This 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers series focuses on reducing stress and creating effective solutions to better manage realities of life at home. Mothers are the shapers of home atmosphere and home culture; keeping the mundane details under control allows us to direct our attention to what matters.
Previous Post: The Occasional Big-Picture Review
Making the Right Choices
So, if you have everything written down, everything in its own place, and review habits settled, then how does all this help you in doing the next thing moment by moment as life happens?
The process and system clarifies your mind and your intuition. This is not a system that demands that you only abide by what tasks are on your to-do list. The task list is not the master in this scheme.
This is a system that acknowledges life cannot be so contained and bottled up.
This is a system that goes along with one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes:
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. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.
Getting Things Done puts it this way: “In fact, much of our life and work just shows up in the moment, and it usually becomes the priority when it does.”
Heh. Stinky diapers, broken glass, or a disobedient child, anyone?
“It’s indeed true for most professionals,” — and all mothers — “that the nature of their job requires them to be instantly available to handle new work as it appears in many forms.”
We all understand that fact, but what often bogs us down is thinking that having a system or a schedule will prevent us from being free to handle such situations.
The answer is keeping up with the review habits so that you know you are making the right action choices in the moment, as things come up. Often it is easier to just do what is in front of you, using those things as an excuse to not do things that will require confrontation (even of your own piles). The goal, however, is to be able to “trust our judgment calls about the dance of what to do, what to stop doing, and what to do instead.”
What you want is to decide what to do — rapidly — and be confident about that decision.
Discipline. Dance. Choosing. Doing. Thinking. These are our key words now and they will move us toward responsibility, right action, and true freedom.
So our goal here is to become “elegant at dispatching what’s coming in and organized enough to take advantage of the ‘weird time’ windows that show up, [so] you can switch between one task and the other rapidly.” To be most effective in our decisions and actions, especially as we who have an abundance of roles, tasks, and demands on our attention,“you must learn to dance among many tasks to keep a healthy balance of your workflow.”
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