David Allen vs Casey Neistat

I don’t think I have ever managed to get my head around what the true definition of irony actually is. Alanis Morissette made sure of that! However the closest I have come recently to a show of irony is having the book by David Allen; Getting Things Done, sitting on my shelf, gathering dust while I made all the excuses under the sun not to read it. I just didn’t have the time. The fact that the book should have helped me create space in my life to read it and implement it was besides the point.

The premise of the methodology within his approach is shown as this:

The GTD workflow consists of five stages: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage. (The first edition used the names collect, process, organize, plan, and do; the descriptions of the stages are similar in both editions). Once all the material (“stuff”) is captured (or collected) in the inbox, each item is clarified and organised by asking and answering questions about each item in turn as shown in the black boxes in the logic tree diagram.

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Its all about the socks

I have a habit that I never really think about or plan, but I often find myself putting on odd socks in a morning. Perhaps it’s laziness but honestly I simply don’t think about it. I know for some this is a real irritant but for me it just isn’t a thing. After they are washed and dry I do try to match them up but often its then best I can do to get striped ones together with other striped ones and spots with spots.


If you go searching the web you can find things like this:

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Taking time

The Taylor family awoke in a very reflective mood this Sunday morning. With a lot on our minds. The last few months have been very tiring on so many levels. School restarts fully for the mini Taylor’s on Tuesday having had an extended break following a family holiday, which although brilliant was thoroughly exhausting. I have one child struggling to wake up and has made a nest on the sofa. One child in tears just thinking about putting on clothes and a wife who is so full of cold that she cannot breath let alone think straight.

And all this before the term has started. Which lead to long conversations about how we look after ourselves and what resources we have to give.

So, rather than gathering with our church community today we did what was essential: gave ourselves space. Instead of rushing down breakfast, fighting the tangles in the hair, battling what is the most appropriate/practical choice of clothing for the next 2 hours we stopped, took a breath and did what we needed to do. Had a decent coffee, a nice breakfast and time and space to be together as a family. Recognising the sabbath, we broke bread as a family and contemplated some things that were bigger than ourselves and simply gave thanks.

This was a really touching and beautiful moment as a family.

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The art of listening

Following on from yesterday’s post around the idea of how we approach listening today I want to take a look at how we listen. I’ve led plenty of training sessions with the focus on the skills needed to listen effectively and to challenge us through our own limitations we each have.

However when I am thinking about how we listen i want to consider the following 5 aspects that are so perfectly shown in the Chinese character for listen shown above.

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Your story is everything

Today I restart my work as a counsellor in schools. It’s the end of the holiday period and normality (or at least routine), whatever that is for each of the young people I work with, returns. I found myself turning the radio off going in and driving in silence, preparing myself for the day ahead, wondering what Christmas had been for each young person.

I am starting with many new clients this term and this also leads me to reflect on what I bring to the room to someone new. Always the question is where do you start? For me it starts with one thing…

It’s all about their story.

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i hate new years resolutions

So I really hate new year. Not because I hate the possibilities of what a new year can bring but it has always seemed strange to me the pressure that people put on themselves to change on January 1st. The idea that this is the date and time in which all things change and our bodies become fitter, we stop smoking/drinking has always seemed strange to me. (perhaps it is simply a response to the excess of Christmas).

This has really bugged me this year, but as I started the blog yesterday it struck me why.


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It’s always about the first step

Like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade I am restarting my blog again today. Full of fear, anxiety and concern and even after making the decision to do it I have come up with 100’s of excuses why it couldn’t be started. In my mind all legitimate.

18 months ago i completed my counselling training and during the years of training that i was going through I had to write every week. These reflective journals, although were at times hard work, I still had to do it. It became habit and as i did them more and more I actually loved the discipline of writing, reflecting on my counselling practice and the learning I was doing. Since then I haven’t had to and so I stopped, thankful for the break. However there has felt like a gap in my processing of what I did and who I was learning and growing. Of course in the last 18 months of counselling I have delivered close to 1500 hours of counselling and in that time I haven’t stopped learning at all. You can’t. Every client is different and challenges you to think differently in your approach and methodology of how I apply the skills I have. What I haven’t had is a space to process that, explore what I have learnt, shared new approaches or ask questions of myself.

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