May 2010 Leadership Development Carnival
We Can't Get Back Time: Thoughtful Thursday

Disorganized? Collect Your Stuff

Effective leadership in our fast paced culture requires reliable organizational systems to maintain productivity. However, most people aren't as organized or systemized as they would like to be.  Take one close look inside any office or home and you'll see what I'm talking about.

How organized are you...really?

Hope is available for the disorganized. Last week I gave an overview of what I believe is one of the best systems around for mastering workflow, David Allen's "Getting Things Done". Today, I will continue the theme with the first step in the GTD process: Collect!

Ready...Set...COLLECT! The first step to productivity is collecting all of our "stuff" into one place.

stuff: physical or mental representations of incomplete tasks or objects that don't belong permanently where they are.

Corralling all of our "stuff" into one place at one time can be a daunting task. However, this task can also be freeing once we let go of our horror that our real "In" box is larger than a small filing cabinet. Seeing the mound of our real "In" box can be overwhelming, but relief will follow because at last we know the extent of what we need to get done.  This is good news.  From personal experience, I have found this to be true.
The process of collecting consists of two steps:

  1. Physical gathering: Collecting everything in your environment that doesn't belong where it is permanently and placing it into "In".
  2. Mental gathering: Writing down all of the ideas lurking around our heads that represent projects or tasks, each on a separate piece of paper, and placing those into "In".

Once you've gathered all of your stuff" (don't forget your electronic media items such as email), you are ready for the next step: Process.  Hang in there.  This kind of overhaul takes time but it is well worth the effort.

Connect learning to leading: Take a look around at your current work or living space.  What is on your desk surface? Peak in the drawers, cabinets and closets.  How many items are not in their permanent places & need to be resolved?  What thoughts were triggered?  Put these items in "In" for processing.  Then stay "tuned" until next time.


NOTE: "Getting Things Done" is just one of many tools for managing workflow. If you want an expert on GTD, be sure to visit their website. If you want leadership coaching from a self-proclaimed GTD groupee, call me today for a complimentary consultation at 913-219-7844.