04 April 2008

Priorities and Broken Glass

I am at Cupps this morning, grading some papers and working away from the office. The Smiths just starting playing in here (well, not literally, although I am not sure anyone sitting here would notice if Morrisey walked in), which has risen my mood a bit. Eleanor was up at 4:30 this morning. Sarah tried to take care of her for awhile, but handed her off to me at 5:30. I rocked her for half an hour and she feel asleep, but was up 20 minutes later. So there is some fuzzy headed lack of sleep vibe happening in the Pope house.

Something else happened this morning that made me think again about Getting Things Done. Part of that system is to keep track of all the things you need to do in a system, but to really avoid placing priorities on any of those things. There is no "A List" "B List" or anything like that. The reason is those priorities shift with conditions and, even though something is really important, you may not be able to tackle that thing in the 15 minutes you have before your meeting. GTD says you should do SOMETHING in those 15 minutes, so it doesn't make sense to work on the A list until it's done, then move onto the B List. How does this relate to this morning in my kitchen?

Sarah was nursing Eleanor while I was getting my lunch together. Our lunch stuff (water bottles, lunch bags, etc) are on the top shelf of the cabinet. While reaching for a lunch bag, I knocked over a shot glass on the middle shelf; it fell and broke.

Sarah and I have talked about our need to reorganize our kitchen. We have stuff crammed in some cabinets while others sit half-empty. We now have Eleanor's stuff, which is scattered in two or three cabinets. This need, of course, was made apparent by this broken glass. It makes no sense to keep those lunch boxes on the top shelf. I use them almost every day. They are not breakable or unsafe, so they could easily be something we could put in a cabinet Eleanor can get into. Our bar materials, however, we almost never use. Why are they on the shelf in a cabinet we open every day, between the mixing bowls shelf and the lunch stuff shelf?

I guess my point is that reorganizing the kitchen wasn't a priority until it Became A Priority, you know? It takes an emergency (or at least a broken glass) to make that happen. GTD is supposed to minimize those emergencies and give you the space to deal with them when they do happen.

2 comments:

  1. I have found Sandy has really gotten me back into the GTD swing of things. It's just so easy when all you have to do is type, "haircut appointment at 10am tomorrow" or "remind me to call Andre next Friday afternoon". Sandy remembers appointments, to-dos, contacts, all of your "stuff". I like tagging stuff with @inbox so I can set it all during the weekly review.

    Also, you can hook Jott up to Sandy and just call in your "remind me to organize the kitchen on Saturday".

    Give them a shot.

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  2. Sandy does look cool, but I am beginning to realize that I am a pen a paper guy as far as organizing myself goes. I am all about the index cards.

    BTW, Paul, one of my students was wearing a Blast Off T-Shirt in class Tuesday.

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