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PeterPan

s/o from Discouraged, now organizing to have time for the components of your life

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I put GTD on hold at my library. I'm 18th in line! Looks like it will be quite awhile before I actually get to read it.

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I read GTD and I "think" I set up all my lists. I still get a little confused as to where lists should go and what should go on my Next Action list or not. I also do not fully get how to use the "tickler" file digitally. I have Evernote and Remember the Milk. Like if something needs to pop back up in my life in March- idk where to put that. I guess I could make actual physical monthly files and stick them there? I put them in RTM and put a due date on them, but I dont know how to make it not show up until that date.

 

Anyways- are we gonna set up threads specifically for questions or keep going here? Maybe a GTD questions thread or somewhere we can work through specifics?

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I put GTD on hold at my library. I'm 18th in line! Looks like it will be quite awhile before I actually get to read it.

 

 

I'm #17 at mine, so maybe we'll be reading together :001_smile: .

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I have been reading this thread over and over as well as Mystie's blog posts on GTD. I like the idea of dumping all of my 'I should, I ought to, I want to' thoughts on paper. I am seeing that my biggest problem is that I am always thinking 'I need to do ______' but that is as far as it goes. My head is chock full of those kinds of thoughts which leads to a feeling of overwhelmingness. I just don't know where to start so I end up reading a book or watching a movie to deal with the craziness in my brain. In dumping out all of these thoughts on paper, I am able to see what has to be done and then I can start to organize them into some sort of plan.

 

After a morning of 'thought dumping,' I decided to take some action this afternoon. I finally made an appt. for my girls to get their hair cut (I have been putting this off for a month!) I have cleaned out a third of my freezer (this was a huge deal as it hasn't been cleaned in 8 years. I know, disgraceful) and I made out next week's menu plan and grocery list. This has been a major accomplishment for me. I am so thankful for this thread.

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I have read some of one chapter of GTD, and about 1/2 of Switch--and that was a long while back. I need some help with getting things read....

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I have read some of one chapter of GTD, and about 1/2 of Switch--and that was a long while back. I need some help with getting things read....

 

Join up with us on the 52 books/year thread that Robin starts each week. You'll get lots of inspiration and good book talk over there. Not everyone is doing the 52/yr challenge.

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I read GTD and I "think" I set up all my lists. I still get a little confused as to where lists should go and what should go on my Next Action list or not. I also do not fully get how to use the "tickler" file digitally. I have Evernote and Remember the Milk. Like if something needs to pop back up in my life in March- idk where to put that. I guess I could make actual physical monthly files and stick them there? I put them in RTM and put a due date on them, but I dont know how to make it not show up until that date.

 

Anyways- are we gonna set up threads specifically for questions or keep going here? Maybe a GTD questions thread or somewhere we can work through specifics?

 

I don't strictly keep a "next actions" only list. Using RTM, I have the tasks pop up on their specified date, so that makes a relevant "to-do" list. If it doesn't have a date, it means it isn't time sensitive and it has a tag, so I can select a type of task in my tag cloud, too. I use RTM for "tickler" tasks, even if it's to check an Evernote note, since RTM will pop it up at a specified date & Evernote won't.

 

I've been creating and tweaking my home management "binder" to be paperless on my laptop & iPod Touch for over a year now. Just last night I printed off my first draft of my next eBook: "How to Create a Paperless Home Management Notebook: A Guide to Digital Home Management." In it explain how to set up a system using Evernote & RTM so that it works on all platforms and devices. If you want, you can sign up here to get notification when I launch it; there'll be an exclusive special for those who get the email notification.

 

I just set up a mailing list with Google Groups for the accountability group in 2013. You can sign up here. I called it The Organization Project. :) If people are interested, I could also set up a Google Group just for asking and chatting about setting up GTD at home (either paper or digital), especially if there are a number of us wanting to spend the next few weeks or months or year working at it. Then those of us working at it wouldn't miss a thread about it here. With the group you can set it to send every email as it comes or get one email digest daily.

 

I'm excited for the coming year!

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I don't strictly keep a "next actions" only list. Using RTM, I have the tasks pop up on their specified date, so that makes a relevant "to-do" list. If it doesn't have a date, it means it isn't time sensitive and it has a tag, so I can select a type of task in my tag cloud, too. I use RTM for "tickler" tasks, even if it's to check an Evernote note, since RTM will pop it up at a specified date & Evernote won't.

 

I've been creating and tweaking my home management "binder" to be paperless on my laptop & iPod Touch for over a year now. Just last night I printed off my first draft of my next eBook: "How to Create a Paperless Home Management Notebook: A Guide to Digital Home Management." In it explain how to set up a system using Evernote & RTM so that it works on all platforms and devices. If you want, you can sign up here to get notification when I launch it; there'll be an exclusive special for those who get the email notification.

