Daily Nugget of Gold 805
Mind Like Water
One of the benefits in reading lots of good books on how to do things better, be more successful, or just enjoy life more is that occasionally the reader stumbles upon a game-changer. Getting Things Done by David Allen is one such book. In this work, Allen takes us to a place almost all would like to be in, a state of mind he describes as a “mind like water”. He pointed out that if you drop an object into a still pool of water, the water responds appropriately. It never responds too little or too much, but only with effects matching what was dropped into it. So often do humans respond inappropriately with the input in their lives and the cost of being too timid or too harsh is enormous. So how does Mister Allen propose that we reach and stay in such a state of mind and get more done effectively? That’s a great question!
It seems that when we are carrying around in our minds all those things that we want to do, those things we’ve made agreements with ourselves and others to do, that we are not likely to be thinking with the inner calm and readiness of a “mind like water”, but instead, allow ourselves to be controlled by those other thoughts and often feel overwhelmed in what is expected of us. This is because we often are going around thinking of all those incomplete tasks at moments when we cannot possibly do anything at all to complete them. His solution is a simple one, but one that will take time and some effort to implement- get those open items out of our minds and into a trusted system which will remind us of what we need to do, what we want to do, on a regular and timely basis.
To be sure, Allen’s book is written in execu-speak. This is one of the costs, we surmise, of doing lots of consulting work for the world’s most influential and powerful people. As with any profession, a lingo develops unique to the business at hand, doctors have jargon, so do lawyers, and it only makes sense that executives have their own linguistic quirks. Get past that, though. This book is far to valuable to put on the shelf, for the system that David Allen describes in the book to deal with that feeling of overwhelm almost all of us suffer from is worth learning, even if we have to learn a few new words in the process.
Allen cut his teeth in going into busy executive’s offices and patiently watching as they go through cluttered desks, file cabinets, credenzas, and even piles of stuff on the floor and fold them into a system designed not to lose any important tasks, a system he designed as fun (yeah, FUN!) and simple to implement and stick to. Getting Things Done (aka GTD) has a cult following from all corners of the universe, not just in executive offices. Homemakers, do it yourselfers, the self employed, and anyone who could benefit from a more relaxed and appropriate method of increasing their own productivity while making sure very little falls through the cracks- all would benefit. What we can’t do in this short format is to describe all the wonderful tricks, tips, and techniques this unique find offers. What we can do is to let you know that happily for us, this book is also available as an audiobook.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“How would I benefit from a ‘mind like water’”?
Copyright 2013 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.