Mind Like Water?
I just finished reading David Allen’s Making It All Work, his 2008 sequel to the iconic and influential Getting Things Done.
This was my morning non-fiction read for the entire month (and part of August too!). It took me forever to get through, because a) it’s wordy and b) I often stopped to think and reflect on the material.
Allen wants to help his readers and followers get to a “mind like water”, where you can calmly flow from one activity to the next in full confidence that you are doing the right thing at any moment.
I absolutely love this idea, but find that what tends to prevent me from feeling this way is not lack of organization, but time pressure. I can know exactly what I’d like to accomplish in a day and feel completely in control of my tasks — but that still does not erase the time pressure that ensues on a day like today, when I want to:
- publish this post
- go running (an interesting interval run with 8 x 1 min @ 5K pace with 1 min recovery between each)
- wake the kids up & shower
- eat something
- drive the kids to school
- drop off swim form
- drive to work
- see patients / write notes / empty EPIC inbox + work email
- eat lunch
- check in with faculty member
- see more patients / write notes / empty EPIC inbox + work emali
- drive home, hopefully in time for dinner with kids
- eat with kids
- supervise homework / kid reading / etc (C has a project deadline that is stressing me out, which is annoying on multiple levels)
- perform / supervise kid bedtime routine, including reading to 1-2 kids and lying in each bed for 10 minutes
- have like 5 seconds to possibly chat with Josh
- go to bed in time to get enough sleep
Admittedly, my non-patient days are more relaxed and less time pressured. But on a day like today, I just do not see mind like water to be achievable, because every single task is tightly time bound and I will be bumping up against deadlines all day. Yes, some of those deadlines are self-imposed, but they are there nonetheless!
I will note that David Allen does not have any children.
It was still an interesting read and I will probably read it again in a few years, just like I have done with GTD. So I’m not knocking it per se; I just don’t entirely find it applicable to my daily life, particularly on tightly scheduled days. Though I would probably feel worse on a day like today if I hadn’t taken care of many of life’s details (example: our dinner plan, the swim form I have to turn in) beforehand. Which requires careful collecting / processing / organizing in the GTD fashion. So, there’s that.
(GTD Deep Dive ep coming at you next week in BLP, which I recorded yesterday!)
Stay Safe & Dry
Thinking of those more directly impacted by Ian! We are lucky and getting stormy weather, but no ‘cane this time. Hopefully this #$(*&@ will pass quickly.