The promise…

Bismillahi ir-rahman ir-rahim – In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful

Earlier today I had a delivery.  My long awaited desk has finally arrived, and with it the promise of a new beginning.  This piece of furniture has the ability to change my life…or so I’ve convinced myself.  I spent months looking for the perfect desk, but to  no avail.  Then a few days ago, after resigning myself to the fact that this perfect desk does not exist (or at least not one with a price tag that appeals to me), I finally found a desk that was a good compromise between functionality and price, so I finally made the purchase and here it is, sitting it its  box, waiting to be assembled.

“So how does a piece of furniture become a life changing possession?” you may ask.  It all started last year.  In a desperate attempt to organise my life I purchased the best seller “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.  I read it with hope and desperation.  I am tired of the lack of organisation that engulfs me.  It devours my energy, my motivation, my optimism, and most importantly it devours my time.  Time that I should spend reading quran, learning arabic, studying this beautiful deen.  Time that I should spend playing with my children, teaching them, being a positive model of organisation and help prevent them inheriting this awful trait that their parents posses.  Time that I should spend making this house immaculately clean.  Time is a precious resource, we have to savour and make the most of every moment before it runs out.  Once time is gone it is gone forever, we can never get it back.

A filing cabinet is an important tool to this Getting Things Done (GDT) system of organisation.  So I needed a desk that had a filing cabinet so I could begin my journey, and here it is…sitting in its box.  It doesn’t look much like a life changing piece of furniture, but this is it!  It has to be.

In the end I know it is just a piece of furniture, it is but a tool, a means to an ends.  I am not naive, I know this will not magically change my life.  The change needs to come from me.  But its a start, and I hope the beginning of a journey that will motivate me to continue to be organised and stay on top of the millions of things that life throws at me.  But I say this hesitantly, full of anxiety.  Have you not had many starts before?  Why is this start different?

My instinctive answer to this question is simple.  This start is different because I need it to be.  However, this is not my only response.  “Getting Things Done” is a great book and a wonderful system.  Its  a best seller that thousands have used to get themselves organised.  I am not the only one who has used this in an attempt to organise their lives, and I know many have succeeded.  I know it won’t be easy, its not a miracle cure, but I also know that there is a reason for my lack of organisation which is a bit deeper than a lack of energy or laziness.  I think these are perhaps a symptom of the problem. It is likely the problem is that I don’t really know how to be organised, and living in an organised manner just reinforces the cycle by leaving you depleted of energy and unmotivated.  After all, if its going to take me hours to catch up, hours that I just don’t have, then I may as well just relax and deal with it when I have time.  Whereas if I was on top of it all, and it would only take me 5 minutes to do, I’d be happy to give up those 5 minutes.

So here I am, trying to achieve what has been beyond my fingertips my entire life.  I probably haven’t chosen the best time, I recently started my 6 month old on solids, and just started toilet training my 3 year old, I wouldn’t blame anybody for thinking I was a little insane for not waiting.  But if i keep waiting for the perfect time it will never happen, there is never a perfect time with 3 young children.  And I need to do this now, for the sake of Allah, for myself, for my children, and last but not least, for my sanity.  I don’t expect it to happen overnight, but I do hope to slowly chip away at it until one day I wake up and I realise I am finally there. Who knows, I might even get to blog about it.  But for now I’m off to read the many blogs from those who have already implemented the GDT system for some much needed advise and wisdom.

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3 responses to “The promise…

  1. Very well written, your need and challenge are well expressed. I recommend you read these comments about a system that makes it possible to learn GTD principles (and more) quickly and without uncertainty:

    http://www.mygtdstuff.com/2008/05/gtd-software-comparison.html#comments

    Best wishes for your success!

  2. as salamu ‘alaykum

    I commend you on your efforts to build a better life for yourself and your family. I’ve been trying to get myself together because I’ve always had to deal with the problem of laziness and procrastination. I have started changing a few aspects of my life to make it easier on my to focus on more important things. Some of these things are having a filing cabinet, making sure I do the dishes every morning and before bed (though I still struggle there a bit), asking my husband to take care of certain chores, removing a lot of the junk in our bedrooms (clothes, toys, shoes, etc) and putting it in the storage closet. Alhamdulillah, I’m very happy with the progress and I hope to continue improving, bi’ithnillah.

    I haven’t actually read the book GTD but I first heard of it at http://www.zenhabits.net. You ever visited that website? It was the inspiration that I first got to look at my life, that made me decide I needed to live a more simple and natural lifestyle, alhamdulillah.

    Nice post and I wish you the best. May Allah bless this for you. Ameen

  3. Kevin: Thank-you, i had a look at the link, looks very interesting.

    UmmLayth: Jazakallah kheir, I have come accross that website, have a few I’m trying to look through but its hard to find the time. Bit of a catch 22 really, do I waste time looking into it but then have no time to organise, or do I organise without the advice and direction I would get if i spent all that time looking into it??

    I’ve had a few setbacks with days that I’ve been too busy to do much at all, and I’ve recently been a little unwell, but alhumdulilah I’m moving in the right direction…slowly but surely.

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