I’m slowly working my way through the book Getting Things Done. And I do mean slowly. I’ve got to part 2, which deals with putting the system into practice. And of course, the first thing to do is to attack the desktop. We’re not just talking about cleaning, but compiling all the inputs.
Basically, if it’s not one of the following, it’s something that needs to be put into the system or gotten rid of:
- Supplies – pencils, blank notepads, paperclips, etc.
- Reference material – anything you keep around to look up things in – like all of my SQL Server books
- Decoration – pictures, MVP award, things which are there for an aesthetic or morale-boosting reason
- Equipment – computer, phone, etc.
The idea behind gathering all the inputs up at once and then processing them is to reduce the context switches between identifying an input and processing and moving on to the next one. Also, it ensures that you attack it all at one fell swoop and not get side-tracked. Now most of the stuff I had at my office desk needed to be thrown away. I’ve been at my organization for 10 years and I found as I sorted through things that I had papers and notes from my first year with the company. These were notes for systems that we didn’t have around anymore. Therefore, to the trash they went. I also found a lot of old business cards. It’s amazing how many folks you meet over seven years as an infrastructure/systems architect. Most of these business cards I had no use for. So in the trash they went. The ones I needed to keep I set aside until I processed the inputs. So the long and short of it is there are two trash cans full of debris, as well as a small pile of boxes and old MSDN CDs waiting to be picked up. About those MSDN CDs… some were from 2002. So definitely the clean-up was much needed.
Once I had got what relatively few inputs I had in physical form (most everything is electronically stored now), I set about dealing with them. The business cards I needed to process were input into my contacts system. The workstation folks were contacted about an old laptop battery that needed to be disposed of. And I’ve got tickler reminders (in Remember the Milk) for tomorrow for some other old equipment (server hard drive, and old iPAQ, power cables for our racks, etc.) to get them to the right people. I’ve grabbed my ministry certificates, my license to preach the gospel and my deacon ordination, and I’ll take those to the church since I have an office I can put them up in.
Now, how do I feel? A lot better, to tell the truth. My work area feels uncluttered for the first time in a great while. And that means I should be more productive here overall. I still have a TON of work to do at my church office and at home, but this is a start. One step at a time as I try to implement the system.