While in Seattle, I picked up Mandy & Korey’s copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen. (Don’t want to read the book but wondering what I’m talking about? What is GTD? might help.) While a lot of it is probably common sense, I had a lot of headsmack moments. The first few chapters I read were so eye opening to me, I picked up a copy the day we left their house and headed up to Bellingham so that I could read more.
Now I’m inspired to try out the hipsterPDA system, using 3×5 index cards. Again, nothing revolutionary. Matter of fact, as I told Elaine earlier on the phone, I actually used to do something like this years ago. But I’m not doing it right now. Instead, I have been using the computer to keep track of projects and things I need to do – ignoring the fact that I’m a pen & paper list person, and that I need to focus on action items. Some days I’m actually paralyzed because I’m overwhelmed by looking at the big picture of things I need to do – I don’t just look at the small bite-sized pieces. This system would give me small bites to deal with, instead of overwhelming myself.
Because the point is, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed for months. A few months ago, I actually had a full on anxiety attack over it. I’ve had other days with hints of that same feeling of anxiety. Wow. I never want to go through that again. So I’m vowing to simplify. Simplify, simplify, simplify. I have to do it.
While in Seattle, we started talking about where we want to go from here. How do we want our life to look.
Our first day in Seattle, I pointed out to Mike that we are both working far too much. We’re not always working “smarter” either – sometimes, we’re making more work for ourselves by not taking the time to properly deal with the task at hand. Not something that is a new revelation for me, but something I’ve vowing anew to change. I think by taking a break and stepping back from life, Mike is seeing it now too.
Next up is where we live. Neither one of us has ever loved Houston, although my parents are here, Mike has a fabulous job, I have wonderful clients, and we have the most fabulous friends here. If we stay in Houston, we want to move into the city, closer to downtown where my studio space and Mike’s office is at. Do we do that now, or wait two years for Jason to graduate? Do we stay here, or start the move process now so that Jason can be an in-state resident by the time he starts college.
Then today I came across a post on 20 great ways to find more free time – and it all came together for me.
Are there a hundred different things you wish you could do with your life someday — anything from exercising to meditation or yoga to writing that novel you always wished you could write to reading more to relaxing and watching the sunrise?
But perhaps you never have the time, like most people.
The truth is, we all have the same amount of time, and it’s finite and in great demand. But some of us have made the time for doing the things we love doing, and others have allowed the constant demands and pressures and responsibilities of life to dictate their days.
It’s time to move from the second group back into the first. Reclaim your time. Create the life you want and make the most of the free time you lay claim to.
It’s not hard, though it does take a little bit of effort and diligence.
For me, the time for that effort and diligence is NOW.
I can complain about how much I don’t like things in my life, in my house (there is too much STUFF! I need to purge for days on end!), things I don’t like in general. Or I can shut up and DO. I’m going to go with the latter. It is time to make changes.
I am going to reclaim my life and my free time.
There are lots of things to think about — and I’m hoping that by writing about it here, I can keep myself on track. I’m planning on choosing a day within the next month that Mike & I can sit down and have a “life plan retreat” and figure out how to reclaim our free time. And you can help me out with that too. Inspired by “Getting Things Done” yourself and have tips to share? Using the hpda system and want to share your advice? Just want to cheer me on? Trust me — I will take all the support I can get.
You know, it is sort of hard to admit all of this in such a public place, but it is cathartic too. I feel so much better just having written it out. I have a plan (well, the start of one at least), and now? Now it is time to go forth and DO.
Update: Chris Brogan just twittered about his post on this exact same subject, so I had to add one more link – his post on How to do more with less time. Some great tips in there!