I heard about GTD (David Allen’s Getting Things Done system) on NPR on February 20th. I spent a couple of weeks getting into the habit of Ubiquitous Capture. I did the Processing and the Organization (though I still haven’t reorganized my planner to a perfect GTD state; I am trying out various paper and computer options to find the best one). I have the idea of Weekly Review.
Now it is time for the Doing part. “Workflow” is the cute term.
Have you ever noticed how many self-help empires are built almost entirely on cute terms?
GTD isn’t really the same old classic time management with cute new terms. It is a bottom-up rather than a top-down approach. It focuses on maintaining low stress while being productive, through the “mind like water” approach, whereas classic time management tends to focus entirely on productivity, figuring that the source of people’s stress is not getting things done.
Last night in class, one of the women — a homeschooling mom who doesn’t work outside the home — was bemoaning the fact that we are all so busy. Most of the others present joined her. People have been complaining about the frenetic pace of modern life since the 1920s, but perhaps it is true that our current technology encourages us to be On all the time. When I wake up in the wee hours of the morning with a to-do list pestering me, there is now nothing to stop me from getting up and getting to work. So maybe Allen is right when he suggests that to-do lists are no longer the best way.
Allen’s idea is that, having done your Weekly Review and therefore having confidence that everything is under control, you can take a few seconds to glance at your calendar and your Next Actions list and allow your brain — freed of hamster-like fretting over all the things you have to do — to make excellent intuitive choices about what to do next. This idea is supported by a variety of thoughts about what the brain is good at (complex decisions) and what it is bad at (remembering to buy batteries). You let your paper or software take care of those low-level things like remembering and reminding, and let your brain’s creativity and cleverness take over.
After class last night I came home and watched Bush’s Brain, a documentary from the book of the same name. During the interviews, I found my attention caught by people’s bookshelves.
Nearly everyone was interviewed in front of a bookshelf, and they were all different. I’m not talking about the titles — I couldn’t see any titles. It was the way the books were, physically, that I found so interesting.
So I have taken pictures of some of my bookshelves and I am sharing them with you here. I would like to see yours, too. No fair straightening or dusting them first. I didn’t.
One more thing I’d like to ask you guys.
One of the items I have for review from Amazon this month is Windows Vista Ultimate. My kids are assuring me that it will be bad for the computer to install this. I always think of installing a new operating system as a good thing to do for a computer. Bracing, you know, like a spa day or something. Are my kids just being old-fashioned fuddy duddies resisting change, or is there actually something wrong with Vista?
Okay. I eagerly await your bookshelves and computer expertise, and I will let you know how the whole GTD Workflow thing goes.
As Janalisa says, “Later, tater!” I think that’s more picturesque than the alligator one, don’t you?
8 thoughts on “Wednesday March 26, 2008”
Her boyfriend gave my daughter a brand new laptop computer. He installed Vista on it and it promptly ceeased to function.
I’ve heard bad things from others about it, but I use Macs and I don’t really know.
Make sure you back up all your data AND your current system files before you install it. That way you can reinitialize the disk and reinstall everything if you have problems with Vista.
Your kids are right — it would be a very bad idea to install that Vista thing on your computer.
I am a bookshelf snoop, too!!! I love to look at what people read. Says a lot about them (even if the bookshelf has only a few books). Yup, Vista is BAD! Wait a while until they get the bugs out – or at least the major bugs.
don’t do it, my daughter’s computer crashed, son’s crashed, newest computer at work crashed. I think you get the picture vista is bad, bad, bad. let microsoft figure it out on their own, after all they make the really big bucks don’t they.
I wish I had book shelves.
Vista is fine if it is the original operating system with which a computer has been provided – I have 2 Vista machines and they work fine. I actually prefer the Vista interface to the previous windows OS. Vista is even more computer resource greedy than is XT however. I think that it is unlikely that your machine would be powerful enough to run the OS smoothly so you are probably better to stay with the OS you have.
@sighkey – Thank you! Very helpful. Hmm… whose machine shall I review it on? I don’t think I have any enemies…
Just jumping on to the Vista Is Evil bandwagon. We have two business center computers at the hotel where I work, and the Vista machine always gives us problems. About every 3 weeks it completely freezes up, and we have to get our techie guy to whisk it away and work his magic.
@rampaige – It could be the same problem that fibermom might face. The minimum operating stats for Vista are very high. My machines are dual core with 1 or 2 gig RAM and even with those I have problems running some of my programs (admittedly mainly games ) at the high graphics settings – and I have a near top end graphics card in one of the machines! It sounds as if your Vista machine is freezing because it is running programs designed for use with Windows XT. (ps: sorry for adding graffiti to your website fibermom – I haven’t quite got the hang of the new Xanga commenting system yet)
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