July 31st to August 6th, 2016

Lunch: Banh Mi

There’s not much to report from the week that was, to be honest. But I have started reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done—the 2015 update, not the original 2001 publication—which has been incredibly helpful.

I’m not that far into it, only about one hundred and fifty pages or so, but I’m already intrigued by how similar it sounds to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, despite the difference in their marketing. Allen’s work is marketed towards high-powered executives, while the pseudospirituality of Marie Kondo’s work can and has turned people off of her work. I assume that, as in many fields, there’s a gendered divide here—while Allen does take care to point out that his concepts of “work” and “projects” are inclusive, the marketing makes it clear that this is a serious book for serious people. It’s hard to imagine it duetting with the more whimsical, self-help stylings of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

But the two are in concert in my head. At a certain point, Allen takes care to point out that his system doesn’t encourage minimalism—if you need or want the thing in question, then it can stay. Kondo does the same thing, telling people they can and should keep the things that mean something to them.

The most helpful thing so far for me has been the two minute rule—if something takes under two minutes to complete, you should do it when you think of it. I’ve been implementing that lately to great effect. I’ve also found the open loops concept useful. By writing down errant thoughts about things I need to do without a care towards organization in the moment has worked great so far.

10 thoughts on “July 31st to August 6th, 2016”

  1. I’ve read Allen’s book several times; he and Kondo seem to share a love for order at the highest level. But sometimes that’s just depressing for me. Allen spends so much time organizing his lists that I can’t imagine doing all that just to keep track of the tasks! I’m more likely to make an extensive list and never look at it again. Plus I never had anyone to delegate to, which was a major flaw!

    That said, the two minute rule and the concept of open loops were really helpful to me, too. He’s a guru for a reason.


    1. Haha! Having someone to delegate to would be so helpful… 🙂 I think it’s important to just take what you need from there, and Allen does touch on that.


  2. Oooo, the two-minute rule sounds very sensible. I have a version of it that relates to things falling off their assigned shelves/tables/whatever, which is that if a thing falls down when I am watching, I have to pick it up right then. But that is a very specific subset of the two-minute rule, and I think it could be substantially broadened to good effect.


  3. now that you mention it, GTD and the Magic of Tidying up are spiritually similiar to each other. Though I use GTD more often than Kondo’s method, I guess I prioritize decluttering mentally over decluttering physically?

    I’ve been doing bullet journalling as a way to “clear the decks” as David Allen would say.


    1. That makes sense for you, honestly. And I also think that GTD offers a continual process, whereas KonMari is only supposed to happen once in your life.

      I’ve been doing that, too! I call it a “day book” because it’s not really a bullet journal, but it’s been so helpful.


    1. Isn’t that the way with most organizational stuff? It’s good common sense, but we often need it codified to execute it. Well, welcome! Please enjoy. I’ve just moved in. 🙂


  4. I totally forgot where I had heard the 2 minute rule, so thank you for reminding me! But I’ve been trying it out lately and when I actually stick to it, it really works so well. Especially with a load of laundry – folding one literally takes the amount of time I need to let my coffee steep. (It’s a small washer.) There’s NO reason not to do it as I get the laundry done instead of letting it build up until I hate everything.

    I’m fascinated by the conversation these two books are having for you. They are books I’ve read a lot about without actually reading them? If that makes sense, ha.


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