Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 02, 2016, 11:58:05 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT  (Read 13782 times)

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« on: October 11, 2006, 12:29:36 PM »

GOE: THE GREAT DONATIONCODER.COM 2006
GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT
- WEEK SIX -


"A WEEK OF REFLECTION"


The deadline for this assignment is October 16.
(click to read intro to GOE and all assignments)


STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING,
take a moments time in the hustle-bustle of Getting Organised and Getting Things Done,
a moment to reflect and contemplate, and yes, you can even meditate if you want :)

Brew a coffee or scald a teapot, put the ol' feet up -
and ask yourself:
"How'm I doing?"

Let it all rattle around there for a while ..
...
have a look at the questions below,
and then post:
and
let us know how you're getting on with this project,
- and all the other projects you're supposed to be doing, or, wishing you were doing   :)
__________________________________________________________________________
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

     So,

  • How am I getting on ?

  • Are you still enthusiastic ?
    (If so :up:, about what in particular)


  • Have you noticed your old (unhelpful?) ways creeping back in?

  • What habits do you find particularly difficult to change?


  • Have you actually implemented any new methods in your life, or are you just absorbing the knowledge still?

  • Which methods do you find particularly difficult to implement?


  • Strengths:
    What were you already good at in terms of organisation and getting things done before you started this project?


  • Weaknesses:
    What were your challenges (i.e. what were you struggling with) when you started this project ?

    What has helped you so far to face these challenges ?

    What difficulties continue, or have you new "struggles" ?
    (Where would you like to be helped)


  • What tips so far have you found especially helpful ?


  • What has been your most surprising discovery so far -
    e.g.
    about getting organized and/or the way you work;
    about trying to implement new systems/time management
    about yourself (getting personal!),
    about life in general (getting philosophical..)

_____________________________________________________
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
    Share!    Let us know how you're getting on!
_____________________________________________________
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
thanks to nudone for half the questions!
Tom
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 09:00:07 PM by mouser »

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,405
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2006, 02:38:19 PM »
Great idea for week six, tomos  :up:

Some observations I've made so far about my progress:

1) I've been using a hybrid system where i use index cards to write down every single task i have to do, sorted into folders for Today, Tomorrow, This Week, This Month, Long Term, etc.  (I'll be making a long post about my "system" eventually).

2) I've been able to keep to this system very strictly, in that i never do anything that isn't on a card, and whenever i do something i mark it on a card and file it, and following the gtd approach every time i get an idea or new task i write it down so that i don't have to try to remember it.

3) for me, the single most important thing has been not having to try to remember things i have to do.  i know that it's all written down, and periodically reviewing the cards is extremely helpfull for me, in avoiding forgetting stuff, but also in being able to see all of my obligations, which helps keep me from wasting time.

4) I still feel like i'm not working as efficiently as I'd like to, and i think the biggest thing missing for me is a more regular work schedule, so i'm going to focus on that for a bit.

5) Overall i've definitely benefitted from this stuff, and the use of this card system is a clear win for me, much better than todo lists ever were, and quite fun to see the completed cards pile up (I have about 125 completed cards since September 1st).

6) Even if i ended up not accomplishing more, the comfort of having a complete list of my tasks is a huge benefit to me and saves me the anxiety of always worrying i am forgetting to do something.

7) I still need to work on getting myself to automatically follow decisions - like not eating junk food, excercising, etc.  i still seem to slip into old bad habits in this regard.

8) I'd like us to find a week or two to focus on such stuff, breaking bad habits and avoiding procrastination.

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2006, 05:16:54 PM »
congratulations on your completed card pile, mouser.  :Thmbsup: and thanks to tomos for the post.

i'll probably post where i'm at after i've thought about it.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2006, 05:21:19 PM by nudone »

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2006, 12:46:31 AM »
Some of my experiences & discoveries:

  • The more productive I try to become, the less productive I really am.
  • The more I think about, it the less I do it.
  • I am still no good at saying 'no' to other people.
  • I am still at my best at getting it done if someone hands it to me at midnight and says "get it done by morning'.
  • I am using my post-it software notes more...and setting alarms to remember things....I am not forgetting birthdays or bills...or forgetting to remind other people of stuff.
  • My pc is still the only place in my house that's organized...obsessively organized.
  • I used to be a lot happier.
  • I feel like I am trying to be someone else. I miss being me.
  • I can't remember how I used to do it...and it's depressing me.
  • I have always done things my way, never liked doing them someone else's way. I feel like I have become a slave driver to myself and doing some serious rebelling at the same time....which is why nothing is getting done.
  • I feel like I have lost a lot of my creativity and enthusiasm I used to have.

