Well, well, well, when last we saw our intrepid blogger, she had completed the Brain Dump, but had progressed no further.
Nearly a month later (how can that be?), and I've got more progress to report! I've finally settled on a system to capture my Next Actions: Vitalist. This is a free online organizing program (with upgrades for $5 monthly) that is specifically designed to complement the Getting Things Done methodology. I first learned about Vitalist on Darren Cauthon's blog, so thanks very much. I notice that Flibbert is exploring it, too!
I've been using Vitalist for about 10 days and I really like it. I wish they'd add some other features (like a Calendar) and the interface isn't as intuitive as it could be, but I'm otherwise quite happy with it. I have it synched with my Backpack calendar.
But the burning question I'm sure you have is: "These programs are all spiffy of course, but are you actually getting more things done?" And I'm thrilled to report that the answer is "Yes!"
I'm still developing my daily routines to process my inbox and review my Next Actions list and there are a few minor details that haven't completely sunk into my brains just yet, but really, I've accomplished many of the things I intended to do! It is very nice to have a place to capture all of my tasks as they occur to me and a method by which to make decisions about them. My piles of Stuff have diminished considerably (just ask my hubby) and I feel very productive. And I'm able to set a better example for my Shadows, who will be much better off with a more organized and productive parent.
Long ago in a former life, I was a process improvement consultant (difficult to believe, reading my blog lately, but really it's true!). We used the FOCUS-PDCA method of analyzing and improving business processes, which will probably mean zilch to most people reading this. The PDCA part stood for: Plan, Do, Check, Act. Like many of my former clients, I have been stuck in the Plan stage and had little time or motivation to devote to the Do stage. Sometimes it's just hard to know when to stop Planning and begin Doing and what to begin Doing next. I think I've got a much better handle on that issue now.
There's an Ayn Rand quotation in here that I can't quite put my hands on just now, so I will paraphrase: Acting without thinking and thinking without acting--both are immoral. So now that I'm thinking a bit clearer and acting a bit more efficiently according to my goals, I am and will continue to be much happier!