For all of you out there who has heard of David Allen, and read his amazing book on Getting Things Done (GTD) and are familiar with the GTD approach – kudos to you.
For all of you who hasn’t… you’re in for a surprise awakening:
The talk David gives is mainly based on how to sort out the ‘messy’ in your life, into the simple, calm and ‘I got this under control’. From a wider perspective, it can bring a lot of benefits to our lives, where David teaches us to get everything out of our heads, and onto paper, or some sort of note taking device. Afterwards, you must revisit it, and develop some kind of ‘mind map’ as to how you are to achieve your task/goal.
For David personally, he has no distinguish between what we often label as ‘personal’ vs. ‘work’ life. Everything in his world is as one, and he ensures he reaches his ultimate goals (big or small) by planning, revisiting and being proactive.
You may wonder up to this point why I am introducing him and the GTD concept to you. I’m doing it because although many of you may perceive your love lives being some sort of a ‘fairy tale’ and that it’s suppose to just ‘happen’; reality is, it doesn’t. Instead, it requires constant attention, effort, and a lot of re-work. I’m a huge believer in being a ‘do-er’ as opposed to a ‘waiter’. What I mean by this is I’m empowered to go out there and achieve things that benefit my love life, than sitting around on my ass and waiting for some perfect person to sweep me off my feet. It may have happened once in Cinderella, twice in The Notebook, but trust me, it ain’t going to happen to you… any time soon.
So, following one of David’s methods, we can surely fast track our love lives and improve our chances at finding love by ‘scheduling’ our love lives into different ‘tasks’. Examples are as below:
1. Scheduling time to groom yourself in the morning – if waking up 15 minutes early means you’ll be able to look/feel better when you leave the house, lock that time into your alarm and WAKE UP.
2. Scheduling time to exercise – exercise not only improves your physical, but also mental health. Find the time in your ‘busy’ calendar and JUST DO IT (Nike pun intended).
3. Scheduling time to do new activities – whether this is joining a kickboxing class, or finally facing your fear of sky diving, it will 100% benefit you in improving your confidence; allow you to meet more people (potentially your lover), give you more to talk about in conversations and make you see how wonderful/exhilarating life can be. So whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do; LOCK IT IN.
4. Scheduling time to go out with your friends – I know many of you think you go out each week with your best buddies anyway, but this is so much more than that. Plan ahead, decide where you’re going to go, rather than waiting around and only organizing last minute on Friday nights to realize that 1) people aren’t as available as you are 2) you ahve no idea where to go. Plan ahead, try new places and BE ADVENTUROUS.
5. Scheduling time for your family – Have you been so confused by your love life you have forgotten what is most important? The form of love is not only the one we have for our partners, but the type of love we have for those who raised us; the love we take for granted. Learn to BE GRATEFUL.
6. Scheduling time to read – similar to no. 3, this activity will not only increase your knowledge for your own benefit, but it will be hugely impressive when you bring up that you know who Mozart is and how he only raised to fame after his passing and how despite his talent, he was never really rich. Get started on that book you’ve never gotten around to and ENJOY IT.
7. Scheduling time to be a YES person; to attend networking events, seminars, social functions… anything and everything that you have been invited to. This is the best time for you to be putting yourself out there and create opportunities for yourself. This is how we meet new people, and in the prospect of events, potentially meet the love of our lives. Don’t be lazy and SAY YES.
8. Scheduling time to organize yourself; your calendar, your tasks; your life. Sounds like a mouthful but literally write down every single thing that you are doing currently/scheduled to do in the future. Not only will it release your stress, but it will also help you put things into PERSPECTIVE.
9. Scheduling time to smile more – don’t be walking around everyday with a sulky face. No one wants to see that, you don’t want to see someone else with that. Lock in time, whether it’s the walk from the bus stop to work, or when you step into your office. Be mindful of your facial expression and remind yourself nothing is too complicated and so BE HAPPY.
10. Scheduling time to put yourself out there – this is a tricky one and it comes with an increase in confidence. You will never grow if you have never failed. You will never learn if you have never been told you are wrong. And you will certainly never progress if you have never been pushed down. Hence, mini tasks such as saying hello to 3 random people you meet today, or initiating a conversation with the girl/guy who makes your coffee in the morning… as long as you’re putting yourself out there and reminding yourself progress is in the form of taking BABY STEPS.
The list I gave above are only 10 things in which you can actively pursue by writing it down on paper/or electronically on your calendar and putting it somewhere where you can see/revisit/be reminded from time to time. Despite a lot of those being big ‘meaty’ tasks which requires a lot of thought/courage/time, it’s not so daunting if you learn to break it down to steps-by-steps. Big tasks are just many mini tasks, always remember that.
Finally, the most important thing is to commit to the tasks you’ve put down on paper. This is not grade 3, we don’t have time to be waiting around for the teacher to tell us what to do; what is right or what is wrong. This is the time for us to be adults, to be conscious of time, and to get proactive in making things happen for ourselves and our love lives.