Like David Allen’s book Getting Things Done, this series, 31 Days to GTD for Homemakers is about managing your stuff and your actions, and once those are under control, your mind is left more free and clear to focus on the present moment with your family. So this series is not about shaping our homes and families to a business model, but about being in control of our tasks and stuff rather than letting it control us, so that instead of running around like chickens with heads cut off, we may be more free and calm to make the correct intuitive decision about how to handle whatever is before us in the moment.
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Four Factors to Evaluate Action Options
So, it’s 9:48am on a Tuesday. You have your lists. You have other things to do. You have school to get done. You have children chattering and making messes. Your family insists on eating three times a day or more.
You stand in the middle of your kitchen, vacantly staring, thinking, “What should I do now?”
In Getting Things Done. , David Allen’s answer is a four-fold set of criteria to evaluate your choices (which include all three types of work):
- Context (where you are and what tools are at hand)
- Time available (tuck short tasks into nooks and crannies and don’t begin big projects unless you have the time available)
- Energy available (what mode and mood are you in? harness that mode to its maximum potential)
- Priority (what is most important to you? what would be most fulfilling to cross off the list?)
Yes, priority is the last criterion. After all, if you don’t have the time available to do that priority task, it can’t be done yet; if you aren’t in the right location or don’t have the tool needed to get that priority task done, it can’t be done yet; and if you don’t have the energy to tackle it, it’s probably won’t get done, no matter how much time you devote to it. So, don’t feel bad about not doing it if now isn’t the right time or place. Let it go.
You are tracking it and it will get done. Right? Right. We are making responsible, reasoned, appropriate action choices now, based on the big-picture view, not based on what we feel like doing regardless of our lists and duties. Right? Right.
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