An Organized Life

While this may seem obvious for so many people reading, I feel it’s safe to say that over the last six months, I’ve discovered just how time consuming even the smallest photography endeavors can become.  Not only that, the quantity of work a good blog takes is much greater than I had ever imagined.  What this means to me is that I took a break from blogging to attempt to clear my mind (and my to do list).

While this break from blogging was really healthy, I realized a couple weeks ago that my to do list isn’t getting smaller anytime soon.  What’s more, I really missed the time I spent blogging about something that I’m very passionate about.  Therefore, for the last two weeks, I’ve been looking into managing my to do items in an organized fashion so I can work efficiently as possible in an effort to accomplish everything I need to — thus leaving time for doing things I want to do such as blog!

I’m sure those of you tied into the business productivity scene have heard of David Allen’s famous Getting Things Done (GTD) book.  For those who haven’t, here’s the premise — direct form his site.

Whether you are a CEO, a student, or a stay-at-home worker, we’ll give you the keys to focus your energies without letting things fall through the cracks.  We’ll show you how to create environments and best practices for work and home to avoid burn-out and keep you relaxed, refreshed, focused, and productive.

Further investigation shows that the “relaxed, refreshed, focused, and productive.” phrase may be a bit optimistic for my tastes, a lot of what he discusses is good stuff — especially for someone like me who is digitally connected via BlackBerry, Facebook, Twitter and the like.

The key to the whole system is to record any tasks that are going to take longer than a couple minutes into your task management system.  On a regular basis, the task management system is organized into appropriate contexts, locations and next actions.  You then work on the next actions and only the next actions.  This enables the user to stay focused and not become overwhelmed.  The part I really appreciate is that I don’t have to try to remember the hundreds of tasks I need to do at any given time.  Talk about reducing stress!

Finding an online task management system which can leverage my digital connectivity pulls everything together.  While I really haven’t spent enough time with this whole system to recommend anything, I am finding that my current attempt at a GTD system is working well.

So.  What does this mean for the readers of this blog?  From what I can tell, it means a few things.  First, I am making an active effort to schedule in tasks which include blog writing and photo organizing / keywording.  Second, I believe that jotting down blog entry ideas on the go will help me to remember all the great ideas I’ve had when not at my computer which are instantly forgotten when I try to write anything.  And thirdly, hopefully staying organized will allow me to further expand my photography through the use of defined goals.

Sounds great, but will it work?  Who knows.  I’m quite hopeful.  While I realize that it’s not a direct photography related topic, I do feel that it applies to the vast majority of photographers either full time or part time like myself.  There is a lot to running a business.  Without good organization, I really feel that businesses will lack momentum and focus.

If you’d like to hear more on this topic as I struggle to organize my life, let me know!  If you’d rather this be kept a purely photographic oriented blog, let me know that too.  Your opinions are important.  Finally, if you have any advice, please let me know that too!