I realised I needed GTD when I bought a house, packed up and moved in, did some renovations, and had a baby, all within a few crazy weeks.
It wasn’t so much these things, which I managed to keep on top of, but trying to pick up the pieces in the weeks and months after when my husband went back to work and the offers of help from friends and relatives dropped away.
I was putting all my time and energy into my children: I was tired, but so happy to do so. There were boxes still to be unpacked, jobs to be done around our new home, meals to prepare, tradespeople to organise, last minute negotiations with our credit union…and so many decisions to make.
I should have been happy to be in our first family home, something I’d dreamed about for years, but everywhere I went in my new house I saw reminders of things I needed to do and didn’t have time for. The house was like a prison, and I just wanted to escape.
This is my GTD system. I have a planner in A5 size, which I customised with different inserts and tabs because the ones that came with the planner were so uninspiring to use. Is A5 too big and cumbersome? I don’t think so, with all the things I have to remember!
Then I have a section of To Do lists with tabs marked:
- on computer
- at home
- to buy
Some other things I like to keep track of are:
- books to read
- jobs I have asked people for help with
- ideas for Zoe at Home
- personal challenges.
So am I getting more done? Perhaps. But the big difference for me is knowing that while I may not get a lot done each day, I will eventually cross those items off my list. I know I won’t forget to do the important things. I feel confident to take on new projects because I know I can keep a few plates spinning at once.
All those ideas that flow through my head as I go about my day now have a place to go, including my most creative ones. And I no longer walk around my house seeing jobs to be done. Once I record what has to be done, I ignore it and focus on my family.
How about you? I’d love to know what works for you.
See more in Part 2.