Making Up Lost Ground

I have big plans for this “weekend” of mine. Big plans.

Now that I feel like I (sorta) have my real life issues taken care of, I’m looking forward to clearing out my headspace and getting back to the real work, the life’s work — writing.

First up, I want to settle in to a new routine via the Getting Things Done paradigm, a la David Allen. I’ve bought numerous programs to help me organize all the crap I collect, but have never managed to implement them successfully. And the last one, Pocket Informant for the iPad/iPhone, gave me the option to select one of three organizational methods it supported, including Getting Things Done.

I figured I might as well go to the source.

I’m halfway through the book, and there is a lot of good stuff in here. Things like, if it takes less than two minutes, do it now and get rid of it. Don’t use a to-file folder cause if you can’t be bothered to put it away the first time, you never will the second time. Don’t continue to worry about something once you’ve decided, ’cause it’s a waste of effort. Don’t just make a list of to-dos, figure out the next physical action to take.

I think what appeals to me most about the methodology is that the goal is to get everything into a trusted system so that your brain doesn’t keep chewing over the same things repeatedly, to the point where you stress out and have no mental room for constructive, creative tasks. If it’s not captured somewhere, either physical or electronic, it’s still kicking around in the old noggin.

This all makes a terrible amount of sense to me. ‘Cause I feel like so much of my life is weighing me down that it keeps me from coming to the page fresh and clear minded. I want to manage my time better and get more done — more writing, more reading, more self-improvement. Too much time is just flushing down the drain. No more!

My only concern is that the book was published in 2002. There were PDAs back then, but the technology has progressed mightily and I wondered if there was a more recent edition that might address that but no such luck. He’s had other books published since then, so perhaps a different volume addresses this or maybe some other writers have filled the gap. Regardless, I want to implement this system ASAP, and as cheaply as possible. Priority number one for the next two days.

Up next, the novel. Writing.

Lastly, the meet and greet with a potential new member for the critique group! He’s a guy I know from work who happened to spy one of my writing books in my cubicle-cel. He asked me if I write, I said yes, babbled a bit, and then he asked if I shared.

Happy little alarm bells started ringing like the cathedral of Notre Dame.

“Why, YES, and as a matter of fact …”

So, the group is going to meet him, see if he likes us and if we like him. We need someone who is interested in active participation, who can string together a sentence, and who isn’t afraid to share his work or receive critiques. Not that we go after our critiques like they were the last blond cheerleader at Sleep Away Camp, but it’s not going to be a love fest, either. So, we’re asking for a small sample and we’re going to bring in our own pieces to show him what our critiques have looked like.

We’ll see what happens. I’m hopeful. He seems clever, and while quiet, when he speaks its generally something useful or interesting. He said he’s been looking for something to help keep him on track and encourage him to move forward. I know our group has done that for me. Hopefully we can be the group that does that for him, too.

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