Around the House: Take Your Project from Start to Finish

His name is Bob and he's a landscaper.  A super nice guy who works his tail off and has a beautiful home.  He also happens to be my neighbor.  What makes Bob more than a blog post is that he's constantly working on his yard.  Cutting down trees,  trimming shrubs, planting grass.  Makes sense since he's a professional.

Each year, I watch Bob ramp up in the Spring for what will be another round of yard projects and each year I fantasize about what it would be like to really Get Things Done in my own yard, which isn't shabby in its own right.  As I watched him spread some grass seed yesterday while our family was sitting down for dinner, one thought crossed my mind...

Game on.

This year, I plan to use the GTD methodology to go from project plan to project done. I wrote 9 Ways to Take the Stress Out of House Repair for LifeHack and a quick review of that article is a good primer for anyone who owns a home and is trying to do some repairs.

For me, I'll use the following (simple) system for this year's projects:

  1. List projects now and as they come into my head; put them in one place so it will be easy to find them.

  2. Collect photos, ideas, etc. in two places.  In my journal, I'll keep the master project list and insert clippings from the newspaper or magazines.  On my MAC, I'll use Evernote for web clippings.  My iPhone version of Evernote will also come in handy.

  3. I'll then sketch out a tentative time frame for my projects, prioritizing them in a fluid way that allows for flexibility.  In other words, in the Spring, I'll do X and in June, I'll tackle Y.

  4. I'll also use some key dates as benchmarks.  My daughter's first Communion party will be in May so that's a good date to keep in mind.  July 4th weekend is also key as we'll have folks over, etc.

  5. Get it done. By not tackling four projects at one time, I'll aim for one project from start to finish, then move on to the next one.

I'm thankful for my neighbor.  Without him, I might not have the motivation to do some home improvements that will ultimately make our yard more enjoyable.  How about you?  What's your system for getting things done around the house?

Resources for the Road

GTD at Home: Your Family Can Get Things Done

Michael Sampson: Applying GTD at Home

Kelly Forrister: Building Your GTD House
*photo by MikeG626