I would like to have control over the execution of my responsiblities, by which I mean, knowing what needs to be done and to be able to do it smoothly and without undue stress, and doing it well enough to get credit or make my own portfolio of successes. So this is why I have tried to use GTD. I also want to have more fun!
I have a clear idea about all the higher level stuff.
I have 215 projects on my list.
My next action lists are hard to work through because they are so long.
I can't get through the weekly review of my projects and their outcomes, more come to mind or other ways to break them down. I can't process every little paper. My "ins" ever get to empty.
If I complete a next action and I don't have the project support materials at hand, I can't figure out what the next action is. This is a real problem if I am doing a batch of small actions related to several different projects in one context.
The routine work (not projects) that I must do either at home or in the office range from 2 hours (rarely) to 6 hours a day, but is usually about 6. I am combining the activities of my professional, personal, and family duties in this figure because I don't think it matters.
My work involves:
1) meetings with people in a business office.
2) research, writing and paperwork in my office in my home.
3) preparation for responding to needs of other people.
4) responding to their needs at unpredictable times.
5) getting the cooperation of difficult people.
6) having supplies on hand for myself and other people who are not consistently accountable for anticipating their needs or indicating when we are running low.
7) managing other people's schedules who are allergic to being pinned down but want "service on demand" and whose schedules do change with little notice.
physical tasks that require setting up and cleaning up.
9) Gleaning resources, gathering information and writing and presenting proposals of various lengths. If a proposal is incomplete, starts with the wrong word, or is too simple or too complex, or the styoe is wrong, it gets rejected immediatly.
The business office is not web-enabled and the only computer resource is my lap top. The business office can be very noisy. If I shut the door and it is known that I am not meeting with a client, the co-workers will literally shout through the door and what they shout varies in relevancy to my work and functioning (e.g., Is your dog is feeling better? We have a new form for...).
I have processed about 1/5 of the backlog in my home office. It has taken me over a year, in fits and starts. There is imrpotant stuff mixed in with the stuff that needs to be cast out. I have tried to do it in a full weekend or week and there is too much. Therefore my office is an uninviting mess.
I have processed about 1/20th of the backlog in business office. It does not look as bad on the surface and In can function but not smoothly.
Most of my projects require materials that are in the piles-to-be-processed at one or both locations.
Many of my next actions are research (collecting, reviewing and analyzing a wide scope of information) and writing text or outlines. These are not usually suited to 15 minute pockets of time because a certain amount of deep think is involved. I need uninterupted time and I need to get into the level of concentration required.
I have always done best by using a large paper calednar and blocking out times for steps and stages of projects, including back up times.
I added the Palm as a way to keep track of all my projects and next actions better. I didn't want to use two calendars, so I have dropped paper calendar. I think this impairs my ability to plan my work because I can't get the whole picture of the hard landscape and how I might move things around in it.
I am not a young person and I am not very good with computer stuff.