Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost

I've always loved that bumper sticker. But it doesn't really fit here because I want you to follow me.


Even though I rarely blog. 


I mean...Should a blogger really have to blog in order to have followers? Obviously not.


 And I have four new followers since I last checked. In fact, they've been here more recently than I have. Which is pitiful, I know. But why would I keep coming here when I know there's nothing new. (just kidding...)


 But, I bet you get tired of me apologizing for my inconsistent blogging. Well, too bad.  It makes me feel better. Plus, it may be the last time you'll ever hear it because of what I'm about to tell you.


I've been listening to a book (isn't it cool how you can do that?) called Making It All Work. It's the sequel to Getting Things Done, The Art of Stressfree Productivity (GTD), which I recently read half of, then immediately started touting to all my friends....only to find out the book was a best-seller.... about 10 years ago.... and everybody on the planet, 'cept me, has already read the book.


(Although I was too nice to mention this to my so-called friends, but wouldn't you think if they had actually read a revolutionary book about Getting Things Done - even if it was behind my back -that I might have noticed a little stressfree productivity going on in their lives? If you get my drift ....)


 Anyway, if you've been in a cave for the last 10 years and have not yet read GTD, don't read it. 


Just get the sequel, Making It All Work, in which he spends the first few chapters telling you how GTD has revolutionized the known world. (Apparently,...Learn Humility, was not one of the things the author was trying to Get Done. But then, the book has sold a trillion copies - A trillion + 1 now that I finally bought one.) He also summarizes everything from the 1st book in the second book. So it was almost worth waiting the 10 years for.


Because I'm super-smart (if not up-to-date on best sellers), I questioned why one would need to write a book called Making It All Work, if indeed one had already Gotten It All Done. But who am I to question a trillionaire?


So, like I said. Don't get the first book (even though it's dirt cheap everywhere...bein' that it's so old news), get Making It All Work


Or don't get it. Just wait and see if it all works for me. (And btw, if you follow me, you'll be the first to know...)


One concept from the book that I've already implemented is the idea of Mind Sweeping. 


Do you ever feel like your mind is full of dirt? (Don't answer that.) 


 Mine. is. full.  I needed an industrial size dust pan to sweep it all up.


 The idea is to 'sweep up' all the stuff that's clogging the corners of your head. When all that fuzz is scattered around, whispering Guilt and Overwhelmed-ness at you, you end up discouraged - maybe even paralyzed. So you just try to put it all out of your mind and go have a bowl of ice cream instead. (The author didn't mention that, but I know that's what you do.)


But when you've gathered everything that is making claims on your attention- things you haven't completed or have procrastinated starting on - you'll sleep better, be nicer to your kids, make more money, and be well on your way to establishing world peace. Or at the very least you'll realize you have too many things vying for your attention. No wonder you're not experiencing stressfree productivity! 


 When I did my mindsweep, not only did I sleep better, but I decided about half the stuff in my dustpan needed to be thrown out. My mind was being cluttered up by a lot of stuff I was never going to act on. Some of the ideas in there weren't even reasonable. But they were mixed in there with all the stuff that really needed acting on. And the two were all mixed up like breadcrumbs in a meatloaf (We've been working on similes this week. Isn't that a good one, kids?)


The point of the mindsweep is to take all that stuff you obsess over; the projects, the errands, the books, the chores - and re-locate them to a place where they can be rationally sorted and acted upon. 


Want to try it? Just get out a single piece of paper and a pretty pen, set a timer for 10 minutes, and begin writing. Think about what David Allen calls "open loops" - everything in your mind that's not closed/finished/done. Start with the easy stuff. The project you're behind on. Anything with a deadline. Every thought that makes you "cringe, groan, pause, ponder, or exclaim."


It may take a couple of sweeps to get everything collected. And then you can start processing it.


But if I tell you how to do that right now, you won't need to follow me, now will you? :)


Just go make your list. World peace is waiting on you.















21 comments:

Kahlua Keeping Koala said...

Thank you!

Donna G. said...

Wow. World peace. Now you tell me. =) For the record I missed the first book and the second one, too. Thanks for the summaries, so I can sound intelligent when people talk about them.

Happy Busy Mama said...

I absolutely love your posts and your transparency. You always seem to say just what I was thinking. I am a friend of Elizabeth Ours and I think we have crossed virtual paths here and there over the years via email loop and a moms board. I love your blog and I am going to sign on as a follower right now. I want the rest of the story. I haven't read either book, but I'm afraid my cluttered mindsweep will be declared a national disaster area, lol. I'm sure Elizabeth would second that. ;-)

Happy Busy Mama said...

