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Studio Teachers Meeting, October 2014

“The Organized String Teacher”

by Matt Tifford

The meeting was held at the home of Matt Tifford on October 10, 2014. Co-presenters were Matt and Dorée Huneven. Eight chapter members attended. Dorée began the presentation by recounting her experiences as a student that led her to value the importance of organization. She shared with the group some of her favorite motivational slogans, including “organize or agonize,” “mood follows action,” and the Bertrand Russell classic, “to be able to fill leisure time intelligently is the last product of civilization.” While always able to stay organized, she found that the process was typically accompanied by an undue amount of stress and anxiety, whose remedy she ultimately discovered in the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. The “getting things done” (GTD) system helped her relax while remaining productive and organized, although it did often encourage her to take on too many projects. Dorée concluded her presentation with an explanation of the tools she uses to stay organized, and the application and benefit to her private studio.

Matt Tifford discussed learning to be organized with the GTD system from the viewpoint of someone not naturally inclined towards organization. All functional adults have some kind of system in place to steer them through life—a process that ensures bills get paid, appointments are kept, groceries are purchased, etc. The better the system is, the more productivity can be managed. When you feel overwhelmed by the number of projects or responsibilities you have, the feelings of stress and anxiety come from the inability of your current system to handle the load. People who are not inclined toward being organized often benefit from motivational tricks that provide emotional rewards for organization. Matt described variants of the GTD system that help maintain a focus on goals, and incorporate small daily and weekly accomplishments or “wins” to keep one motivated and moving forward. Matt wrapped up the presentation with a demonstration of an organizational diagramming technique called “mindmapping.” Using this technique, attendees worked together to quickly and easily plan a fictional studio recital.

Those in attendance enjoyed refreshments and networking both before and after the meeting.

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