Bookavore

voracious reader with a certain verbal attitude

Posts tagged if I did it anyone can do it

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How I Got Organized, Part Five: How I’m Different Now; or, Why Organization is Really Good Therapy for People Who Can’t Afford Therapy

This is the fifth of five blog posts about organization and how I got some, against all expectations. They started life as an attempt to get my thoughts in order for a session on efficiency in bookselling that I’m presenting next week and got out of hand. I assure you nobody is more surprised than I am that I’m hosting a session about organization, but these posts explain how that happened. I think. (Though the session is specifically about efficiency and bookselling, these posts address efficiency and organization more broadly. I’ll post notes from the session later in the month.) The first post is here and the second post is here and the third post is here and the fourth post is here.

Although the trigger for trying to get my life in order was feeling on the verge of another bout of serious depression, I am still surprised to find that becoming more organized and efficient has been so good for me mentally. This all has turned out to be the most effective therapy I’ve ever gone through, and I’ve had a couple of really great therapists in my life, so that’s not meant to be an insult to them. 

In the main, being more organized has allowed me to start overcoming many of my natural anxiety triggers. Like so many bookish people, I have a bunch of triggers that come my way every day by nature of my job, including: talking to strangers, asking people for things, being wrong, and making phone calls. I was a clinically shy child (hence the vicious reading habit) and though I have since learned to talk to people, my brain is still shy. This has long destroyed my to-do lists and projects, because if there was a phone call on my list, I would find every possible way not to make the call until it was too late to make it any more. Or if I had to ask a favor of someone in order to complete a task, that task was not getting done. Of course, for the most part, I was not adding these things to lists at all, and conveniently forgetting them whenever possible.

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Filed under GTD organization if I did it anyone can do it

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How I Got Organized, Part Three: What I Learned And Just What Is Organization, Anyway?

This is the third of five blog posts about organization and how I got some, against all expectations. They started life as an attempt to get my thoughts in order for a session on efficiency in bookselling that I’m presenting next week and got out of hand. I assure you nobody is more surprised than I am that I’m hosting a session about organization, but these posts explain how that happened. I think. (Though the session is specifically about efficiency and bookselling, these posts address efficiency and organization more broadly. I’ll post notes from the session later in the month.) The first post is here and the second post is here.

After the capturing and the list-making came some self-absorption. I found myself wondering why I hadn’t been able to do these fairly easy things before. I also found that I was very curious about what it meant to be organized, since I had obviously been wrong about that for years.

I’ve spent my entire life calling myself a messy person, because I have been. The messier things got, the more anxious I got, the worse it got. Because I had been that way forever, raging against that tendency seemed futile, so I learned to step over piles on the floor.

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Filed under organization GTD efficiency if I did it anyone can do it

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How I Got Organized, Part Two: What I Did

This is the second of five blog posts about organization and how I got some, against all expectations. They started life as an attempt to get my thoughts in order for a session on efficiency in bookselling that I’m presenting next week and got out of hand. I assure you nobody is more surprised than I am that I’m hosting a session about organization, but these posts explain how that happened. I think. (Though the session is specifically about efficiency and bookselling, these posts address efficiency and organization more broadly. I’ll post notes from the session later in the month.) The first post is here.

I wrote everything down.

That’s basically all I did.

There’s a lot more to the Getting Things Done method than that, most of it very helpful, but this was at the core of it all, for me. I wrote things down when I thought about them, and then when I realized I’d forgotten to do something, I took it as a reminder that I wasn’t writing everything down. Sometimes I sat down and tried to think of everything I had to do and had ever wanted to do, and wrote it all down. Unless it was something I could literally do at the second I thought of it, I wrote it down. Sometimes I wrote it down on scrap paper, sometimes I sent myself an email. Eventually I came to use Remember The Milk for everything. David Allen calls this “capturing,” and if you’ve ever felt like your brain is full of birds that would like to kill you, you will understand why.

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Filed under organization GTD david allen if I did it anyone can do it

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How I Got Organized, Part One: Why I Cared and Why It Even Happened in The First Place

This is the first of five blog posts about organization and how I got some, against all expectations. They started life as an attempt to get my thoughts in order for a session on efficiency in bookselling that I’m presenting next week and got out of hand. I assure you nobody is more surprised than I am that I’m hosting a session about organization, but these posts explain how that happened. I think. (Though the session is specifically about efficiency and bookselling, these posts address efficiency and organization more broadly. I’ll post notes from the session later in the month.) Placing after a jump because it’s long.

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Filed under organization GTD if I did it anyone can do it efficiency