I have to stop this....It was a mistake. Comparing before this started to now, I was better off back in August.
Maybe I was already doing things right...for me...and maybe I screwed it all up.

I can understand the struggles nudone is going through...and the emotions it is stirring up...I feel it too...and I didn't used to.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 12:48:02 AM by app103 »

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006, 02:45:15 AM »
Well, I'm still fairly  :)  enthusiastic -
even though I would say the progress has been slow, it has been steady.

The/my successes have been:

The Current Initiative: I really enjoy doing this every morning. I find its a great way to break myself gently into the day!

And, the organisation of the paper workspace. See this thread.
Also, I'm using "Baby" index cards (3" x 2") for getting ideas down - I check them every day & add selected to a Will-do List for the following day, or to ToDoList programme (still a bit unsure here)

I print an A4 modified "Daykeeper" from (A5 template at) 43 folders & have some of my will/want to do list pre-printed on it
TomsDayKeeper_03.gifGETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT

At this stage I can see it's the time management thing thats slow to change for me (or should i say: for me to change)

To that end I wrote a list that I try to "practice" (at least a little more) everyday. (I'm concentrating on my weak points here)

Quote from: My "encourage me" list
End of the day

Use "Daykeeper", write Will-do List.
Plan the (following) day


Beginning of the day

Current Initiative

Plan first 2 hour stint in datail.
(set physical alarm or set Instant Boss "cycle" to 2hrs)
Report on your 1st 2hrs. (Any behaviour you'ld like to reject? Chuck it out the window! Start again!)
Plan next 2 hours
Start something new, then take a break!

Repeat!
Repeat!


Dont forget to cross things off the list when done.

Give yourself points a la Forster (one point for each thing on list that gets done, provided everything on list is done)

thats it at the mo,
tom
Tom
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 02:50:00 AM by tomos »

markf

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
    • markforster.net
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2006, 02:50:14 AM »
I understand app103's struggles and I have been there myself. Something I have tried to stress in my time management books is that using time management systems to a) force your way through a massive work load, or b) force yourself to do stuff you don't really want to do, is not a good idea. That's why I start both "Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play" and "Do It Tomorrow" with chapters on cutting one's commitments and focusing on what is really important in your life and work.

A useful way of re-framing the question is to stop thinking about "procrastination" and to start thinking instead in terms of your to do list acting as a filter. I've always recommended that if you use a to do list (I'm not very fond of them myself) that you don't write it out again each day but keep the pages until they are complete. That way you can see clearly which items you have done and which you haven't. I've been doing this recently myself because I was interested in what did and did not get filtered out. So the first sheet on my list originally had 28 items on it. Now it has 4 left uncompleted. The other 24 have been crossed out.

Doing it this way allows me to compare which items have been actioned and which haven't. What are the differences? What are the characteristics of the ones that haven't been actioned? What I found was that generally speaking the reasons for things remaining unactioned were valid ones. For instance, "Mow Lawn" hadn't been actioned because it has been raining here every spare moment I've had in which I could have done the chore. Another two hadn't been actioned because the projects they were part of were a long way in the future, and there had been more pressing things. And the remaining one related to a project about which I felt no enthusiasm at all. So why am I doing it? A good question!

Being able to compare things directly in this way makes you more aware of the contents of your "filter". You can identify the unconscious criteria which you are applying so that some things get done quickly and others sink to the bottom and never get done. This is all useful knowledge.

Mark Forster

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2006, 02:59:32 AM »
Hi Mark,
a sort of a technical question here re:
Quote
I've always recommended that if you use a to do list (I'm not very fond of them myself) that you don't write it out again each day but keep the pages until they are complete.
would this refer to "Will-do" lists as well,
or,
seeing as they are of a daily nature, would you recommend rewriting the things that dont get done* each day?

*I know things should get done, but, at the beginning its sometimes hard to
a) guage what you can do
and
b) be disciplined  :)
Tom

markf

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
    • markforster.net
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2006, 03:34:33 AM »
Hi, Tomos. As you know, the idea of a Will Do list is that, unlike the usual type of To Do list, you are aiming to complete it every day. In actual practice this becomes "complete it every day on average", since it's impossible to balance exactly the amount of work that comes in on any given day with the amount of time you have to deal with it the following day. Where this shows up is usually in the Task Diary. I recommend writing tasks in a page-a-day diary. If I don't complete these tasks during a day I will leave them in place and the next day be actioning two pages in the diary. My aim is to complete both. This provides a useful check because you can see at a glance how many days you are behind. My rule is that if I haven't caught up after three or four days, I will carry out an audit. This auditing procedure is essential to the whole process. There are three questions: 1) have I got too much work? 2) am I working efficiently? 3) am I leaving enough time?

