I am taking a senior seminar class as I am now in my fourth year of undergraduate study, and we are reading and discussing the book Getting Things Done (or GTD) by David Allen. We spent an entire class identifying and discussing each and every one of our individual “in” boxes — that is, the place (or places) where we put all of our “stuff” (anything and everything given to us that must be processed).
It took me a little while, but I eventually was able to identify all of my “in” boxes (and yes, I have several):
First, my backpack.
As I go through my day, I usually receive various papers and objects, keys, envelopes, packages, etc. Those items (the “stuff”) get shoved into my beloved backpack (fun fact: this is the same backpack I have had since I was about six years old) and I have to process them later — after class, after lessons, after ensembles, etc.
Second, my agenda/planner.
This is where I put all of the “stuff” that makes its way into my brain and cannot be physically touched, but must be removed from my head and put somewhere that I can remember and organize it all so that I do not have an anxiety attack. These pages show this past week. Being a Piano Performance Major requires me to practice between four and five (sometimes six) hours a day, so I have to schedule all my “stuff” into time blocks to process and clarify.
Finally, my “important” folder.
Allen would probably call this my “someday” folder, or possibly my “review” folder. Anything that I need to keep long-term for a specific purpose goes in this folder. For example, I keep my 4-year plan for college classes, and my checklist for the graduate school application process in this folder, and I carry it with me everywhere I go (in my backpack). I periodically review the items in this folder when I need to refresh my memory or help myself focus on the task at hand. The items in this folder help me accomplish long-term goals.