getting things done

So last week when I was on vacation, I read this book.  I’ve been thinking about reading it for more than a year now; I remember hearing about it originally from TeacherNinja.  Anyway, I finally was ready to read it, I loved it, and I think it could end up changing my life.

When I tell people I read Getting Things Done, and that I am happily cleaning out my office, they generally express surprise that I need help from an organizing book.  But I do — I’m very organized in lots of ways, but I have these pockets of disastrous disorganization in my life (at home and school) that cause me no end of stress.  In particular, my desks at home and school are just places to dump stuff.  They end up making me tense every time I look at them.  So I’ve been avoiding my lovely rolltop desk at home for years now.  Whenever I’ve “worked” on cleaning it up, I just take care of some of the piles, but I don’t do anything about the cause of the piles.

Also this week I started physical therapy — on the recommendation of the neurologist I am now seeing for help with my migraines — and the physical therapist talked about managing my stress as one way of getting my neck and shoulders to relax.  I wonder if having all my “stuff” organized and under control will end up having an effect on my migraines?

I’m not done yet, but when I am, I’ll post pictures.  And — I plan to put the system into place at school, once I go back.  With all the paperwork teachers have to do, lesson planning, stuff to sort, and all the things I need to juggle as a mentor teacher, it will be WONDERFUL to have a way of keeping it all under control.  I’m even color-coding my system — things for school (folders, index cards, etc.) are green, as opposed to manila or white for home.  I have been to Office Max twice, and I’m going back on Sunday when they have their teacher sale.

Anyone else out there using GTD?  Any tips or recommendations for me?

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3 thoughts on “getting things done

  1. My sister is having headaches like you describe. What kind of exercises did your doctor suggest? She is also stressed and has pain in her neck and shoulders.
    Thanks!

  2. Dawn, I’ve only had one appointment so far, but I’m supposed to work on my posture. My homework is to check in with myself once each hour — take deep, cleansing breaths, sit up straight, roll my shoulders, relax my shoulders, etc. She gave me an awesome massage while I was there, too, to start getting my hard neck and shoulders to relax.

  3. My suggestion is to be kind to yourself. 🙂

    I tend to go with the organizing theory of “a pile for everything and everything in its pile.” My husband is the exact opposite. That’s why we needed the new office space. 🙂

    I read a long time ago (I think it was on Fly Lady… I’m not sure) about throwing/recycling 20 items a day to keep the piles in check. I try to do that throughout the school year. On garbage day I throw out one full bag of trash and/or recycling. This summer I’ve filled up the recycling and trash bin every trash day. I’m vicious when it comes to clutter. I still have my piles, but they are much smaller and more manageable. I’m also realistic. If I haven’t used it in two years, I may record the idea (if it is a lesson), but the clutter (i.e. paperwork) is recycled. I keep quite a bit on file in the computer now.

    I’ll keep reading to see what you’ve done! 🙂

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