Learning How to Make Peaceful, Intentional, Flexible Choices All Day
I first read the time-management classic, Getting Things Done, about eight years ago, and implemented a few of its strategies. Almost three years later, after my fourth baby turned one, I returned to it again, because four children and a lack of sleep severely affected my brain power. At the time, I had a vague notion that it would help me get my brain onto paper more effectively. My goodness, was I right!
So often we go through seasons that feel like perpetual drowning. Sometimes, no matter how much I do, it never feels like progress is made. Going through the steps outlined in Getting Things Done helps me to overcome that feeling and slowly climb back into the driver’s seat of my routines, my stuff, and my responsibilities.
The book is all about “black-belt” list-making. I slowly worked at implementing a more complete GTD system, and every step yielded significant improvement in my peace of mind by banishing that awful, constant nagging sense of things unknown left undone; that sense upon entering any room or glancing any direction and seeing only things that you should do, but aren’t. Now that my fifth child is a year old, I need to again reevaluate my own situation and all those tactics I’ve let slide during the fuzzy third trimester and newborn months. However, even my spotty implementation for the last year has been helpful.
“Anxiety,” claims David Allen in Getting Things Done, “is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action.” He posits that most people know how to plan and they know what to do; they just don’t do it. So his book is a step-by-step coaching toward doing completely and well what most people only do in crises or in a scattered manner.
Getting Things Done is about managing your stuff and your actions, and once those are under control, your mind is left more free and clear to focus on the present moment with your family. In GTD for Homemakers, I take his principles and make them practical for our situation as stay-at-home mothers, giving examples that relate to our lives, rather than assuming a corporate setting. GTD for Homemakers is not about turning our homes and families into a well-oiled machine, but about being in control of our tasks and stuff rather than letting them control us. Then instead of running around like chickens with heads cut off, we may be more free and calm to make the correct intuitive decision about how to handle whatever is before us in the moment.
If you’d like to try this process for yourself, explained step-by-step by someone who knows what life at home with littles is like, check out GTD for Homemakers. This week only, use discount code managing to get 30% off!
Mystie Winckler is a wife, mother, homemaker, and home-educator. Mystie has been married for twelve years to her only sweetheart, Matt, and both are homeschool graduates themselves. Now they raise & educate their five young children. Mystie blogs at Simply Convivial on homemaking, home-educating, reading, and organizing.