Mark

nudone

  • Cody's Creator
  • Columnist
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 4,117
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2006, 03:59:14 AM »
first, advice to app, just forget about this experiment - it wouldn't be a failure to just forget about it. it obviously just doesn't suit you. if i were you, i'd just try and redefine the experience so that it's something you can look back on as being positive, i.e. it helped just to demonstrate that what you already did was the right way.

as for myself...

my current system is: no system! well, that isn't strictly true.

i know what i want to do. i have things wrote down and things in my head. i do whatever i feel like doing during the day - i'm living off of my bank savings so i'm fortunate that i can do as i please at the moment.

providing i complete each month's big task/project that i've set myself then i'll be very happy. so far, everything appears to be going fine. the first half of the month tends to be procrastination based - with me putting off that months project, but as the month progresses a sense of urgency sets in and i feel compelled to get things done. i start getting really angry/annoyed with myself and i know the only way to releave it is to just get on with the big task.

up until the point of seriously tackling the project i will complete hundreds of minor tasks that need doing. like all great procrastination tacticians, i use the avoidance of the major task/project as a way of getting lesser things done.

so, i am very happy with my progress. i've only had one day since we started the experiment where i felt tired/bored/depressed and couldn't really be bothered to do anything at all - but i still got things done - i just felt a bit down whilst i was doing them.

i've managed to stick to my new exercise plan - exercising every other day. i've increased the length of time i do it for and plan to take up more exercise towards the end of the year after i've made more progress with what i'm currently doing.

i'm eating more fruit and drinking more water, and completely cut out alcohol (not that i ever really consumed much) and late night snacks - i've not embraced a truly healthy diet yet but hopefully what i'm doing is the foundation of one.

i still get up about 6am, though, the dark mornings are starting to make that a little more difficult. i'm trying to avoid using an alarm clock as i think they are evil.

overall, i've found these past few weeks to be very successful. i've almost completed every major backlog (as MF would describe them) i've been accumulating over the years. thousands of files stored on my hard drives have been sorted/deleted. hundreds of magazines reviewed and then thrown away (taken to the recycle bin). there are a few things to sort out yet on the computer but i'm at the last 1% or so.

when i think about all of this, it is amazing. years of 'backlog' has been almost cleared. stealing a term used in Scientology - i think i am almost a 'Clear'. the chains attached to all these unfinished/unsorted backlog tasks have nearly worn through - i just need to prevent them from building up again.

on the downside, i still haven't gained the ability to immediately snap my fingers and start doing a task that i'm procrastinating over. sometimes i've managed to do so but not by following a set technique - so, i can only blame myself for not being consistent with a particular method to see if it works or not.

one method that stands out in my memory is from a day where i was suffering from overwhelming procrastination. so, i decided to do something i knew would absolutely ruin my sense of calm - i played a computer racing game that was guaranteed to put me into a terribly foul mood and frustrate me (regardless of whether i won or lost in the game). the idea of this was to, kind of, hit rock bottom - to put myself in the worst possible frame of mind i could think of and then see if i could somehow snap out of it and get the procrastinated task done. it worked, brilliantly so. but the trick to succeeding was probably more to the few minutes i spent just calming myself after playing the game - i don't meditate but i think what i did during those few minutes would be classed as meditating. i relaxed, blanked my mind, blah, blah, and then focused on the thing i was avoiding. i then spent the rest of the day easily working on the problem task. quite incredible really - i have no idea why i've not tried the technique again.

i guess, the main discovery i've found so far is that whilst 'learning' about time-management techniques i am enthusiastic about the particular system i'm looking at but i don't really make a great effort to implement the ideas. but, really, on reflection - it doesn't look like i need to with what i'm doing. maybe i have simply redefined to myself what i consider successful. before the start of the experiment i wanted to become like a machine that would just get on with any given set task - now, i'm simply content that i'm not sitting on my arse wondering why i'm not getting something done - i'm always getting something done.

set yourself realistic goals. nibble away at them. remind yourself of the goals you've completed. that's all i can say.

