17 November 2010

The Art of Getting Things Done

Getting things done is definitely an art - it involves intuition, creativity, timing and tenacity.

Have you heard of the "round tuit". It's a circular piece of paper/card/wood with text on it explaining that it is a "round tuit" and now that this one is yours, you can finally do all those tasks that you said you would do when you got a "round tuit".... a.k.a. "around to it". Unbelievably corny, I know. 

So this post is about getting things done because even though I have a round tuit, I always get frustrated when I don't get everything done. I have read the book by David Allen called "Getting Things Done" and it is an excellent motivational tool, well written and simple to follow and implement his ideas. Without intending to give away the whole book, one of the most simple and effective ideas put forward is that you should write everything down so that it doesn't stay in your mind and cause you stress - then all you need do is consult your written notes to find out what the things are that need to be done each day.

Well, I certainly write things down but this is mostly because if I haven't written them down it is very likely that I will forget them. I have a whiteboard in our study, a small whiteboard on the fridge, plus the pinboard pictured below. The pinboard is also a bit of a mood board because it also has images and newspaper articles that inspire me or that give info about things that I want to do, whether they are for now or for the long term. Then every now and then I have to "edit" the pinboard to see which dreams I still want to fulfill, which ones have passed their deadline and which ones no longer hold my interest.

This is the current, super-large version.
Both of the boards that are shown here were made from recycled materials so I'm quite proud of myself for doing that and not having to spend a cent at the shops. The newer, larger one was made from corrugated cardboard from a box that my husband had kept when he bought speakers. He helped me by cutting the layers of cardboard to the same size in his workshop (I have to admit to being a girl who doesn't know a radial arm saw from a jig saw so I can't tell you how he did it). Then we covered the cardboard using some left over fabric from when the lounge furniture was reupholstered.
This was the older, smaller version.

The smaller one was made with layers of quite thin corrugated cardboard and covered with the leg section of old pairs of black pantyhose. I initially though that the pantyhose would develop ladders in them when I used the pins to hold notices in place but they withstood the small piercings.

I use these boards to post notes about things that I have to get done, and depending on how good the resolution on my pics are, you might be able to pick out the Christmas note from my niece in the UK.

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