 

I just set up a mailing list with Google Groups for the accountability group in 2013. You can sign up here. I called it The Organization Project. :) If people are interested, I could also set up a Google Group just for asking and chatting about setting up GTD at home (either paper or digital), especially if there are a number of us wanting to spend the next few weeks or months or year working at it. Then those of us working at it wouldn't miss a thread about it here. With the group you can set it to send every email as it comes or get one email digest daily.

 

I'm excited for the coming year!

 

ummmm you are awesome!! I CANT wait for your ebook :-)

 

I did not know I could get RTM to pop stuff up. I downloaded the app but never went to the website- I just looked and realized there is SO much more RTM can do. Guess what I will be doing tonight???

 

I would be interested in a GTD chat group.

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I went to the groups and was going to reply but somehow I couldn't. Maybe because I'm on my iPod touch... I'm not very tech savvy. :)

 

Anyway I wanted to say thank you to Mystie for setting that up. I'll figure out how to work it soon and I'll be are to participate.

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Hey Mystie, I signed up for the newsletter so I'd know about your paperless management ebook- and filled out the form, but so far I haven't gotten the link to click in my email. whaw! I'll keep looking here for an announcement when it is ready.

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Hey Mystie, I signed up for the newsletter so I'd know about your paperless management ebook- and filled out the form, but so far I haven't gotten the link to click in my email. whaw! I'll keep looking here for an announcement when it is ready.

 

 

Let me know if you have problems with that. I think I only see people on the list who have confirmed the subscription, so I can't resend that confirmation email or anything manually.

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  • I downloaded both GTD and a shorter version of GTD-as samples on my NOOK. Anyone have any thoughts on the shorter version? I'm the kinda gal that likes to just have the list of things to do---I don't always need all the theory behind it or the why something will be good for me stuff. Should I just get the short version or will I just end up getting the longer version after I'm disappointed about the short version?

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I haven't seen the shorter version, but the longer one definitely has some parts that could be skipped. As with many of these types of books, there are sections devoted to explaining why this approach is so.much.different than any other approach. In reality, as usual, there is not much difference. If there was such a huge difference the author wouldn't need to spell out that fact to us in depth--it would be blatant. (Of course, maybe I've just read so many of these books that nothing seems earth-shatteringly new. ;) )

 

The long version doesn't take long to read, and I don't regret reading it, but I imagine the shorter version would be sufficient for the list of things to do. This is especially true if you are already a believer in being organized and aren't a totally newbie. :001_smile:

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Mystie, I just re-signed up under a different email and it went through immediately, so I'm good to go, thanks!

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I haven't seen the shorter version, but the longer one definitely has some parts that could be skipped. As with many of these types of books, there are sections devoted to explaining why this approach is so.much.different than any other approach. In reality, as usual, there is not much difference. If there was such a huge difference the author wouldn't need to spell out that fact to us in depth--it would be blatant. (Of course, maybe I've just read so many of these books that nothing seems earth-shatteringly new. ;) )

 

The long version doesn't take long to read, and I don't regret reading it, but I imagine the shorter version would be sufficient for the list of things to do. This is especially true if you are already a believer in being organized and aren't a totally newbie. :001_smile:

 

 

Thanks! This is what I thought as well. The short version it will be!

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I set aside an hour for breakfast and everyone's morning chores first thing, so that everyone's pitched in to get some basic housekeeping done before we start. Then it's math, which can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour. Then we do Circle Time with all our memory work and singing all together, usually about an hour. Then my older fluent readers go tackle their independent work, which takes them about an hour or so (they have to finish before they get lunch, so that helps discourage dawdling) while I work with my preschooler for a bit. If I have time between then and lunch (sometimes yes, sometimes no) I am usually too exhausted to do anything more than mindlessly browse the internet. :) But I don't really count on having housework time except for while the kids eat breakfast and then in the afternoon before dinner prep. We also do a 4:45-ish everyone-picks-up-the-house time, which helps things not get too crazy. Again, no meals until it's done, so as to discourage dawdling.

 

That all makes us sound put together and on top of it, but the reality is never so smooth as the plan. There's a lot of "rolling with the punches" that's required, particularly with a non-napping toddler in the mix.

 

Thanks Mystie!! I also appreciate the "reality caution" at the end. After I posted I spent some time over the next two days reading your 31 GTD posts and I have a much better understanding of where it is all heading. I like the idea of not having to block out my day ahead of time but rather making better use of available time as it arrives. I started my brain-dump list and I can hear thoughts rattling around up there now that there is a little free space! Next I need to figure out what to do with all the items I listed.

 

For about a month I actually had to enforce the rule "Don't talk to me when I'm running!" or "Don't follow me on your bicycle when I'm running."

 

:smilielol5:

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Just finished The Art of NonConformity- which I found through GTD somehow- by Chris Guillabeau. Not the same, but related re: intentional living and making a plan, working the plan. I went ahead and purchased GTD today - looking forward to what it has to say....