(i wish to thank Mark Forster for the books he has wrote because i know for sure that they have helped me reach this positive state of mind - and urlwolf for recommending them. i'd also like to thank mouser for his encouragement and the DC community for providing an outlet for this experiment.)

anyway, onwards, and upwards - this is only the beginning as they say.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 05:05:08 AM by nudone »

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2006, 07:22:04 AM »
Quote
Well, I'm still fairly  :)  enthusiastic -
even though I would say the progress has been slow, it has been steady.
its true,
there has been progress, it has been steady

but

I still seem to spend a lot of time doing things I "shouldnt" be doing - posting here, checking out Scribus or whatever new & interesting programme I've heard about most recently - [have you heard of that one, Scribus? ;D ?] - when I "should" be doing whatever is on my list - if I even have one drawn up that is.

Maybe I *should* stop using that word "should"  :o
I know when I do things, I get a sense of satisfaction - "job satisfaction" - call it what you will.

The problem I find is that when I do these "other" things, I consider that time as wasted,
and then I put myself under huge pressure to catch-up with the "official" schedule.
I end up not talking enough breaks, working frantically, working late, being exhausted.

I'm not qualified to offer App any advice, I think the difference with me is that this GOE is actually helping me because I was so so so disorganised before (& getting even less done)

Its important (mainly for me  :) ) to remember that this project is helping me a lot, its also good to be honest, and maybe then go and have another look at the "encourage me" list !

PS. Scribus is at:
http://www.scribus.net/
(Its Open Source Desktop Publishing - apologies if I'm leading you astray ...)
Tom

hugosanchez

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2006
  • *
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2006, 07:31:52 AM »
Having suffering a serious cardiovascular surgery 2 years ago, health is my top priority. Mark idea of "do it first thing of the day" has been a lifesaver for me, because al least I found a method to overcome procastination to do exercises and to eat properly.

Each morning I walk 30-45 minutes as a "must", and doing that I gain 1 point. Prepare and eat a fruit based breakfast is the thing to do to deserve another point.  So, each day I fight for 2 points. Sometimes I can not make it, but on average, I did.

Counting the accumulated points of the week is a real trigger to continue in this effor (not easy at all!).

Thanks all you. The Great Experiment is a very nice idea.

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2006, 07:37:21 AM »
wow, that puts things in perspective,
thanks hugo.

Quote
I'm not qualified to offer App any advice
but: hold your head up high ...
who needs goe ?! :-\  :)
Tom

dallee

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT - WEEK SIX ASSIGNMENT
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2006, 02:58:05 PM »
My report is that I've been following the main ideas by making a list of pending tasks and obligations (Allen), and limiting procrastination by "getting the file out" (Forster).

There has been a marked reduction of timewasting activities in my non-work time.  Mark Forster is the person to whom I give the credit.  It is liberating to think about a small start, rather than a bogging down in thoughts of a big project.

One helpful and free program has been Quicknote from http://www.quicknote.de.  It has a terrific timed reminder feature.  I pasted into Quicknote an article on "time binge-ing" and procrastination and set it to pop up hourly on my computer; it serves as a reminder that sticking with any one task for too long can be counter-productive or (in the case of time fillers) not productive at all and the content of the article reminds me why I need to pay attention to this issue.

Another free program I use is Workrave from www.workrave.org.  You can set the preferences for periodic micro-breaks of 30 seconds, rest breaks of 10 minutes (which will give you some anti-repetetive stress injury desk exercises and tell you to get up and move around), and even lock your computer after some period of time.   You can set the frequency and length of each, as well as insert zeros and avoid any feature altogether.  I use 30 second mini-breaks about every half hour, which gives me time to reflect whether I want to continue the activity I am doing or switch to something else.

For keeping track of lists, Quick To-Do Pro from  www.capstralia.com/products/pro has been my tool of choice.  Tasks can be categorized (following Allen's use of @ to group alphabetically certain related action locations and types, with a listing of projects by name alone), notes and links to web sites or files on my computer can be captured conveniently on the same page for each item, and all list items can be sorted by any heading.  Given that my tasks are not email based, Outlook would take a lot of tweaking to do what Quick To-Do Pro does for me.  Nice clean interface.  It is well worth the moderate cost.

So, thanks for starting the Great Experiment!  Big shifts have occurred and I am really grateful, especially for the introduction to Mark Forster though an early mention in the discussions on these boards.

              Dallee

« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 03:03:54 PM by dallee »