“No software, seminar, cool personal planner, or personal mission statement will simplify your workday or make your choices for you as you move through your day, week, and life.”
Wednesday at work I had a big important meeting with the super boss of everything. During the meeting come up some goal to achieve and I feel the exigence to review my planning system in order to get (finally) my PhD title.
At home I take out from the bookshelf the material that Dr. Eva Reichmann give us, more that one year ago, during the work shop “Coming in term with your doctorate” offer by the University of Münster. I really enjoy go back to this compact small collection of tricks and tips for time menagment in according with the personality that characterize every of us. According with my personality (NTPE) my big problem is how to deal with tasks that derive from ideas that pop up in my mind like a tornado every second.
Be scientists mean to me swimming in a infinite ocean of possibilities. Every item that I find is for “the eyes of my mind” incredible attractive. I don’t find peace until I don’t end to dissect every single component of every single “Stuff” that come to me. So come up two main problem that I have to deal with every day of my life:
- Problem #1: time is limited.
- Problem #2: not everything it is urgent(U) and important (I).
Summary: I have a lot of “stuff” that have to be organized in a Time Frame.
That seems to be easier, but for ENTP personality it is not. Control thoughts takes an huge amount of energy for me. It is like a continue battle to take my mind back to the current moment and do what I should do, and not what my mind find attractive.
Here GTD© by David Allen, offer a god method for dealing with the amount of stuff and organize them effectively, without loosing ideas.
The first action when you start implementing the method it is the most difficult step for a stationary addicted: you have to decide the physical instruments to use for collecting stuff.
For collecting objects I decide to use a Plastic square box. For collecting idea the decision process is a more difficult matter.
This is what I have at home:
- Ring binder : Filofax Domino (A5), Filofax Calipso (Personal Compact), Cartesio InTempo (Personal), Filofax Finsbury (Personal), Kaufpark binder (Pocket)
- Notebook: Midori™ Traveler’s Notebook in Regular & Passport size.
- Hobonichi techo (A6)
- iPad mini & iPad 4
I start the decisional process saying that Hobonichi is the first thing that I do not consider as appropriate for GTD, it is a good Agenda, but the diary it is not the only a component of GTD©. Daily to do lists, in opinion of Allen, increase frustration and them should be replace for context organized Action Lists.
Calendar should contain only Action Time Sensitive (ATS) like : Appointments, Events and Due Date.
Organizer or digital devices seams to be more indicated. Here the war between the nerd bioinformatic scientist and the old school stationary supply lover take place. In this war “paper and pen” win slightly, because I simply find easier trust the “concrete” paper respect to the cyber space. It is really a personal issue. We could spend years discussing what is better but, at the end, you should listen your heart and go for it.
Traveler notebook vs Filofax/InTempo : ring vs elastic. The contest that devide the planner community in the current days, after that the made in Thailand notebook system arrived in Europe and U.S. Here rings win in a GTD based system since it is easier to have illlimitaded possibility in therm of number of pages, organized in sections, respect limited number of notebook with limited number of pages. Moreover, organizer content can easily change on the go and be archive and properly organized for future reference. MTN could work only if you have a notebook for each project plus a calendar. If you have a huge collection of cover you can go for it, maybe trying to split the notebooks according by contexts.
Now, decided that Organizers are the most easy way to implement GTD© in my life I should pick one from my bookshelf and setup it for the current week. For doing that, I open my binder one at the time, analysing the feelings that each of them are giving to me. Feeling, yep. Each of my binder have a story. For example, a series of coincidence make me the new owner of a fabulous Van dear Spek that will be at home soon. Another one. I purchase my InTempo during a conference were I did a god talk.
So … The winner is the “InTempo” because feeling a god scientists in this particular moment of mylife it is what I need to coming in term with my PhD.
Curious about the Diary insert that I decide to use? Follow me and read the next post.