I got it all together, but I forgot where I put it. - Anonymous
Have you ever finished a massive cleaning project and then couldn't remember where you put something because it was in its place? I hope someone can relate. There is more to getting things done than merely being efficient at getting papers off our desk and ideas out of our head. Processing our workflow requires a good physical organization system.
If you've been reading the last few weeks, you've been following along with me as we proceed through David Allen's "Getting Things Done" steps. So far, we've covered the steps of Collecting and Processing. Now, we are ready for the step of Organizing.
Processing and organizing go hand in hand and I've found that in practice it worked for me to develop an organizational structure as a part of the initial processing process. As I've implemented these steps on my own, I set up a working structure before processing anything and modified it as I went along. Keep in mind that the organization step is one that can't be set up all at once and takes some experimentation. Find what works for you.
For everyone, however, there are seven primary types of things that will need to be organized:
- A "Projects" list
- Project support material
- Calendared actions and information
- "Next Actions" list
- A "Waiting For" list
- Reference Material
- A "Someday/Maybe" list
All we really need is a calendar, lists, and folders...and a process to review our lists so we don't forget what is on them! We'll discuss the review process next time. That's when we plan how to get things done
NOTE: For more information about this process, I would be happy to consult with you. Additionally, check out the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.