Annual Inventory

Self-organization has been very fashionable, with coaches teaching how to reduce clutter and make good use of personal organizers. We provide a full range of services for improving your personal organization by focusing on your thought processes, habits, and belief structures that facilitate or impede effective organization.

Kensho Coaching employs the Getting Things Done methodology. We have been following David Allen's teaching since 1986 and tracked the implementation of GTD from paper to electronic systems. We are completely familiar with the practice of making GTD work both personally and at the business.

The philosophy of GTD is very simpatico with the Kensho Method. We teach that your energy is available through an aspect of yourself we call the Basic Self. That aspect takes all of your self-talk literally, including especially the promises you make to yourself. That part of yourself can either supply you with the energy to meet your ommitments or deny you the energy to function properly, depending on how well you nurture it through keeping your agreements. We teach how to become aware of the Basic Self and practices for improving your relationship with it.

(Note: David Allen is a personal friend and we want to keep it that way: We want to point out that we are not presently affiated with David Allen & Associates and are not an official licensee of his GTD training.)

The Annual Inventory

"Getting Things Done" has the concept of the Weekly Review, for going over all of the tasks and to-dos that are on your radar and would otherwise occupy part of your attention if you didn't have a commitment to review them for next steps frequently enough.

We carry this concept into the physical realm of organization with the Annual Inventory. This is how we recommend you approach organizing your physical stuff:

Go through everything you own that is larger than a grain of sand, once a year. Decide whether to get rid of it or move it.

If you try and do this all in one go, you'll probably not find the exercise appealing, spring cleaning notwithstanding. To be consistent with the Kensho philosophy, we recommend doing a little bit every day. Start out with 15 minutes a day. If you get through everything you own in less than a year, you can cut the time back. If it takes long, increase the time. It's that simple, and intentionally so. Here's the approach:

Start in one corner of the house and methodically work through the whole house. In 15 minutes you may well only clear a square foot on some days if you are being diligent, and that's okay. Consider everything, down to whether you really need three boxes of paper clips that you've had for twenty years when there's not as much call for them these days. If the item belongs somewhere else, put it there--if "there" is some distance away, just move it in that direction or build a pile to be taken there later--and come right back to the area you are working on; do not move your focus elsewhere. If you need to put a closet or shelf or container where you are, do it if you have that closet or shelf or container handy, otherwise make that a separate activity that is not part of your daily execution of the annual inventory.

Once you have organized a part of the house, do not come back to it during your daily organizing until you have been through the entire house and are on the next iteration of the annual inventory. Even if it subsequently looks as though you never touched that area or it has been hit by cyclone, keep going. You need to establish a velocity that guarantees you will get through the entire house so that you know everything will be touched. This means that you no longer need to worry about certain things if you're wondering whether you still have them; they'll come up within a year if you do have them.