Thursday, 27 May 2010

Making the most of your energy

Yesterday I was incredibly productive and managed to clear over 20 items from my list in a surprisingly short space of time. I found myself in “flow” with my work, taking small task after small task and getting it done, then satisfyingly crossing it off from my list. This has not happened for some time, as my head has been occupied with personal matters that I found hard to dismiss.

In the evening I looked back on what I had achieved with a sense of relief that my @Office list has decreased in size, and a sense of satisfaction. 20 items sounds like a lot, but I had a very large number of 5-10minute tasks that had shot my list up in size. I was lucky enough to feel an energy burst and be able to channel it to clear the list by nearly a third.

Had I tried to do this last week when my energy was very low it would have been impossible. My GTD system gave me a purpose and direction for my heightened energy state. Last week my system reassured me that nothing was urgent enough to be forced into doing it with little or no energy.

I love the fact that GTD addresses the issue of energy and does not expect you to be on top form every minute of every day. David Allen’s four-criteria model of context, time available, energy available, then priority takes account of the human factor and is sympathetic to our energy levels ahead of priority. Although there will be some days where despite energy levels, hard work has to be done, GTD helps me to get the maximum done that I can with the energy that I have. By using the weekly review, I try not to let deadlines creep up on me to the extent that I have no choice but to do them at low energy times.

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