Seasoned and lightly marinated greetings to you!
What a year it has been! Looking back it’s now easy to see all the mistakes/learning opportunities and all the victories. Hindsight is 20/20!
Pausing to reflect before moving on a valuable source of fertilizer for the new year: 2009 is compost for 2010.
So from 2009 I have found that building my schedule around my children and following them, just as Madame Montessori suggested works the best for productivity and happiness. For 2010 I have already printed out a new custom made planner and diary to record our scholastic achievements as well as my to do’s etc. Also my home is going through some necessary changes as we move/swap the children’s bedroom and home ed room, giving more room for play in a play friendly area and less room for concentrated reading and writing activities (as less room is needed). This also means we have an opportunity to declutter and use my favourite method of organising, GTD.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done book is my favourite read atm and has been for about a year now. The five distinct stages are;
- Collect everything (including all the physical ‘stuff’ and also a complete brain dump onto paper of EVERYTHING on your mind – do washing, back up computer, mmm would love some bacon and eggs for brunch, call friend who’s up from Canberra visiting are all on my current collect brain-sweep list)
- Process and decide ‘what does THIS mean’ for each and everything thing (I don’t want my friend to go back home and I miss out on seeing him so I really must call him but he posted something on facebook at 6am so he’s either up early – 40% likely, or he was up late – 60% likely)
- Organise each ACTIONABLE item (only the actual projects get this far as anything that is rubbish is in the bin, stuff I want to keep for later like reference is put in it’s folder/shelf etc. My project called ‘see G before he leaves town’ which makes it clear what that means to me in it’s title with the NEXT ACTION ‘ text G at 10am’ is now OFF MY MIND and on my list)
- Reviewing is something that is best done every week on the same day at roughly the same time, just to keep everything ‘clear and current’. That’s when you can collect/process/organise anything new and also read through the lists/titles of projects/scan ahead on a calander/diary etc so that you have an overview of what’s going on and feel on top of everything.
- Doing is the final stage and every week it becomes more and more of what takes up my time. To begin with the first 3 steps really do eat up a couple of days but it’s so worth it! Now I have a doing list of JUST the next actions on the projects I’m currently working on and everything else is OFF MY MIND!!! It’s a brilliant feeling of freedom. I really trust my system because all through 2009 I was working steadily on this, chipping away at procrastination, depression caused by … so many things but dealt with during the year.
Doing all of my ‘to do’s’ now feels like I’m working on my agreements and moving towards finishing them – not in theory, but actuality. What I have definitely gained from 2009 is a strong feeling in self-responsibility and confidence. As new projects emerge I’m far more capable of saying no to things that drain my energy and yes to LIFE! I have finished many projects through the year, but especially the last 3 months. I’ve gotten more done in these last few months than the 6 months before them! I put that down to having more time to do stuff, being more organised with my ‘stuff’ through getting better at GTD and also feeling happier with myself for being strong and not taking any more excuses, from myself or others. You might even say I’ve finished growing up – but I’m more childlike and carefree then ever! YIPPEE!!!! I love body boarding and have my eye on surfing in 2010. Also I’d like to do more camping and gardening (I have just finished landscaping my garden so now I have no more room for new plants! I’ll have to get some big pots instead!) I finished some preliminary writing of my book but will devote nights to writing consistently.
In 2009 I learnt that when it comes to writing it’s best to write consistently and produce evidence of writing for myself regularly, otherwise things Don’t Get Done! After attending an Editing course, making many drafts and writing down ideas for the last 4-5 years my next action for my book is to make a schedule for each stage needed to finish it – surprisingly the actually writing out the book only takes up a third of that time! There is so much involved in writing a book and it isn’t something I want to become obsessed about during daylight hours! Those hours are for my children! I’ll leave writing for a couple of hours a night, a few nights a week. I’m so grateful to have watched a few people write a thesis and after seeing 300+ pages blue tacked to walls (engineering student), delays become blockages to being able to do other things, draft after draft being edited/returned/edited/returned over and over, not to mention the stress it induces on others I’m content to take my time. I don’t have a due date for my book though, so it’s a different deal for me. If I did have a short time I know from experience my wheels would surely fall off and my children would suffer needlessly. It’s a nice feeling to be mature enough to say ‘mweh, just plod along with writing and in the mean time, enjoy your life! The Children will be grown and you’ll have missed it ALL if you become egotistically obsessed with your own self importance with a BOOK!’ lol. Ahhhhh….. life is so so good!
So for 2010 I’ll take the being more organised, being happier, forgive and forget mine and other’s mistakes and learn from those opportunities to avoid having to go through stuff again.
M and D are very happy and relaxed with themselves. We’ve had no problems adjusting to any of the events of 2009. They are amazing people who look forward – and why shouldn’t they! They are the new models, I’m the superseded one! At the same time I’m also fine with 2009 and very happy to move forward into an very good looking 2010!
Can a year be ‘good looking’? I see so many good things that have come out of the last few months of 2009 so it’s looking like a very good 2010! More of the same.
Next blog I plan to post some photos of our new home ed layout to inspire others, as I love looking into other people’s rooms to see what other parents are doing for their children.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
ps Texted G and he’s already in Goulburn…but now I have more time today for finishing other projects. This GTD system is GREAT for moving forward! It’s a martial art to take life as it comes and not get hung up when things don’t work out… love it!