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I would like to join a group or thread that has accountability for this. I'm enjoying GTD. :thumbup:

I find that I do a lot of this naturally. I am fairly organized except when I have an older baby or toddler. Or when my child dawdles and holds everyone else up. Or when another child clogs the toilet or decides to start a project that turns into a giant mess. Or...

 

How do you hold to your plans when you have these small people that are unpredictable and don't conform to the plans? My problem really isn't organization, it is not losing track of the day, and not having the older ones lose focus, with all the baby-toddler goings-on.

 

In the meantime I am making my lists and thinking more about this.

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I got GTD from the library today. My sister is coming in a week, so I gave myself a week to get it read!! Nothing like a little external motivation to get me started off on the right foot. :D

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Misty - firstly, thank you so much for your 31 days to GTD posts, so very interesting and helpful!

 

How is everyone going with their lists?

 

I admit... I'm scared to make lists. I'm scared that there'll be soooooooo many things to put on them, I'm scared that I'll have pages and pages to sift through, I'm scared that when I break down my commitments I'll find it impossible - ie. there's only 24 hours a day and I need sleep too! I'm scared that I'll sabotage myself or my DH will sabotage me. I'm scared I'll go through all this work and life will turn upside down again and I'll cry and give up. I'm scared that I'll do the work and be organized and have no excuses any more. I'm scared that I'll get organized and be too lazy to follow it through. I'm scared that getting organized will reveal deeper issues that I'm scared to deal with...

 

I remember reading an organization book which said that, paraphrasing, cluttered on the outside is a reflection of how we feel/think inside. If I keep my outside cluttered and disorganized I feel 'busy' so I don't have that free brain space...

 

 

ok, maybe I'm slightly emotional at the moment! I needed to get this out. Thanks!

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I admit... I'm scared to make lists. I'm scared that there'll be soooooooo many things to put on them, I'm scared that I'll have pages and pages to sift through, I'm scared that when I break down my commitments I'll find it impossible - ie. there's only 24 hours a day and I need sleep too! I'm scared that I'll sabotage myself or my DH will sabotage me. I'm scared I'll go through all this work and life will turn upside down again and I'll cry and give up. I'm scared that I'll do the work and be organized and have no excuses any more. I'm scared that I'll get organized and be too lazy to follow it through. I'm scared that getting organized will reveal deeper issues that I'm scared to deal with...

 

I remember reading an organization book which said that, paraphrasing, cluttered on the outside is a reflection of how we feel/think inside. If I keep my outside cluttered and disorganized I feel 'busy' so I don't have that free brain space...

 

ok, maybe I'm slightly emotional at the moment! I needed to get this out. Thanks!

 

I would ask you... Are you happy with things now?

 

You will have a ridiculous number of things, probably pages and pages. The thing is that you have those now, already! They are there, just floating in headspace without a plan for dealing with them. With me, something would pop into my head and was invariably accompanied by guilt. After making my lists and separating the wheat from the chaff, I dismissed half of it, purposefully, and the guilt went bye-bye with the chaff. Even if you make a schedule and don't stick to it, you will benefit from just seeing your personal list in its entirety. Looking at my life on paper, it was immediately obvious that it would be impossible to do it all...at once anyway. ;) Maybe that will be enough.

 

I have mixed feeling about a cluttered outside representing a cluttered inside. Because, honestly? My cluttered outside was a product of three babies in a little more than three years, lack of sleep, lack of self-care, low thyroid, a DH who is gone often and for (very) long periods... Just as you can form habits of good organization, you can fall into habits of disorganization--for any number of perfectly valid reasons that don't mean you are an inherently discombobulated person. :D

 

Rally on!

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I would ask you... Are you happy with things now?

Well, I enjoy being lazy! :p But no, I can't white-knuckle my way through homeschooling 3 children. It won't work.

 

You will have a ridiculous number of things, probably pages and pages. The thing is that you have those now, already! They are there, just floating in headspace without a plan for dealing with them. With me, something would pop into my head and was invariably accompanied by guilt. After making my lists and separating the wheat from the chaff, I dismissed half of it, purposefully, and the guilt went bye-bye with the chaff. Even if you make a schedule and don't stick to it, you will benefit from just seeing your personal list in its entirety. Looking at my life on paper, it was immediately obvious that it would be impossible to do it all...at once anyway. ;) Maybe that will be enough.

True. Maybe I'm just a little overwhelmed at the idea at the moment.

 

I have mixed feeling about a cluttered outside representing a cluttered inside. Because, honestly? My cluttered outside was a product of three babies in a little more than three years, lack of sleep, lack of self-care, low thyroid, a DH who is gone often and for (very) long periods... Just as you can form habits of good organization, you can fall into habits of disorganization--for any number of perfectly valid reasons that don't mean you are an inherently discombobulated person. :D

 

Made me smile! Thanks!

