I have a quirk in my personality that encourages me to shun certain popular cultural phenomena, particularly if it is talked about regularly amongst my friends or acquaintances. I either ignore them altogether, or at least put off learning more for a good long time. For example, it was easily a year after the 7th book was published before I read the Harry Potter series (although I was glad I did, as I was able to read the whole saga start to finish as if it were one long, glorious 4,100 page book).
I still haven’t read The Hunger Games. I’ve never seen an episode of Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Duck Dynasty or even American Idol. I’m not a Belieber. I only just watched the YouTube video of “Gangnam Style” this past weekend (truth be told, I couldn’t get through the whole thing). I have only a vague idea of what a “Harlem Shake” is. If everyone is talking about it, I seem to have a visceral reaction against it. Not disdainful or judgmental, mind you…more like, “Eh, the rest of the world has that covered. No need for me to jump in too.”
And my quirk even has quirks, because certainly I participate in/follow/read plenty of things that the whole world knows about…Facebook, Lady Gaga, The DaVinci Code. When I was in high school, I marveled at how my friends could throw away all their quarters playing PacMan (which I have played maybe 3 times in my life), when they could be putting all of that money towards a new Izod or some Ray-Ban Wayfarers. My quirk is clearly not an equal-opportunity one, but I can't tell you why some things get categorized differently than others.
And so it is with the things I pay attention to in support of my organizing work. I love Julie Morgenstern's classic Organizing From the Inside Out, I subscribe to Real Simple, and I catch episodes of Hoarders when I can.
But then, there's this little book called Getting Things Done by David Allen. I'll bet most of you have heard of it. Since I hold myself out there as being able to help folks manage their time and be more productive, I really ought to be able to quote regularly straight from the text, right? Yet I’ve never read it. I automatically navigate away from websites and apps that mention it. Why? I really don’t know. I suppose that the casual tossing around of the acronym “GTD” makes me suspicious. And holy cow, the website – books, blog, community, seminars…there’s a reason some people call it a cult.
But the other day I was in my husband’s office and found a copy of the book on his shelf. I think it’s a sign that I need to get over myself and start reading it. To ease into the process, I went online and took the free “GTD-Q” test, to see what I could learn. Here is an excerpt from my results:
Your "perspective" score was 4 and your "control" score was 3. This means you have scored in the "Captain And Commander / Autocrat" quadrant.
On the positive side, you are Captain and Commander. Your focus gives you effectiveness and your implementation and follow-through give you efficiency. By managing to keep your world collected, processed, organized and reviewed, you maneuver with agility and flexibility. (cool!)
On the developmental side, you could be something of an Autocrat—simply because the power that comes from mastering the control/perspective game could make you vulnerable to a sense of complacency; you might think it will always be this way. That may to some degree be true, but somehow your world will still manage to be a consistent source of surprise. And those tend to get bigger, as you take on more responsibility. (o.k., I can see some of that too)
So I will give the first chapter a whirl and see what I can learn. I don’t anticipate the same delight I experienced upon finally opening up The Sorcerer’s Stone, but then again I might just be consistently surprised.
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, dog-lover, author. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?