Perhaps you think it’s been quiet around here because I’ve been blinded by the cuteness that is six month old Nila Bindu. And while we do spend countless moments adoring her and the infinite supply of joy she brings our family, we’ve actually been very busy doing something else. Something serious. Seriously amazing.
We’ve been organizing!
And not the organizing where we say we’re organizing and merely repeat old habits as we move around important things and make duplicate lists.
No way. We aren’t going there again. After all it’s a new year and I’m still dancing around my kitchen singing Rock Steady at the top of my lungs. This time we brought in the big guns because we are super serious about supporting our family on our own terms.
Are we crazy or can we do this?
I started to think: maybe choosing to parent three school-free kids, managing a home and rental property, running a business, launching another, managing my side birth gigs and volunteering in my community might be too much. Maybe something had to give.
Or maybe not.
Maybe we just need to organize ourselves in order to fully be present when we’re dealing with each situation at hand. I don’t want to be worrying about business while I’m painting with Koala and I don’t need to be trying to remember play dates while I’m working on my new website. The elements of my life are actually exactly what I want–I just needed to learn how to better manage it all.
Remember when I wrote that post over at Steady Mom about kids using real tools. I said something about giving kids real tools gives them the respect that their work [play] is important. After all, how can you dig for dinosaur fossils with a plastic shovel? This is similar in a way. Stone and I need to take ourselves seriously and we need real tools in order to do it. For years a rinky dink filing system and a few desk drawers were enough, but we’ve outgrown our system. We need help from someone who knows how to run something as big, crazy and important as our family.
Organizational guru helps family conquer the world!
Enter David Allen. Organizational guru and efficiency strategist to the likes of LL Bean, The US Navy and The Ford Foundation. I figured if he could whip their butts into shape we are in good shape. Despite his super mainstream suit-and-tie work history I found his logic easily transferable to our unconventional lifestyle.
I consider “work,” in its most universal sense, as meaning anything that you want or need to be different than it currently is. Many people make a distinction between “work” and “personal life,” but I don’t: to me, weeding a garden or updating my will is just as much “work” as writing this book or coaching a client. All the methods and techniques in this book are applicable across the life/work spectrum–to be effective, they need to be.
See. This guy is cool. He’s already got the whole unworking concept down.
Not to mention his whole “mind-like-water” zen analogy:
What if you could dedicate fully 100 percent of your attention to whatever was at hand, at your own choosing, with no distraction?
It is possible. There is a way to get a grip on it all, stay relaxed, and get meaningful things done with minimal effort, across the whole spectrum of your life and work. You can experience what the martial artists call a ‘mind like water”…. It’s a condition of working, doing, and being in which the mind is clear and constructive things are happening.
I bought his book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” back before the holidays. I read the intro, got really excited and tucked it away until the new year so that we could dedicate some time to it.
At first it was thrilling, then it was confusing and then we experienced a breakthrough where not only did the system make sense, but the knitty gritty of our lives was in it. Now we’re feeling absolutely enlightened. I’m taking my WHOLE life out of my head and putting it into a system that I can trust (and maybe more importantly a system that makes sense and works together). This leaves my mind to do what it does best: live an amazingly creative and turned ON life.
What about you? Do you have an organizational guru or are you a superwomen who designs their own system?
(I have no connection to David Allen–I’m just geeking out on his amazing book.)