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I started my lists... last week. And haven't done anything else since then. But it did feel good to get a lot of stuff on paper that's been circulating in my brain for too long. I want to get going on sorting through them and separating the wheat from the chaff like Kristina said, but there are so many other things I want to do right now too. :p

I keep blaming my lack of focus and time on the new baby, but if I'm honest with myself I know I can make time to get this started.

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I have made my lists and things are going very well...so far. I have not done things exactly like GTD suggests. I have done things the way that work for me. I made my dumping list and then I made lists for each day of the week. For each day I listed what cleaning job I needed to do, I listed what appt.s we have for that day or if I have to run to town. I then would pick out one or two things from my dump list and put that on my day list as well. The daily lists look doable. I am finding that I even have time to do more things from my dump list.

 

So far, I have cleaned out my freezer, wrapped half of my Christmas presents, and stripped off the wallpaper in our hallway, prepping it to paint (this is a project that I have put off for 7 years--it is close to being completed thanks to the list.) I am hoping to paint the hallway tomorrow.

 

 

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:hurray: Impressive! You overhauled a room in less than a day! If I could be so productive, I'd have my whole house redone in just over a week.

 

I read Switch. I think I'm going to want to reread that with a specific change in mind and make notes along the way. And then do another skim through for each new change I want to make. There's too much there to remember it all.

 

I'm in the middle of reading the Summary of GTD. I haven't finished yet, but I realized the first thing I'd need is a desk. I've been using an old bathroom cabinet (a drawer and two shelves freestanding unit) as an office. That's just not working. So, I spent four hours today reorganizing my pigsty of a bedroom so I could create a usable work space in there. It literally went from pigsty to completely cleaned, vacuumed, dusted, and clutter free today. I have a couple of bins/boxes of projects I've never managed to finish but they are neatly put away, a box to go through that I moved out of the room, and Christmas presents to wrap that are now in the master bath...but the bedroom is wonderfully clean. I was quite motivated by the book. :D

 

Next up, finish reading and start my lists with that box and Christmas wrapping at the very top of the lists.

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I found Eat The Frog at the library yesterday and had a good laugh when I realized I was procrastinating starting a chore while reading a book about not procrastinating.

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...but I realized the first thing I'd need is a desk. I've been using an old bathroom cabinet (a drawer and two shelves freestanding unit) as an office. That's just not working. So, I spent four hours today reorganizing my pigsty of a bedroom to I could create a usable work space in there. It literally went from pigsty to completely cleaned, vacuumed, dusted, and clutter free today. ...

 

:hurray: Impressive! You overhauled a room in less than a day! If I could be so productive, I'd have my whole house redone in just over a week.

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I would ask you... Are you happy with things now?

 

You will have a ridiculous number of things, probably pages and pages. The thing is that you have those now, already! They are there, just floating in headspace without a plan for dealing with them. With me, something would pop into my head and was invariably accompanied by guilt. After making my lists and separating the wheat from the chaff, I dismissed half of it, purposefully, and the guilt went bye-bye with the chaff. Even if you make a schedule and don't stick to it, you will benefit from just seeing your personal list in its entirety. Looking at my life on paper, it was immediately obvious that it would be impossible to do it all...at once anyway. ;) Maybe that will be enough.

 

I have mixed feeling about a cluttered outside representing a cluttered inside. Because, honestly? My cluttered outside was a product of three babies in a little more than three years, lack of sleep, lack of self-care, low thyroid, a DH who is gone often and for (very) long periods... Just as you can form habits of good organization, you can fall into habits of disorganization--for any number of perfectly valid reasons that don't mean you are an inherently discombobulated person. :D

 

Rally on!

 

I've been thinking about this and I don't think I'm making lists of everything. I am quite happy with my house, physically speaking. I keep this place pretty *&^% clean, especially considering that I have a newborn. I don't feel a bunch of guilt over what I cannot do, I let that go a few years ago. I have mental priorities and I go down the list depending on my time and energy. It is clean (not spotless) most all of the time. I could use some more organization with meals right now but it will come. I am getting us all feed homemade meals, so right now that is quite good enough.

 

What I do want to focus on is relationships, mine with the kids and God. I also want some time to myself. I had it perfectly worked out and was very really, really happy but then I got pregnant and had insomnia and could no longer wake up early. Now I have a newborn and yet again getting up early is a struggle. So, I have been having a bit of a mental hissy fit that I cannot make it work like I want but have started trying to brainstorm another way. I just really like having that time in the morning to myself.

 

I do want to make lists of family goals. What do I want our family to look like, I think that will be helpful. I also need to reflect on my relationship with God, as I feel it is seriously lacking right now.

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I don't think my physical clutter represents mental clutter. Rather it represents three other things--a LOT of interests, mostly involving books or handiwork, both of which take up space, an absolute hatred of organizing as a process, although I like the results, and the conviction, built up and verfied over years of experimentation, that the first thing that happens after I straighten an area up is that my DH regards it as a blank space to fill with his carp.

