I have followed Mystie at Simply Convival for quite a while now and remember when she originally reviewed Getting Things Done by David Allen on her blog. Recently, she came out with the book GTD for Homemakers (see how you can get it for free until Oct. 31, 2013 at the end of this post). I just got it earlier this week and it has helped tremendously!
I am a little manic when it comes to organizing and cleaning. I finally get a plan in my head and then I end up rearranging the whole house, or a whole calendar, or our whole menu or whatever. I am trying to learn how to do things in more incremental and sustainable steps. My crazy activity wears me and everyone else out. Then in a few weeks we are pretty much back where we started with a different arrangement.
In the beginning of the book she states that the goals are to help you:
keep an up to date calendar
keep ideas and action steps in lists
have a place to keep reference information so that you can find it when you need it
I need all of those things. I keep these things in my brain and then wonder why my family can't read my mind and help me out. If I get more organized I think that I can begin to find ways to help them help me get things done. This is especially important because we are about to move into a busier season. Plus, my memory is not everything it used to be.
One of the main reasons she pursued this project resonated with me. She wants to be able to focus on her kids or whomever she is with in the moment; instead of trying to remember or not forget important things. That's where I am - constantly composing, thinking, planning in my head instead of focusing on the person in front of me. So hopefully this will help me better collect and keep my thoughts together, get rid of stuff that isn't mine to do or take care of and give me some tools to help my kids manage their stuff too.
The first step is to write EVERYTHING that is on your mind down. I am on page 6 single spaced right now. I think I might have too much going on. Honestly, when I first read through her introduction on her blog, this is why I didn't start. It was too overwhelming to write all of that stuff down. I am now at the point where it is too overwhelming NOT to write it down. Plus, she provides good thoughts for how to discern what is worth doing and not doing. Something else I need help with.
Instead of putting off organizing until next year, why not try a new system now to see if it can help you through the holiday season. If it can work for that, it can work for anything -right? Plus, as she encourages at the beginning - it's not all or nothing. It's more is better but do what you can to move in the right direction to help you and your family out. Unlike most books it doesn't start with goals and big ideas (I love to play with those) Instead, it starts where you are and moves up - exactly what I need - something very practical. I'll let you know how it goes.
It is available as a free PDF here and soon will be available for purchase as a kindle book.