THE ART OF PROGRESS IS TO PRESERVE ORDER AMID CHANGE AND TO PRESERVE CHANGE AMID ORDER – Alfred North Whitehead
I have to admit I’m a bit of a time mangagement/efficiency freak and in fact part of my personal growth journey is learning to be ok with situations and results that don’t turn out as expected or happen within my imagined time frame.
Now the first challenge in this area has been living in a country where punctuality is not a strength. But surprisingly, I got a handle on that challenge quite soon, and in fact waiting 20 minutes for someone to show up for either a date or a meeting doesn’t upset me at all. I can either go into a meditative state of visualising my goals, feeling good about them, raising my energy vibrations to attract more powerfully etc, etc, so in fact I know I’ve made good use of the spare twenty minutes. (Yep, still the efficiency trait coming out there). Or I can turn to one of my many to do lists appropriately organised to take advantage of different types of free windows of time.
Which me leads me nicely to what I really wanted to talk about this week – If you haven’t read it already, you MUST read “Getting Things Done” by David Allan. (the place I got my special, super effective To Do lists from). It is the most practical time management book I’ve ever read, going far beyond the normal sphere of conventional time management to help people achieve focus, control and perspective in their life. The basic tenet is that to be truly effective, we must have a system that gets every thought of things we must do out of our head and into a system that reminds us of when we have to take an action at just the appropriate time.
But what I’ve recently discovered, due to the comments of a friend who actually conducts David Allen courses, is that the whole book is essentially spiritual. On reading “Getting Things Done” the first time round several years ago, I didn’t notice this at all, but now I can see it on every page. When we go beyond the obvious purpose of improving productivity, what we find between these pages is a 21st century way of “being”. Implementing Allen’s system allows us to be totally focused and “in the flow”, doing things which match our highest values and vision. And what happens then? We invoke the power of the universe to bring us what “we’re asking for” and to create the reality that becomes our lives.
In the follow up book to “Getting Things Done”, “Making It All Work”, Allen writes:
“Ultimately what we desire is more freedom, not more work. At the same time we want to be capable of dealing with surprise, which is occurring more frequently than ever before. What we have, in short, is a desperate need to learn how to manage – not information but rather what things mean and how they all relate to each other. I’ve often been asked, “What’s new David , in the world of technology , communication and information that’s causing so much stress?” My answer is pretty simple – “Nothing’s new except how frequently everything IS new”.
Trying to manage everything that fights for our attention is one of today’s greatest challenges. I recommend you check out both Allen’s books, they really are life changing.