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...and the conviction, built up and verfied over years of experimentation, that the first thing that happens after I straighten an area up is that my DH regards it as a blank space to fill with his carp.

 

Do we share a husband, by any chance?!

 

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... that the first thing that happens after I straighten an area up is that my DH regards it as a blank space to fill with his carp.

 

 

:laugh: For me, it is my kids. As soon as a room is clean, the kids take advantage of the vast floor space to set up camp, go an an adventure, build a fort, etc. Seeing them setting up camp in my room is a pretty good sign their rooms and the bonus room are too cluttered to walk through. :glare:

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I would like to join a group or thread that has accountability for this. I'm enjoying GTD. :thumbup: I find that I do a lot of this naturally. I am fairly organized except when I have an older baby or toddler. Or when my child dawdles and holds everyone else up. Or when another child clogs the toilet or decides to start a project that turns into a giant mess. Or... How do you hold to your plans when you have these small people that are unpredictable and don't conform to the plans? My problem really isn't organization, it is not losing track of the day, and not having the older ones lose focus, with all the baby-toddler goings-on. In the meantime I am making my lists and thinking more about this.

 

My husband likes to quote the German general, "No plan survives contact with the enemy." That's not that the plan is useless, but that strategic success involves adapting, not forcing conformity to a rigid plan. And I like to remember C.S. Lewis' quote, "The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination." I think GTD's principles are consistent with these two ideas. You dump your thoughts, keep your calendar consistent and useful, and your head will be clear enough and focused enough to make good judgment calls in the moment because it's not having to track everything in your life.

 

Misty - firstly, thank you so much for your 31 days to GTD posts, so very interesting and helpful! How is everyone going with their lists? I admit... I'm scared to make lists. I'm scared that there'll be soooooooo many things to put on them, I'm scared that I'll have pages and pages to sift through, I'm scared that when I break down my commitments I'll find it impossible - ie. there's only 24 hours a day and I need sleep too! I'm scared that I'll sabotage myself or my DH will sabotage me. I'm scared I'll go through all this work and life will turn upside down again and I'll cry and give up. I'm scared that I'll do the work and be organized and have no excuses any more. I'm scared that I'll get organized and be too lazy to follow it through. I'm scared that getting organized will reveal deeper issues that I'm scared to deal with..

 

I think that's all possible and a good thing to recognize. I think I had similar feelings in the back of my mind when I began the first time around, without realizing it consciously. You can still start those lists, and recognizing the fears as they come up allows you to deal with them and give them up and defeat them by pushing forward courageously. They are only fears of what might happen, not indicators of what is sure to happen. You might find as you persist that your fears are baseless; you might find they are true one day and not the next. But as clearing away clutter in your house and your mind makes other issues apparent, take the time to sort it out. It's part of the process, and it's a good thing. You can do it!

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Our house is pretty clutter free and organized and we do get a lot done (house projects this year) but we are not particularly happy with where we are at in some areas and our hopes in others are constantly pushed aside for the urgent (like day jobs, homeschooling and house projects). We've long been life hackers- you know, circumventing the expected/traditional for a desired outcome- but we've gotten stuck. I'm reaclly excited aobut really making some things happen in order to pursue our dreams instead of just status quo.

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:hurray: Impressive! You overhauled a room in less than a day! If I could be so productive, I'd have my whole house redone in just over a week.

 

 

 

Thank you. When motivated, I can get a lot done. I tend to work better in big spurts rather than a little bit at a time. Of course, the rest of the house was ignored while I was in there. But the bedroom looks nice. Oh, and I don't have the stamina to keep going and get a room done each day. It's one room, then a long time off.

 

If you want to see what I did, I took before and after pictures on Facebook. I made it public so anyone should be able to see them. HERE

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Thank you for all the ideas shared on this thread! I just ordered both books to read over Christmas break and implement in 2013. Most of my friends would say I am extremely organized, but I am finding it more and more challenging as my children get older... probably because school is taking up more and more of my time as more of them hit school-age, and most of my cleaning and other chores used to get done during nap time when the kids were younger. I've been realizing I need to make some changes, and I'm hopeful that what I've learned here and what I will learn in these books will help with those changes.

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Thank you. When motivated, I can get a lot done. I tend to work better in big spurts rather than a little bit at a time. Of course, the rest of the house was ignored while I was in there. But the bedroom looks nice. Oh, and I don't have the stamina to keep going and get a room done each day. It's one room, then a long time off.

 

If you want to see what I did, I took before and after pictures on Facebook. I made it public so anyone should be able to see them. HERE

 

I cannot see the pics :( I love to see before and afters too- Kudos to you anyway though, it is such a great feeling to knock some projects off the to-do list!

