After a recent change in my career, I went from have no commute (previously worked 100% from home) to having a 1+ hour commute each way for roughly 3 days a week. I wasn't thrilled about the drive, but I rationalized that this was not the days of screaming toddlers in the back seat. My kids were grown. I had no excuse now. I could use this time on the road to indulge in something I relish - self-improvement! I'm not being sarcastic. I have book shelves in my home office lined with title after title about how to learn this or that or do more in less time, etc. Furthermore, with audio books now readily accessible, I determined that my new commute would be a blessing in disguise.
And so, I selected my first book, David Allen's Getting Things Done. I was blown away. Were there really that many people like me out there who hated to wade through the never ending e-mails? Evidently there are! And, the best part is that this book, or rather this system, provided a solution for getting to the bottom of the stack. I am a smart person. I understood that it would feel good to know that I hadn't missed an important e-mail or deadline. What I wasn't prepared for was just HOW GOOD it felt. As soon as I got to Inbox Zero, my brain actually felt like I had ingested some kind of substance. I was elated. I began to feel an inclination to brainstorm about things I hadn't even thought of for months. I couldn't help but wonder if something else had just happened or was the impact of the simple change from inbox overflow to Inbox Zero really that far reaching?! Mind boggling, truly mind boggling.
If you have a busy life that looks at all like mine, you simply OWE IT TO YOURSELF to read this book. Even if stress at work is the only thing impacted, it would be worth the time investment. But, I can tell you now that the impacts will spill over into every facet of your life and you'll never want to live any other way. Being freed from mental clutter provides a space where new ideas can be born and dreams that have all but extinguished can be revived. Do it. Do it now. You can thank me (or David Allen) later.
I see work as that area of our lives that we endeavor to master so that we can improve the world in which we live, the companies in which we work, and the families for whom we provide. I love to learn and have committed much of my life to the pursuit of knowledge. I love a quote I once saw about education: "Education is the difference between wishing you could help other people and being able to help them (Russell M. Nelson)."