Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ready For Anything: Chapter 10 -- Creativity Shows Up When There's Space

Getting ready to write this latest post in the series, a further reinforcement of David Allen’s premise that the mind is truly open for business and cleared for takeoff--aka creativity--only when it is first relieved of its standard job as office space, I realized, “You know, I haven’t actually CoPORDed in a while.”

Yeah, it’s been at least a week, maybe a couple.

I can rightly attribute this to my focus on several key ongoing projects with multiple next actions, but the truth is, in so doing, I’ve neglected to write down everything as Allen instructs from the beginning.

And, as a result, some of the little stuff has been falling through the cracks.

So, before I go any further, allow me to CoPORD right here, right now.

Finish pulling up the rugs in bedroom. Too dusty. Must get rid of.

Call in prescription refill. Hey, wait, I’ve done that! But waiting on follow-up from pharmacy as to pickup/delivery instructions.

Dig out car from under latest 15” of snow.

Congratulate self for waiting till today to do so, when it’s above freezing and snow is beginning to melt anyway, making preceding job easier.

Call about Barbara’s gifts. I wonder if she’s reading this. Hey Babe!

This just in: help out neighbor downstairs in wake of snowfall. This falls into the urgent and important quadrant; won’t take less than 5 minutes, but needs to be done now.

Organize for yard sale in May. Designate other clothes for Goodwill. Get clothes, house wares, etc. to Goodwill. Throw out trash. Buy more trash bags. Plan dinner.

OK, you get the point. And this is just the beginning.

But I appreciate your indulgence in the utterly boring minutia of the warp and woof of my daily decisions-making.

What David Allen brings up in Chapter 10 of Ready For Anything: Creativity shows up when there’s space, is that getting it all down intimidates a lot of people because they fear there won’t be anything really there.

“Is that all there is?” is a pervasive angst among far more people than you might think. The worry is that with all one’s responsibilities, projects, even simple daily to-dos out and in the open, “Is that all there is?” will resonate and echo deafeningly.

So we insist on keeping it all “up here” with a smile and a tap of the forehead, convinced both that we’re managing just fine, and that we could be great, and will be eventually, once our awesome burdens ease up a little and we have time to see clearly again.

No, says David Allen. CoPORD! Get it all out. Review it all regularly. Manage it all in a completely integrated fashion. Only then will we be operating at the top of our game.

David Allen’s point in this chapter is again: Get it all on paper. A mind is a terrible thing to waste on office space. Holding it in clogs the pipes. Getting it out clears the pipes.

Clearing the paths is liberating and almost instantly puts the mind in flow, and flow is where you want to go.

Allen asks this question at chapter’s end: Are you ready for a bigger parade?

Well, are you?

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