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I made my brain-dump list last week and it was shorter than I expected. Probably means I'm suppressing things, but Oh well! I'll capture them as they surface. Then I spent my free 1/2 hour during swim class trying to sort the list into other categories and set up "project pages" for the things that qualify as projects. There is more to do on that, but so far, so good. I'm a bit skeptical, however, about my ability to keep up with the process when the new wears off. I guess we'll see. "No need to borrow trouble" as Ma Ingalls was always saying...

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I remember reading an organization book which said that, paraphrasing, cluttered on the outside is a reflection of how we feel/think inside. If I keep my outside cluttered and disorganized I feel 'busy' so I don't have that free brain space..

 

I'm not sure whether this is true or not. To be honest, it sounds like psychobabble to me. Organizing for me was about taking the most advantage of time and space, not about trying to free up brain space.

What I think is that a lot of people have hang-ups about organizing. Either we think we can't do it, or (like me) they think being organized is about being confined to some inflexible schedule) or that it will mean massive overhauls of accumulated treasures. That might be the case; certainly I did wonder if I could do it, if the schedule would be flexible enough for my creative personality and need for dayligh, and I did throw out a good deal of junk....and I changed in my thinking about what was truly needed and what was superfluous.

But to say that a disorganized state is a representation of a disordered mind is sort of defeatist.

 

How do you hold to your plans when you have these small people that are unpredictable and don't conform to the plans? My problem really isn't organization, it is not losing track of the day, and not having the older ones lose focus, with all the baby-toddler goings-on.

 

I don't know if it helps to think of it this way, but it helps me, so...

The way I look at my schedule and my cleaning routines, regular mealtimes, regular bedtimes, a school schedule,reading and self-education times for myself and exercise we all share in is that I'm showing my boys HOW to do it. Maybe it doesn't always work out, but if Wednesday doesn't go well, there is always next Wednesday. It's a day at a time, and small accomplishments matter. Maybe the kitchen floor didn't get steamed, but the laundry got folded and put away. Maybe dinner had to be cereal, but school went off perfectly.

 

I don't think my physical clutter represents mental clutter. Rather it represents three other things--a LOT of interests, mostly involving books or handiwork, both of which take up space, an absolute hatred of organizing as a process, although I like the results, and the conviction, built up and verfied over years of experimentation, that the first thing that happens after I straighten an area up is that my DH regards it as a blank space to fill with his carp.

 

Funny, but mostly because my DH probably thinks I regard blank space in the same way a bee regards blank space. Stick it together with something!

But that got me thinking about something else in regards to other people and the organization process.

I grew up with binge organization. Once every so often, Mom would decide to get organized, which meant life got a lot more interesting for a bit. First there would be the dejunking of our rooms, which always bothered her. Then would come the cleaning, and the cleaning, and the cleaning. This would be followed by the injunction "AND let's keep it that WAY!"

So I thought that the only way to do it was to use the attack, beat the house to death and crow over it was the only way to keep house. I would resent anyone who tracked on my clean floor, including myself. If the clothes cluttered up my desk because the DH got them out of the dryer but was distracted by a football game I would be angry. If the boys came in and took all their toys out to play a game and then went to help their father without putting things away I was hateful.

I begin to think about how depended I was on results as a form of reward, and also how foolish I was to ever expect things could be "Kept that way!" Food is meant to be eaten. Houses are meant to be lived in. Entropy happens. And to kick myself for tracking in shavings from the chicken house that I could easily sweep up was absurd.

I've been learning how to let go of the results oriented satisfaction and be contented with the actual accomplishment of having done my little part in setting back chaos for the moment. It's a work in progress. I still do insist that the boys allow a floor to dry before tracking over it, just because my feelings are still tender at times. But overall, we are a lot happier to have done our work and done it well; and then get on living!

 

Don't know if there is anything in that with any use to anyone, but I was thinking on these things today after reading through the thread.

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I'm not sure whether this is true or not. To be honest, it sounds like psychobabble to me. Organizing for me was about taking the most advantage of time and space, not about trying to free up brain space.

What I think is that a lot of people have hang-ups about organizing. Either we think we can't do it, or (like me) they think being organized is about being confined to some inflexible schedule) or that it will mean massive overhauls of accumulated treasures. That might be the case; certainly I did wonder if I could do it, if the schedule would be flexible enough for my creative personality and need for dayligh, and I did throw out a good deal of junk....and I changed in my thinking about what was truly needed and what was superfluous.

But to say that a disorganized state is a representation of a disordered mind is sort of defeatist.

 

 

 

I don't know if it helps to think of it this way, but it helps me, so...

The way I look at my schedule and my cleaning routines, regular mealtimes, regular bedtimes, a school schedule,reading and self-education times for myself and exercise we all share in is that I'm showing my boys HOW to do it. Maybe it doesn't always work out, but if Wednesday doesn't go well, there is always next Wednesday. It's a day at a time, and small accomplishments matter. Maybe the kitchen floor didn't get steamed, but the laundry got folded and put away. Maybe dinner had to be cereal, but school went off perfectly.

