I’ve been working through Mystie Winckler’s (wonderful, free!) workshop called Declutter Your Head. She is walking me through a few organization basics using ideas and systems from the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. I feel like i’ve been stumbling around in the dark, and now finally, the lights have been turned on.
One simple shift is how i write my daily to-do list. Getting Things Done differentiates between tasks and projects. Tasks are one step items on the list; projects are groups of related tasks that add up to a completed whole. At first this just sounded like a pretty flimsy distinction. But I realized that I am often frustrated because I’ve populated my to-do list with projects instead of tasks.
Even something as simple as doing the dinner dishes has a few steps. First, the dishwasher has to be emptied. Then the table has to be cleared. Finally the dishes must be rinsed and placed in the dishwasher. I can get derailed at any step in the project. Maybe the clean dishes didn’t get put away. Maybe we left the table without clearing our places. Maybe I just ran out of steam before I got through all the steps in my dinner dishes project!
Really seeing the myriad of related tasks has given me a more realistic sense of what I can cross off my list each day. And it’s opened up space for a little bit of grace…even if the dishes don’t get done every day.