Working on a schedule can be both a good thing and bad. I am currently reading a book called Getting Things Done by Allen David. I started reading it with reluctance but as I flipped through the pages, I found that he actually makes sense. It helped that some of his ideas were already part of my daily routine. When a popular book says the best way to do something is the way you do it, you do not put the book down because you already know the best methods but you keep on reading. We all love to be flattered. Who does not like compliments?
From reading 5 pages on the train to another 15 during lunch, I have intensified my reading. As I read on, I found areas where my methods had gone slack from my younger days. Things that used to work really well back then would work now too, but I had taken a lazy route on some of those. The book is helping me get back on track. So far, I have not hit a spot where he has said something which indicates I am doing something wrong. He goes on to tell me to keep going down the path I am on but to focus. I suppose it is easier to follow something when you are already on to it.
Reading the book has not only been insightful but confidence building, for me. It has been a pleasure knowing my methods are not only great but there are thousands of people out there who are reading about it and it is helping them. The first day I took it to work, a senior manager at work saw the book on my desk and told me how much he loved it. He said he had read it twice and thought it was fabulous. That was another important lesson I learnt, thanks to the book, but outside of the book. If only I had stuck to being myself and not tried to fit into mediocrity, I would have continued to be great. I tried too hard, I nearly failed and then I settled uncomfortably into mediocrity.
That needs to be changed. The book is helping me do that. Of all self-help books I have read, this is one of the two most inspirational ones. The other one was just the opposite. It told me I was doing everything wrong. It taught me how to get it right. In their own way, both books have been a great influence on me. The other book is called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston. While GTD is a book my husband forced me to read, TSOTLS was a Christmas gift from my best friend that I forced myself to read because he gave it to me. Two of the greatest books I have ever read. I do not usually go back to books that I have read once... not for reference at least but I keep going back to these.
From scraping the crudeness that has crept into my methods and working a finesse into it, I have also been adopting the techniques in my life outside work. I did it once to combat a difficult emotional situation. I am doing it again now to cope with stress. Luckily for me, the husband has been with me on it. He, initially, humoured me because it was in the book he suggested I read. He had not quite implemented the methods in his life but I was making him do it. Now, he does it willing. He sees how it is working. He is pleased at how much less stress I am under, these days.
For someone who has the type of personality that thinks it is okay to take the trash out any time before the garbage truck comes and does not have to be done first thing in the morning, sticking to a time-boxed schedule is not quite easy. It is easy enough when I have to do that at work but so hard in the outside world. There are so many distractions and numerous things that need to get done. Hard is not impossible. Right?
This morning, I am working to a schedule that will get me to work at least an hour earlier than normal. This is to be my new practice. I am a bit concerned about staying within my time boundaries. a part of the mind was worried about the alarm going off. Yeah, right. I thought setting an alarm would take my mind off having to worry whether it was time yet but I was anxious of the dreaded bell ringing. I only hope it gets better with time. I am sure it will. I have done it before. I can do it again.