 

 

 

Funny, but mostly because my DH probably thinks I regard blank space in the same way a bee regards blank space. Stick it together with something!

But that got me thinking about something else in regards to other people and the organization process.

I grew up with binge organization. Once every so often, Mom would decide to get organized, which meant life got a lot more interesting for a bit. First there would be the dejunking of our rooms, which always bothered her. Then would come the cleaning, and the cleaning, and the cleaning. This would be followed by the injunction "AND let's keep it that WAY!"

So I thought that the only way to do it was to use the attack, beat the house to death and crow over it was the only way to keep house. I would resent anyone who tracked on my clean floor, including myself. If the clothes cluttered up my desk because the DH got them out of the dryer but was distracted by a football game I would be angry. If the boys came in and took all their toys out to play a game and then went to help their father without putting things away I was hateful.

I begin to think about how depended I was on results as a form of reward, and also how foolish I was to ever expect things could be "Kept that way!" Food is meant to be eaten. Houses are meant to be lived in. Entropy happens. And to kick myself for tracking in shavings from the chicken house that I could easily sweep up was absurd.

I've been learning how to let go of the results oriented satisfaction and be contented with the actual accomplishment of having done my little part in setting back chaos for the moment. It's a work in progress. I still do insist that the boys allow a floor to dry before tracking over it, just because my feelings are still tender at times. But overall, we are a lot happier to have done our work and done it well; and then get on living!

 

Don't know if there is anything in that with any use to anyone, but I was thinking on these things today after reading through the thread.

 

I enjoyed your post. I don't see clutter as a disordered mind either. I think we all have strengths and weaknesses and also different preferences. I remember a friend one time telling me how "homey" a friend's house was, when I was there it felt like a huge, somewhat nasty mess, that I compulsively wanted to clean. Meanwhile she thought my house was too sterile.

 

I love cleaning and organizing. I get great joy out of it, actually. My problem is that I enjoy that too much and I can get stuck on a cycle of keeping it clean as you talk about. The thing is that if you wait until you are finished with cleaning you never are completely done, not with little kids. I can spend too much time on cleaning/organizing than life. I love making lists but they are not that helpful to me, as then I get stuck because if it is in a list I feel guilty for not doing it.

 

I was so wore out in my pregnancy I just kept up with basic cleaning. I had to figure out how to be as efficient as possible and recruit the kids even more, develop very, very firm routines and do what I could to make sure it stayed that way with as little effort as possible. I was very annoyed by it though. I'm usually constantly on the go. I never realized how much I never stopped to just enjoy things. Finally towards the end of my pregnancy I realized it was an answer to my prayer of patience with the children. I was forced to just stop and enjoy them and just let the house be clean enough (instead of constantly looking for what else needed to be done).

 

So, like Lisa I'm thinking about what I want our family to look like, our dreams. Now that I've let go of that perfectionism(although I will still think sometimes when I'm sitting about how odd it is that I'm not cleaning- it is so odd to me to consciously say it is good enough and leave it). I want to really think about family traditions I want to start. I didn't have energy to do much in pregnancy, so we got in a habit of watching a lot more tv than I would like. I want to fill up a lot of that time with much more enriching things. I don't want to get back in the habit of all too often of just going and going. So, we need to talk as a family here about what we are missing in that regard.

 

Speaking of rambling I'm sure that made no sense, except for to myself. It was brilliant when I was laying there at 3am dd1 was awake with an earache.

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Finished The Happiness Project yesterday- took notes, great quotes. Still making my way through GTD- slowly. Taking more time for notes (which Grethen Rubin THP does w/o apology- gives me permission :coolgleamA: ).

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Finished The Happiness Project yesterday- took notes, great quotes. Still making my way through GTD- slowly. Taking more time for notes (which Grethen Rubin THP does w/o apology- gives me permission :coolgleamA: ).

 

I just re-read this book -- read it last December too :-). LOVE IT! There are a couple of chapters that really speak to me. I can say that there is a paragraph in the book (under Getting Started) that is why I want to do what this whole post is talking about. The paragraph says:

 

"...I started my happiness project because I wanted to prepare. I was a very fortunate person, but the wheel would turn. One dark night, my phone was going to ring, and I already had a notion about one particular phone call that might come. One of my goals for the happiness project was to prepare for adversity -- to develop the self-discipline and the mental habits to deal with a bad thing when it happened. The time to start exercising, stop nagging, and organize our digital photos was when everything was going smotthly. I didn't want to wait for a crisis to remake my life."

 

Just wanted to share in case this helps anyone else.

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I have my lists made, although I keep adding to them as I think of new things. It is going to take some time to fully implement the GTD plan, but I intend to. It makes so much sense to me. Simply getting all of that "stuff" out of my head has been (I want to say life-changing, but that sounds WAY too dramatic) so freeing. I feel like I can see clearly which direction to head when I have been operating in a fog for a long time.

