August 30, 2006
Getting Things Done in the library
Back when I introduced myself and this blog I mentioned that one of the areas I planned to blog on was work productivity issues. So, here’s my take on time management in the library – you can’t.
Most time management systems advocate setting aside blocks of time to work on certain tasks. Obviously the proponents of such systems are not librarians, or any other professional or worker in a workplace where interuptions are the norm and time is never of one’s own. One day though, while surfing the Net in desperation of finding something, anything that would help me get rid of the feeling of drowning, I ran across David Allen and his methology of “getting things done”. There are two key objectives to his methodology:
- Capture all the things that you need to get done in a trusted system.
- Discipline yourself to make front-end decisions about your inputs.
In essence, you manage what your “open loops” by writing them down so you don’t use brainpower trying to remember what you have to do and when. It is more than a calendar system, and far less restrictive than an organizational system. David Allen gives us the tools to help us establish stress free productivity but leaves it up to us to decide how to iimplement those tools.
Rather than overwhelm my blog readers with a lengthy summary I will try to post one day a week on GTD and how it can relate to managing workflow in a library. In the meantime, I highly suggest reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen.