GTD balancing act in three steps: The weekly review with kids

Date: Monday, October 27, 2008 by GTD Times Staff

“Work and play are words used for the same thing under differing conditions” —Mark Twain
All good things come in three’s—just like the steps of the weekly review:

  1. Get Clear
  2. Get Current
  3. Get Creative

Getting work done

First get clear. Collect everything in one place—the loose bits of paper, assignments, toys, (school) books and randomly ordered thoughts. Put it all in one place, like the IN basket. Then work it down until you get it is empty.

Doing this for myself regularly keeps me in control. Similarly with my children, the effects are most obvious when I am not asked where the clean socks or trousers are—the wash-IN basket is empty.

Or where that missing library book is to be found. And when my daughter has the conversation with me about doing less English at school so that she can concentrate more on her Russian. (We speak German together at home).

The balance between work and play

Then get current. Connecting with everything and identifying what to do with or about it, is a balancing act.

This is most obvious to me in the moment of now. In reviewing everything, I know how and when to keep in balance. That careful balancing act between work and play.

“The richest and fullest lives attempt to achieve inner balance between 3 realms: work, love and play. That to pursue one realm to the disregard of the other is to open oneself to ultimate sadness in older age. Whereas to pursue all 3 with equal dedication, is to make possible a life not only with achievement but with serenity.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Doris Kearns Goodwin on learning from past presidents | Video on

How often do you get to play?

Get creative. Creative ideas seem easy for kids. Wild outrageous and seriously fun things are so easy for kids because it’s most like play.

Sometimes it is also important to do just nothing. Sit out in the garden and enjoy the view of how the seasons change. Or enjoy a coffee in your favorite café—doing nothing. Not even with your notebook. Just doing nothing can be the most productive time of the day. Kids do it (almost) all the time.

“Hey what are you doing?” — “Oh? Nothing!”

One Response to “GTD balancing act in three steps: The weekly review with kids”

  1. Vandy Massey says:

    Great TED video. Compelling story telling and she makes a strong point about balancing those 3 important elements in your life.

    On the subject of play, I like your point about it sometimes being the most productive time of the day. I find my best ideas come to me when I’m doing something that not even remotely related to work. And I think that’s not unusual at all.

    It’s also noticable how much more focused, enthusiastic and positive people are at work when they’ve had a chance to recharge their batteries.

    We’ve heard about work/life balance from many places. But your post gives a different perspective on the 3 aspects.

    May we all experience life with achievement and serenity. Thanks for a great post.

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