Today, I received some devastating news. Apparently my company has made some money and those thieving b*stards in the government want some of it. Damn. Damn and double damn. So I thought 'Time to extract digit'.
A few years ago, employed by a large three-letter company name, I had few worries. Work was hard but mostly hard in the 'lets not strangle the boss' way, money was good, and although it was geographically inconvenient by about a thousand miles, it was pretty straightforward. Now, life is slightly harder. Everyone and their dog expects me to do everything. The same large companies expect folks like me to cough up content, project management, specifications, code, indepth analysis, beta test, 180 days credit and of course endless gratitude for zilch. Whilst of course being shafted by the self same organisations. Some would question my sanity. I certainly do. At times like these I really get a good handle on how the Unibomber felt.
This year has been a trial of my stamina. I've been knocked sideways by various boring ailments, not least a complete ability to be bothered to do sh*t. Its a clinical disease, really.
This evening I listened to the Getting Things Done guy David Allen (No, Not Dave Allen the Irish Comedian) and Eric Mack on the Taking Notes podcast, and I was inspired. I was inspired as to how laid back, lucrative and fun the guy
sounded. He didnt sound like a browbeaten extension of some corporate rectum. He sounded like a dude with his sh*t together! And - get this - like all good consultants - he talked for an hour on how good this stuff was WITHOUT ACTUALLY TELLING US WHAT IT WAS!. This is master stroke stuff. Steve Jobs Macworld Keynote stuff. Lotus Opening General Session level vapourware. Fantastic! He of course wanted us to BUY HIS BOOK! My old consultant genes kicked in....
I skimmed the wikipedia entry on GTD, and decided it was very like my old 'Get the monkey off my back' method I used to use back in the early 90's. I even had a filofax. No Seriously. I *did* replace it with Lotus Organiser, and still miss the fold-out year-at-a-glance view. God. 12+ years and we still dont have that. Sigh. I wonder if I should ask *that* question again at Beat the Developers.. Perhaps not..
Empowered, resolved and hiding from SWMBO in the office, I brushed off an old copy of 'Things' for the Mac. Excellent GTD software. And downloaded the iPhone Sync client for it. Total spend - £6. Which is about my current IT budget.
SIX hours later, I now am on top of the precarious mound of slippery camel excrement that is my to-do list. And my - some of the things there have been on that list ALL year.
So if you feel downtrodden, out of control, useless, the moral of the tale is - become a plumber. If you dont have the social skills for that - say - perhaps -your an Admin- then have a peek at the GTD stuff, and check out what Eric is doing with Notes and the GTD framework. Its changed my outlook. It might change yours.
P.S. Anyone know of a good on-line SMB accountancy package that works here in the UK? One that knows VAT, corporation tax, etc ?