts, and quoting.
Depending on the complexity of the thing, you can set more requirements on yourself. But it could be as simple as Get my iPad repaired as, for many people, this would start with researching the process and end with collecting it from the local Apple Store.More to come next time.