I’ve just finished reading a book called ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen. The book is of the self-help genre and is aimed at helping busy managers and executives get their lives in order so they can achieve more and achieve more easily. The way of doing this is to have lists for everything and to break your ‘things to do’ down into the simplest of tasks so you always have a ‘next action’ on the go and feel as though you really are getting things done. For example, a task I needed to complete recently was to get a gas engineer out to do the annual gas check on the house I rent out. But I couldn’t do this until I’d made the appointment with the engineer and liaised with my tenant to make sure it was convenient. I couldn’t make the appointment until I’d rang him. I couldn’t ring him until I had a phone number. So my ‘next action’ started off as ‘get the engineer’s number’ and I achieved the task in stages rather than having it as one unticked item on my list until the whole task was finished. It makes sense to me and although I know I won’t follow all of his ideas I do like the basic idea of it. I like lists and I like to feel as though I’m ticking things off even if it is only bit by bit. Since I’ve been writing this blog I’m already feeling more positive and in control of the things I want to do because I’m noticing little things that are actually relevant to my list, but which would have passed me by before and I wouldn’t have felt like I was on the way to achieving anything at all. So, in a way, I’m already practising the ‘next action’ technique of organising and achieving and I like it.
A good motivational tool using lists to help you achieve.