Too many rocks

Today I picked up a copy of David Allen’s book about productivity and creativity, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity“>Getting Things Done, the predecessor to the other book I mentioned here, Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life“>Ready for Anything. Ready for Anything is quite good, but there’s terminology and references in it that rely on the reader having already experienced getting things done, so I’m going to read GTD first. Probably makes sense…

And as a productivity aid, I got a 2007 refill for the paper-based planner I used religiously a couple of years ago. I loved this planner, it was the best one I’ve ever used because it’s so oriented around prioritizing and realizing that everything cannot be done at once, and one of the reasons I like it is because it encourages you to think of tasks like rocks. (Why wasn’t I using it recently? Because I got the Windows version for my computer and because my handwriting is horrible. But having a paper-based system that I can take anywhere has its values too).

Every week you have a big glass container. In it you can put a few big rocks and a lot of little rocks. The major things you need to accomplish are the big rocks and all of the other little tasks, errands, and distractions are the little ones. Big rocks go in first, and little ones fill in the gaps. This is a visualization that makes sense to me.

However, this week I’m going to be working out of town for several days so I have a lot of things to get done before Thursday. What happens when you have too many rocks for your glass and you wind up with rocks on the table and rocks rolling onto the floor…

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