I really need some help here.
I've tried and tried to "get organised", over and over again. I've read the GTD system, the wikipedia page, countless variations of GTD-style management systems.
I'm a tech-head, so naturally I've been through various versions of palm pilots and laptop-based ideas, and now I have a HTC TytnII [which won't talk to anything, see my other thread in the tech forum here]. But now I have a new job managing a shop and they're using a mix of old Red Hat and Fedora there and they've locked down all the PCs there [net access, USB sticks etc all outlawed...]
My boss [Area Manager] and also the owner of the company don't believe in the tech approach to time management. I asked my AM about how he manages himself and he said all he does is keep lists in an A4DTP diary. He only writes down things that are not "today" things. He comes in in the morning, and just starts work. 3 times a day he'll refer to the current day to remind himself of things he has to follow up, other than that, he just does what is in front of him right now. That's it.
That kind of approach would fill me with dread. I already forget bits and pieces even with my vox recorder and notebook and spreadsheets of lists and lists-of-lists... But who am I to argue - his system is working for him better than my system is working for me...
I have an endless todo list. Always have had. Especially since hearing about the "next action" idea, I fear I have gone too far into the "micromanaging" realm. Instead of having
- till float
- etc etc
why not just have
- "open the shop"
Same at home too - I have a project car I am working on, involving rebuilding the engine, some panel beating and spray painting etc and then getting it roadworthy'd and registered etc - that's a project that probably involves several dozen steps even if you only broke it down into one or two hour steps. If you broke it down to anything more than two minute tasks it would run into the hundreds...
Where to decide where to split?
If I'm to go to a paper system [and I'm not entirely against the idea] I'm not at all sure how to deal with it on a purely mechanical level. Many things are "every day" items - do you write them down on every page, and tick them off as they're done? If they don't get done that day does that mean you end up re-doing the next days list?
To get back to my main issue at the moment:
I don't seem to be able to get to that stage of having the "trusted system" because I never have completed the "collection" phase. Last weekend was a classic example, I started making the "master list" on Sunday night, didn't finish it, went to work Monday and immediately got sidetracked off my sidetracks as usual. So you fall into the "deal with what's in your face right now" mode, only it worse now because you know you've got this list of a few hundred things waiting to get done...
This post has gone on long enough already.
Thanks for reading.