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: Collect Your Thoughts Compulsively & Habitually
In Getting Things Done, David Allen gives examples of why you should do a thorough collection fest first, before processing or organizing anything. However, he is targeting businessmen and I am targeting the mother at home.
So, here is my rendition for us, mothers at home:
- It’s the stacks of stuff tucked here and there that you intend to list on Craigslist.
- It’s the kitchen gadget that needs a new gasket.
- It’s the empty wall that you keep thinking you should find something to hang there.
- It’s the note on the back of a receipt at the bottom of your purse with a friend’s cell number.
- It’s the thought that you really should feed your family more vegetables.
These are the kinds of things that nag at you but that you haven’t decided either to deal with or to drop entirely from your list of open loops. But because there still could be something important in there, that “stuff” is controlling you and taking up more psychic energy than it deserves. Keep in mind, you can feel good about what you’re not doing only when you know what you’re not doing.
So gather everything that nags at you by jotting it down.
Here’s an abridged list of triggers to get you going: closets, chores, computer, online, purse, clothes, pantry, projects, commitments, friends, goals, communications, goals or needs of the children, supplies, finances, tools, upcoming events, landscaping, decorating, health, hobbies, housekeeping, errands.
Once you have all the things that require your attention gathered in one place, you’ll automatically be operating from a state of enhanced focus and control.
There are three key factors that determine the success of your collection function, both the initial mind dump and the ongoing habit of collection:
- Every open loop must be in your collection system and out of your head.
- You must have as few collection “buckets” as you can get by with.
- You must empty them regularly.
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