View Full Version : Looking for any in similar situation, with tips to share
06-15-2005, 08:30 PM
I'm a Mom, my two little people are almost 3 and 14.5 mos. I work part time (3 days/week) and manage virtually all the household affairs, due to my husband working most weeks either far too much or completely out of town. Thank goodness my mother is here in town, I'm sure I would go insane withoutt her.
However, I feel like I NEVER get anything DONE. My list of unfinished projects (and piles of them) abounds and I was always so organized and with-it before children arrived. I'm 38 years old, and fairly successful at work, but I feel like chaos is ruling my life at the moment, and it is getting to me. I bought Getting Things Done because it sounded like a great solution. I am on Chapter 6, and already have spent the first part of the book nodding my head every two sentences. But, I am finding it hard to devote the kind of time indicated to really getting organized, plus it seems more aimed at 'just work', as oppposed to the reality of messy life with children.
So, I'd like to correspond with any others out there who are in a similar situation. Oh yeah, my office is in my home, as I work remotely doing technical support for a software company. The children are actually gone from my home to daycare during work hours (imagine being on the phone with a customer when your 14 month old is repeating mo-my-mo-my in your ear)! ;-)
Let me know if you are interested.
06-15-2005, 09:16 PM
Hi there! I am a SAHM and have just started using GTD, but I can already telly you it has made a huge difference in how my household is running. I have 3 kids from 16 - 4 and we have lots of different things going on all the time and my brain is always full of things needed to be done. The first thing I did was get an inbox, a BUNCH of 3x5 cards, file folders, a file box for my "tickler" file and a labler. Then I started writing down all the "projects" I had running around in my head and put them in the inbox. I have a stack of cards and a pen in almost every room and also in my car so that whenever I get a thought I want or need to act on I can write it down and not lose it. Initially, I spent about an hour writing things down, because that was all the time I could spare. Then I gathered up all the piles of stuff that I needed to deal with and put them in the inbox. You know, bills, addresses I needed to get into my book, etc. I set up a tickler file and folders for next actions, call, projects, and things that needed my husbands attention. Then, I took an afternoon, grabbed everything I needed and cleaned out the inbox. Wow, what a difference. Now everybody knows that if it needs my attention to put it in the inbox. I love this system. If you want, you can email me.
I don't have children, but I have chronic pain and I work from home. I also have 3 large dogs and 3 cats and a husband, and no day's schedule is exactly like the next.
Don't beat yourself up for not being as organized as you used to be. I did this to myself for several years after the car accident and finally realized that, in fact, I was doing my very best each day with the energy available to me. This somewhat restored my self-respect and gave me a new perspective on what I could realistically accomplish.
"Getting Things Done" (the book) helped me prioritize what absolutely had to happen each day with the available energy; all other tasks come secondarily into view. I do as many of them as I can before the body gives out and just have had to learn how to give myself credit for what I *can* get done and not what I have had to leave undone. I also purchased the tapes of "GTD Fast" a couple of months ago; they have much more applicability to daily-life activities than the book does. I mean, how many times can you stand to read about "Getting tires for the car"? ;-)
You're probably working flat-out every day and not realizing how much you *do* accomplish, because so much of what we do in the home is repetitive. Just imagine *not* doing it for a day or two, and then you'll know how much you *do* accomplish!
For other help from people in your situation, drop in at www.organizedhome.com as well as this forum. OH isn't by any means a GTD place--even though there are many threads devoted to the topic--but there are many women at OH who will share their experience with you.
06-16-2005, 06:13 AM
To supplement GTD, I'd recommend www.flylady.net which is free.
It's a good method for getting through recurrent routine tasks without feeling overwhelmed. All tasks are distributed through the month, so everything gets done without a big pileup. You can adapt flylady's sequence to your own needs. When you sign up, you get many daily reminders. At first they can seem overwhelming, but you can delete them at will and phase into them as you see fit.
In fact, I'd recommend flylady over organizedhome (with all due respect to the person who recommended the latter) because it's simpler and takes less time.
06-16-2005, 09:34 AM
Seems to me like the OP's primary concern is lack of time to "set up" GTD.
My suggestion: Expect to "set up" in smaller chunks of time, maybe 20-30 minutes each. The first chunk might be devoted just to setting up your physical inboxes and filing system (e.g., placing a physical inbox in a convenient location, making an inventory of your filing system, etc.). During the next chunk, you might get everything into your inbox. Then you might spend the next four or five chunks processing everything in your inbox.
This can be spread out over weeks. I think it will work.
06-16-2005, 12:32 PM
I agree that FlyLady is a good supplement to GTD, especially for home/family stuff. But I have found that GTD is a very powerful tool for home/family stuff, too -- it's just a little more complicated to implement since home/family is generally more complicated than work. So don't give up! If you can implement just one piece at a time, you will be glad that you did. A fringe benefit is that you will be able to train your kids on this when they get older (a benefit for them AND you!).
I have to add, though (having been there myself) that there is NOTHING that can make taking care of a baby and a toddler simple or streamlined. It's very demanding and all-consuming, and I think that you have to accept that your life is going to be a little chaotic and messy for a while. It will get a lot easier in another year or two. But don't wish away the years -- they go by too fast as it is!
06-19-2005, 09:46 AM
... primary concern is lack of time to "set up" GTD.
If this is a concern, try a few things to lean into implementation.
Some of the most common things that I've seen work are:
- Purge 1/2 of a filing drawer. Don't worry about putting anything in, labeling old folders, or re-organizing. Literraly toss things you no longer need.
- Create an "@Agendas" list for 4 of the people you communicate with frequently. A boss, co-worker, spouse, child, or parent. We regularly think of things to tell someone when they are NOT around; capture that, and then bring it up when the time is right.
- Review one FAQ a week: http://www.davidco.com/faq.php
++++ here are a couple of my favorites:
06-20-2005, 02:18 PM
Jason, this is excellent. Thanks!