Getting Things Done

– Advanced Self-Management with Notion –

“Pay attention to what has your attention” – David Allen

Self-management is a critical meta-skill if you want to be successful as a facilitator! Especially if you’re freelancing, you need to juggle a lot of different projects, customers and ideas at the same time and it’s easy to get lost in that. Finding a system that helped me deal with this complexity was a game changer in my journey and I would love to share the tools that I have discovered with you. This meta-skill will share the powerful combination of the concept “Getting Things Done” together with the App “Notion”. I can not stress enough how important this topic is. So far I have convinced quite a few people with this way of organising and I’m sure you will get something out of it as well!

Capture everything to become calmer

When I started my freelancing facilitator business, my schedule grew full very quickly. As the pages of my calendar and notebooks were growing, so did the uncomfortable feeling of being overwhelmed by my commitments. But keeping track of things actually made me calmer. I remember one night, on my way home, where I really felt like I couldn’t cope with all of it anymore. I had a multi day training next week and still needed to prepare a lot of things for a few other gigs. In the midst of my confusion I pulled out my smartphone to get and overview. First I looked at my calendar and scrolled through the coming weeks. That already made me calmer as I understood that there was enough time in-between my commitments. Then I opened my task management app saw my tasks well organised according to the different projects. That grounded me event more because I realised I had not forgotten anything. Lastly, I looked into my note-taking app and found all of the relevant information well ordered in there. My heart-beat dropped down and I could sigh out. Although I still knew that I had a lot on my plate at the moment I felt like I could deal with it. This experience really just started my journey of mastering self-management. So far I hadn’t studied the subject and was only organising myself with self-invented systems. But as I knew there were lots of books and knowledge on the topic of self-management I decided to have a dedicated learning journey to be better organised. I never wanted to feel this lost feeling again and I knew that my business was likely to grow.

So I started researching the topic and quickly found one specific method popping up again and again. Which was “Getting things done” (GTD) by David Allen and I still see this work as a foundational practice for self-management. This is a huge topic and I will just mention the most essential aspects here. If you read more on the topic I recommend you reading the book or other summaries like this one! The basic idea of GTD is to capture and organise every relevant piece of information that crosses your path. These could be dates, todos or relevant information that you need to remember. There are 5 basics steps that I simplified into 3 here: 1. Capture Everything, 2. Process, Organise, Review and 3. Engage. I will not go into detail here and try to focus on the most essential mindset of GTD in combination with Notion.

Have it all in one place

The best metaphor of using GTD is comparing your brain with a modern computer. You habe lot’s of memory in your brain, but if you keep too many tabs, folders and programs open at the same time your internal working memory is overloaded and performance goes down. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This machine is designed to store lots of information. If you just close the tabs and organise them, nothing gets lost and your working memory is freed up again. Unfortunately most of us are running around overloaded with too much information trying to hold in our brains. So freeing your working memory will make you calmer and more focused on the important things. Most of us have understood this and started using systems to simplify their lives. I guess most of you are using some form of calendar so we you don’t have to remember every single appointment within the next month. But most of us are overwhelmed when it comes to introducing more systems. Having a lot of different apps is also pretty confusing so most of us choose to run around semi-overloaded with basic systems of self-management. At least it was like thaat for me until I discovered Notion.

Another crucial principle of GTD is to “Have it all in one place”! Having different systems to store different information still drains a lot of you conscious organising resources. Notion is a game changer because it combines Task-Management and Note-Taking app in one tool. That might sound simple but it’s revolutionary. Watch the video the get an introduction of the tool and how to use it! I also attached a Notion-Template that you can download and use to get started at the end of the Blog-Post.

Notion is a game changer

I can not stress enough how effective this tools is. It totally changed the way I organise myself and made me hyper-productive. I also introduced it to many friends who took it on and told me it was a game-changer for them as-well. I even know quite a few companies that use Notion to organise their knowledge-management. And no, I’m not getting anything from Notion to write this, I just really like the tool and there is a big online community out there saying the same. It’s free for individuals and open source! So please give it a go and combine it with the GTD Method and I swear your working memory will be freed up and you will become way more creative!

So please start using Notion, download the template and observe how you’re becoming calmer.

 

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