 

I am actually getting stuff done - and most importantly - I'm getting the right things done. I am able to be more in the moment with my kids. I am not trying to multi-task everything, because I actually have a plan for when I'm going to do all the things I need to do in a day. Making a schedule isn't from GTD, but it is something I need to see/remind myself of what to do next. It is what the authors talk about in Switch, if I don't have a plan, I resort to old, comfortable patterns.

 

When this started a few weeks ago, my dh rolled his eyes (nicely - he always says I'm too hard on myself) at my newest plan to get organized. He commented last night that he was very impressed. I was excited to see that even he could see the difference. I can see it and feel it, but that outside validation was nice.

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Finished The Happiness Project yesterday- took notes, great quotes. Still making my way through GTD- slowly. Taking more time for notes (which Grethen Rubin THP does w/o apology- gives me permission :coolgleamA: ).

 

I loved Gretchen Rubin's description of her reading and research mode. :)

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But that got me thinking about something else in regards to other people and the organization process.

I grew up with binge organization. Once every so often, Mom would decide to get organized, which meant life got a lot more interesting for a bit. First there would be the dejunking of our rooms, which always bothered her. Then would come the cleaning, and the cleaning, and the cleaning. This would be followed by the injunction "AND let's keep it that WAY!"

So I thought that the only way to do it was to use the attack, beat the house to death and crow over it was the only way to keep house. I would resent anyone who tracked on my clean floor, including myself. If the clothes cluttered up my desk because the DH got them out of the dryer but was distracted by a football game I would be angry. If the boys came in and took all their toys out to play a game and then went to help their father without putting things away I was hateful.

I begin to think about how depended I was on results as a form of reward, and also how foolish I was to ever expect things could be "Kept that way!" Food is meant to be eaten. Houses are meant to be lived in. Entropy happens. And to kick myself for tracking in shavings from the chicken house that I could easily sweep up was absurd.

I've been learning how to let go of the results oriented satisfaction and be contented with the actual accomplishment of having done my little part in setting back chaos for the moment. It's a work in progress. I still do insist that the boys allow a floor to dry before tracking over it, just because my feelings are still tender at times. But overall, we are a lot happier to have done our work and done it well; and then get on living!

 

Don't know if there is anything in that with any use to anyone, but I was thinking on these things today after reading through the thread.

 

This is a huge help for me. I also grew up in a house without day to day organization. And I also get angry and hurt when my family can't get on board and just keep things clean! I've never made the connection with how I grew up and how I expect the same thing with my family.

 

I remember one time my mother came home and was so upset I hadn't swept and mopped the kitchen floor. She expected me to just see that it needed done. I couldn't fathom how I was suppose to figure that out! And I tend to feel the same way--though I don't express it in the same loud disgusted way. Thanks for the insight.

 

I've realized that I need to set goals each week. I will exercise four times, read 10 chapters of scripture, sweep and mop the downstairs everyday, sweep and mop kitchen twice this week, are examples of goals I set. I have to physically write them down and check them everyday. I've learned that I don't get to everything, but I accomplish so much more than if I don't write anything down. I've learned my weakness is following though throughout the entire week. I tend not to check back in with my list after a few days. That is one reason that weekly goals work for me. It's not too long of a time period for me to totally lose interest.

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I got GTD at the library today and will read it, slowly. I also purchased Zen to Done. I do some of the things already. I have a to dlist in my purse, and a master to do list.

 

This "list" that everyone is talking about--is that just your massive brain dump of everything and anything that you want to get done? I am just starting GTD so not 100% sure. I am sure I'll find out. I like Zen to Done because it is easy. I purchased a great Polestar calendar for the new year, and it has sections for Things to dO and projects and such, and I think I would like to somehow use it with GTD.

 

For me, I find it's the bigger projects (knitting, cleaning out the shed, cleaning all the glass doors, organizing financial files) that I cant find the time for. The day to day cleaning, maintenance, cooking, bill paying gets done fine. But the projects that take longer, well, i just cant seem to find long chunks of time to do them!

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But the projects that take longer, well, i just cant seem to find long chunks of time to do them!

 

 

i like how GTD breaks projects into tasks. I talked with dh about the files today. He is soo on-board re-doing them (he has work files at home because he has 2 offices he works out of, plus the office here)- but the office is trashed- it's the room to the walk up attic (storage till we get it finished) and it's also the library, and we are storing some of the wood trim in there, etc. . Kids and I spent an hour today sorting, cleaning-re-arranging. 2 trash bags GONE, plus 2rubbermaid containters fo stuff to pass along.

 

O.k.- so the project is the files. But the tasks for the project are 1.clean the study 2. get the "stuff" we need to re-do files, 3. plan time to do files together.

 

Break down the projects into manageble "to do's"

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