by Suw on September 26, 2005

Still at the office.
But generally, on balance, things are good.

Anonymous September 26, 2005 at 9:48 pm

Suw, here is a suggestion recently posted in a blog:
You are exhibiting the signals of someone who needs to encounter the work of David Allen. I would suggest his first book on workflow management, called ?Getting Things Done?. Or as a less satisfactory first step going to the website at But really I would say get thee to a bookstore or library and just get the book in your hands as soon as possible and start reading it immediately. He begins with the observation that when we are at our most productive we have a certain mental state in which we are relaxed and ready. The Japanese call it ?mind like water?. His thesis is that this is in fact our natural state, and his book examines how to arrange our workflow so that we *stay* in this natural state. The steps begin by getting all our ?stuff? (defined as things not in the status or location we want) into one or more IN boxes. Or maybe if it is too large physically, then the item can be represented in the IN box by a proxy, perhaps a single sheet of paper to remind of what the item is. The next step is getting everything out of IN and into a ?project file? so that each project (meaning something that takes more than two steps to accomplish) has all the relevant materials for that project within it. Next is to go through the project files and for each identify what is the *next step* to be done for that particular project. Finally you make a list of all the next steps for projects that are to be done in a certain place or context ? e.g. a list of all the project next steps you will do at your computer, all the ones you will do while in town, etc. By this time your life will begin to change because you have confidence that a) everything you need to do has been captured, put into a file, and is out of sight where you are no longer distracted by thinking about it, and b) you are confident that it will reappear once again and present itself to you when its appropriate time for action next comes up. In other words you are achieving that relaxed and ready state called mind like water. Then you are free to simply work on what you choose, finish it to an appropriate conclusion without being pulled in many directions at once, and all you need to do to maintain the system is see that your IN boxes (of which you have as many as you need but as few as possible) are cleared out once a day and their contents filed elsewhere, and that you once a week look over your list of outstanding projects to see that each has an appropriately identified next step. It is a joy to live and work in this state. I heartily recommend it to you. And hope you will actually put your hands on the book within the next 24 hours. And blog us on the results you experience over the first several days.

Anonymous September 27, 2005 at 9:28 am

It's not a matter of Getting Things Done, it's a matter of Having Less To Do.

Anonymous September 27, 2005 at 3:10 pm

Actually, it's a more spiritual thing than either Getting Things Done or Having Less to Do.
You are enormously productive, Suw. Yet you can become worn, tired, and exhausted by carrying with you throughout the day and week the burden of all the undone things you know you are not doing.
Get them out of your head. Delegate them elsewhere. Make a list of things you definitely are *not* going to do yourself. And then forget about them … at least until their time for review comes round again and you genuinely *can* do something about them.
But in order to get them truly out of your head and unburden yourself of them so you can work on what is before you, it is likely you will need a system that allows you to capture new stuff and instantly put it out of sight and where you confidently know it will come back to you when it is time.
Here are a couple of articles: and also Note in the June 23 post his ode to the pubbing culture of London.

Anonymous September 27, 2005 at 3:52 pm

Or this 😉
Or you might try the new Death Cab album, which is proving very nice.

Anonymous September 27, 2005 at 4:47 pm

You're an organised little chookie, Suw. You'll get it all done 🙂 In the meantime, there's an open invite for you to come down for a visit, collapse & be fed chicken soup whenever you feel the need for a break.

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