The Perfect Gentleman Issue 7 - Page 17

I like to keep all the details related to a project bundled together in one place. For me that is usually electronically but it can also be a paper folder or an envelope. When I am working one project I tidy away the others and just pull out what I need for that one. Organising your projects like this has the added benefit of allowing you to quickly engage and disengage with work. We all deal with distractions and interruptions which is why I find prioritised lists don’t work well. I can get a call or an email that completely changes my priorities and so it’s useful for me to be able to wrap up everything to do with a piece of work and be confident it will all be there when I come back. This trusted system really reduced the stress of dealing with interruptions or changed priorities. I can afford to let my mind fully engage with the new work because I trust that the other projects are well organised. Thinking through all your actions and projects like this can seem daunting. It may take a few hours the first time you do it, but it soon gets faster. I allow around an hour to 90 minutes a week to do this, and to plan for my week ahead. I list out all the commitments I have made and check my lists of projects to make sure each has a next action. I look two weeks back and two weeks ahead in my calendar and mentally run though each of the areas in my life to be sure I’ve not missed something. If I have it gets added as a project or an action as appropriate. This is called the Weekly Review, and it something some of the most productive people I know do. It’s a habit and takes time to form, so don’t be discouraged if you miss a week or more. It’s easy to get caught up - just grab a piece of paper and start listing all the commitments you’ve made. Run through the listed steps and you’ll feel more in control, less stressed and get more done. The GTD System BUSINESS GENTLEMAN 17