I just signed on as a follower. I want the rest of the story!!!! I have read your blog on and off for a while. I am a friend of Elizabeth Ours, plus I think we have crossed virtual paths over the years via email loop and a moms board I used to frequent. I enjoy and profit from your transparency and you always seem to be saying just what I was thinking. You've got me thinking about my own mindsweep, but with the massive clutter in there, I'm afraid it will be declared a national disaster area. ;-)

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Kahlua Keeping Koala (...one day you're gonna have to remind me how you came up with that name...)

You're welcome.

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Donna G- It's my pleasure to make you sound intelligent. Although I doubt if you need my help since you have all those intelligent award-winning children. Just talk about them, and you'll be fine.

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Happy Busy Mama, who isn't too busy to comment twice on one post :)
Thank you for following me. (That sounds weird, doesn't it?!) I look forward to having you behind me. :)

Lori said...

I just ordered the book through your link, so check your affiliate account. What do you think about posting book club picks on your blog? If I'm going to order through Amazon anyway, I'd rather you earn a few pennies than not.

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

Lori, I may look into that. In fact, I'll add it to my mind - then sweep it up, collect it, make an action plan for it, and then file it in To Do. Whew! I'm tired already....

Seriously, I have thought of doing the amazon thing. it's supposed to be fairly easy and think of all the nickels I'd make off our book club alone.

Anonymous said...

This really solved my problem, thank you!

Kristin said...

Oh, Debbie, I love your sense of humor! So grateful to be following along now (yes, I'm one of the four newbies!)and look forward to learning from you! Kristin

Davene Grace said...

I haven't read--or even heard of--either book. Apparently I don't do a good job keeping up with the bestseller list!

I do, however, really like the idea of a Mind Sweep, so thank you for sharing that tidbit.

I always (and that's not an exaggeration) enjoy your posts, no matter how infrequent they are! :)

Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen said...

Davene,I always (and that's not an exaggeration!) enjoy your comments.

Because they're always encouraging. (Would I enjoy them if they weren't? I'd like to believe I would. But. Probably not. So keep up the good work :)

busymomof10 said...

Hi Debbie!

I have not heard of either book, so you're not the only one who is behind the times! However, I have heard of a clever blog called, Cheaper by the Baker's Dozen, of which I've read every post at least once! And I've even read a book with a similar title! :)

This sounds like an interesting book. I don't plan to buy it --- because I can't find time to read the books in my current reading stack!!! So, owning the book would only add to my mind clutter!!! Hopefully, I can glean the highlights from you! I do have plenty of great ideas and goals and unfinished projects cluttering up my head . . . .but not as many as Lori = Happy Busy Mama! Everything she said is true!! She is double trouble when it comes to coming up with new ideas and projects and potential business ideas!!!! :)

Thanks for sharing! I always love hearing from you! And just for the record, I am one of those people who sometimes drops by just to make sure there is nothing new that I've missed! :)

Happy Busy Mama said...

lol I laughed at myself for posting twice. At first, I did not realize that the first post was awaiting approval and so I thought I had accidentally deleted it and whipped up another one. :-)

Anonymous said...

Really informative blog post here my friend. I just wanted to comment & say keep up the quality work. I’ve bookmarked your blog just now and I’ll be back to read more in the future my friend! Also well-chosen colors on the theme it goes well with the blog in my modest opinion :)

Miss Leah said...

I follow at your heels like a puppy (not a fabulous simile, I know) even if it's not official. Every day I stop by to make sure nothing revolutionary has gone down while I wasn't looking. Like maybe a bestseller or two that cutting edge people are reading. Thank you for posting-- however long the wait.

loveinourhome said...

Debbie, thanks for continuing to be inspiring and encouraging. Please don't apologize for your long time spans between posts because with all you have to manage, I would be worried if I saw you blogging like this daily! Sometimes when I watch 19 and counting I wish they'd film a regular day that toys are everywhere, laundry is piled and mom's mind is not happy and crystal clear... that's reality TV right?? I have had many days lately where i want to put the kids in school and go back to doing my own thing but reading encouragement and humor like yours reminds me of my calling and I am once again humbled by God's strength. ok this is getting long... can't wait to hear how you get it all done so I can too :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Do you mind if I ask what your source is for this information?

Mamajil said...

well I haven't heard of either book (see I am up on the best sellers list too) but they sound good...making my list!! :)

Sarah said...

Leah and I are just wondering what the deal is: you have 78 followers. Is it never enough?