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.
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Clarity and Peace in the Midst of Interruptions
Mental focus and clarity is the aim of Getting Things Done.
The reason one should keep a calendar and lists in a trusted manner is that this eliminates mental distraction and overload so that the mind is freed to be present in the moment and make appropriate moment-to-moment decisions. After all, life happens moment-to-moment and not typically according to schedule. If your system requires you to force your life into time boxes, you will increase your anxiety and tension, not diminish it. It might feel like control, but it isn’t at all.
Prioritized to-do lists simply don’t work after the first interruption.
And interruptions are the name of the game with young children.
Yes, that’s right, under this plan, there is no predetermined schedule you must create and implement. And that means it might even be doable.
I think we are all familiar with the feeling of being overwhelmed by all that needs to be done and frustrated by how quickly everything needs to be done over again. We’re always wondering if what we’re doing is right or the best way or if there’s some magic sauce we’re missing that will smooth the path for our daily tasks and daily interactions.
The first thing we need to do when we’re fed up with the current state of things and are in the grip of wanting to get it all organized is to define what we even mean by organization.
We have to make sure we know what our goal is and what we mean by our words before we can work toward achieving it.
Organization does not mean
- you have matching containers with chalkboard labels on every shelf
- you have every drawer and closet labeled and orderly
- you are always on top of everything in your life
- you’re prepared
- you know where each item in your home belongs – even if it isn’t always in its home, it does have a home
- you know what your commitments and responsibilities are
When you’re organized, this is how you handle life. When you’re not organized, you feel the pressure and it makes us want to crawl under the covers and not even begin the day.
When we’re not organized, instead of being prepared, we aren’t sure what’s next, we don’t know what’s for dinner, we lose our keys.
Instead of knowing where each item belongs, we set things down absent-mindedly wherever and end up with random piles all over and we can’t find what we need when we need it (part of being prepared).
Instead of knowing our commitments and responsibilities, we just have a vague, nebulous sense of “ought” and guilt and obligation that we can’t nail down.
When we feel frustrated and defeated and as if we’re banging our heads against a wall, it’s usually at least partly because our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations.
So let’s continue this journey and take the steps we need to in order to get organized.