The Rewards of a Clear Mind

3 Aug

This is the third part of a series on Getting Things Done. See My Mind Needs a Break and Now to the Getting Part for part 1 & 2 of the series.

I promised real life examples from real life people, so without further ado:

No one likes living with stress, but many mothers simply don’t know there’s another option.   Once they find out about Getting Things Done, their lives will change.

Here’s what Getting Things Done has done for me:

  • It has enabled me to REALLY enjoy my family.  I like to be with them now because every “open loop” is captured in a trusted system.   I’m not always worried about my task list, so I can savor our time together.  That alone is worth the time it takes to implement the system, don’t you think?
  • It’s narrowed my daily focus to a simple calendar and an organized Next Actions List.  When ten minutes open up while the spaghetti is cooking, I have specific, effective ways to use that time.

It has given me the energy and “brain space” to move rapidly toward my

  • goals while maintaining balance in my life.  A friend of mine said, “If you could create a program to show women how to succeed in business while balancing a family, every single woman I know would buy it.”  Well, David Allen’s already done that.  It’s called Getting Things Done.
  • One final thing I’ll mention is that I’ve learned that organization is not about a perfect house—it’s a state of mind.  I used to spend HOURS cleaning and organizing my house because that was the only means to feeling “in control.”  Now we keep things generally clean and organized, but I’m so excited about life that the toys, fingerprints, and all the messes associated with raising a family don’t even phase me.  My home is bliss.

~ April Perry of from GTD for Moms ~

Who wouldn’t want a home you could call bliss, enjoyment in your family despite your to do list and best of all balance in your busy life?

Here’s another example of how Getting Things Done allows for the spontaneity of life while still keeping things in order.

A “quick” post to say that today is one example of why I’m loving GTD — it helps you to take life as it comes, while still being able to maintain productivity and goals.

I had planned to … then come back home, shower, do my other morning routine things, and get started with work around 9:30 or 10.

Instead I ended up hanging out for an hour with my friend. She is a stay-at-home mom with five children … We had a rich time (in between consoling clingy toddlers) of sharing important things that have been going on while enjoying sips of frothy cool chocolate-flavored coffee drinks.

Having already gone through my morning time of checking my calendar, with the comfort of knowing that everything was captured and processed, and knowing that I had plenty of time in the rest of the day (well, unless more “life” happens) to get my “most important tasks” done, I had the freedom of knowing that this was exactly what I wanted to choose to do at that moment – spend valuable time with a person instead of my other projects.

Hooray for GTD!

~ Corrie Haffly of from Taking life as it comes: Huge benefit of GTD ~

This is just another reason why I use the Getting Things Done system. Having a truly clear mind and balanced life are so crucial to me. It’s what I want for my life and what moms everywhere are striving for. I also want to be able to decide what I’m going to do today and be in control of my life, instead of my life and to do list taking control of me. And if it allows me to have spontaneous meetings or outings without throwing life into disarray (since kids continually throw curve balls to your schedule), all the better I say!

So, ready to take the plunge and “clear your mind” so you can get some stuff done?

Here are just a few tools I’ve used in my GTD process, that you may find useful yourself and point you in the right direction for starting out on your own GTD journey:

  • Pen, Paper and Manila folders – You can’t beat pen and paper when you’re trying a new system because everything is visual, can be physically handled and you can rearrange the lists fairly quickly as you learn what works and what doesn’t work in the GTD system.
  • Computer and Folders – Similar to pen and paper, but with a simple (every computer has the ability to) digitization
  • Remember the Milk (RTM) – It’s a great and robust program to keep track of your to do list. With some initial setup, it is an awesome GTD tool. Not only that, but it can be accessed through the web, through your mobile phone and also widgets on your desktop. I use RTM for all my personal/home lists and I love how it so easily integrates right into my Google calendar and onto my Window 7’s desktop.
  • Evernote – This is a new tool for me. I’ve been using it mostly for work and blog lists. It was something I thought I’d try as it came recommened to me from several sources. Akin to RTM you can access it via the web, on your local computer (it is even synced for offline use) and mobile phones. It also has some very cool “clipping” features that can be setup on your browser or your mail client (Outlook and Thunderbird, for me) and allows you to sms (through twitter) yourself notes. Oh and it can also be used to save those awesome twitter messages that come through your feed. My verdict is still out on if it is more functionality than I need, but I’m always on the lookout for tools that can increase my productivity and help me stay organized.

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