There is a new Knitty up, and a new Anti-Craft. I have no desire to make anything in either of them. You may wonder why, when I still have Erin on the needles, I would even be looking at other projects. The thing is, I have two prime knitting opportunities coming up, but both are perfectly suited to Zombie Knitting, while Erin is definitely in the Epic Knitting class.

In fact, everything I’ve contemplated making lately is in the Epic class. I must find a good Zombie project. Last year at this time, and with similar knitting opportunities, I made the Bijoux Blouse. I have to admit that this was not a completely successful project. It was a boxy sweater with dropped sleeves, which is not a flattering or stylish look. It is also made of cotton, and the pattern flares out at the hem, which means that the natural tendency toward flaring that cotton has causes it to be downright bell-like. I should perhaps frog it and make something else with the yarn. But it was an excellent Zombie project.

Maybe I will find time to skate around the knitting blogs today and find out what others are doing. I have almost entirely given up reading the knitting blogs, apart from yours, of course, because there came a time when no one seemed to be knitting much. There were pictures of spinning, and pictures of yarn, but actual knitting was rare, and I have limited free time. Maybe this is no longer true. Not the free time part, but perhaps the knitting bloggers have some knitting going on. Not me, but I no longer claim to be a knitting blogger.

While I did spend yesterday afternoon (after the guests left, obviously) reading novels, as planned, I am also still reading David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. I have embraced Ubiquitous Capture and Regular Processing, so I now move on to the Getting Organized section.

I’m pretty organized, actually, so the section on how to file things and how to get through the inbox weren’t so exciting to me. I would love it if That Man would allow me to use the system on him, since he works in a horrible welter of paper ever since Blessing left, but for me it contained no “ah ha!” moments.

I have now come to the part of the book that seems to create the most negative reactions: the list of lists. Allen claims that we all need the following lists and folders:

  • a Projects list
  • Project support materials
  • a calendar for things that must be done at a particular time
  • Next Actions lists
  • a Waiting For list
  • Reference material
  • a Someday/Maybe list

Allen claims that putting our things on one list that belong on another list is fatal. For example, he points out that if we put things that should be on our calendar onto our Next Actions list, we will have to be looking at the Next Actions list all the time, not trusting our calendars. I can see that. But what’s wrong with putting our Next Actions on the calendar? He points out that putting Projects on the calendar or on the Next Actions list can paralyze us — we see “do taxes” and think “Oh, I’d better get those forms” but we can’t do that right now, so we move on from it and don’t get it done. But why not put the Next Actions onto the Projects list, so that the next step we need to take is visibly there with the name of the project? He tells us that having things we might someday do on our Projects list will keep us from using the projects list as we should, because it will include things we aren’t really planning to act on soon. But mightn’t having  those things on the active list encourage us either to do them or to cross them off as things we don’t really want to do?

GTD devotees claim that one reason GTD doesn’t work for some people is that they start looking at it like this and thinking that it isn’t really different from their old to-do list, and pretty soon they are just using a to-do list again.

It’s Monday morning, so anyone doing GTD should be sitting down with the stuff that accumulated in the in-box over the weekend and the lists, and Processing stuff. Some items go onto the calendar, but Allen says, “What many people want to do, however, based on old habits of writing daily to-do lists, is put actions on the calendar that they’d really like to get done next Monday, say, but then they actually might not, and that might then have to be taken over to following days. Resist this impulse.” He also doesn’t favor prioritizing tasks. He would instead organize Next Action tasks by “context” — that is, where it should be done. If you just have a small one-page list of Next Actions, you can put a little symbol next to them. If you have hundreds of items, you can make separate pages for your various contexts. So when you are sitting down at your computer after your processing session, you see all the “@computer” stuff and you will then intuitively choose the most essential things to do from that list.

Really? You won’t choose the easiest, or most fun, or quickest?

This is the point at which the bottom-up nature of the GTD system begins to conflict with the top-down inclinations of those of us who have been successful with classic time management. Ubiquitous Capture and Regular Processing work well with either philosophical mindset. Not so the list issue. My planner, with its calendar section and Projects section (each Project having its associated to-do list), is not suited to the group of lists GTD recommends.

Do I reorganize my planner in order to give GTD a fair shake? Hmmm…3

I did not get around to taking pictures of yesterday’s Easter feast table until after the meal, so what I am showing you here is the remains of a meal.

However, you can see the pretty salad we will be making at Chanthaboune’s party on Saturday. This is one of my upcoming knitting opportunities — the road trip up to her place. If, that is, my husband agrees to come along and do the driving.

We are going to put grilled chicken into the salad, along with the grapefruit and avocado you see here, and make mojitos.

My inclination is to make a Road Trip list with all the associated tasks on it, from sending Chanthaboune the grocery lists to finding a suitable Zombie knitting project for the drive. Then I would divide them up among the calendar pages for the week between now and then, adjusting around my work and other commitments. That would be top-down planning. I guess I will give the GTD arrangement a go and see how it works. I’ll let you know.