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Getting Things Done by David Allen

 

Getting things doneready for anythingFirst things first

Amazon Links :

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done

First Things First


Ideas useful in testing the adequacy of the Getting Things Done approach


With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, “flow,” “mind like water,” and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you’d almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called “Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance".


Not quite.

Yes, “Getting Things Done” offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-do’s clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you’re working on.

However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organized, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines.

(To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible “Fast Company” has dubbed “the personal productivity guru,” suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech saber known as the cell phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)


As whole-life-organizing systems go, Allen’s is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic.

It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can’t junk, The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper.

Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant “in-basket”


That’s where the processing and prioritizing begin; in Allen’s system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts.

Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book.

That alone is worth the purchase price.

Also of value is Allen’s ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there’s anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term.

It’s commonsense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment; Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belabored, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to soccer moms (who we all know are more organized than most CEOs to start with).

— “Timothy Murphy”

  • The Art of Getting Things Done
    • A New Practice for a New Reality
    • Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow
    • Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
  • Practicing Stress-Free Productivity
    • Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools
    • Collection: Corralling Your “Stuff”
    • Processing: Getting “In” to Empty
    • Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
    • Reviewing: Keeping Your System Functional
    • Doing: Making the Best Action Choices
    • Getting Projects Under Control
  • The Power of the Key Principles
    • The Power of the Collection Habit
    • The Power of the Next-Action Decision
    • The Power of Outcome Focusing
  • Conclusion

 

See Getting things done summary (an outline overview of the entire concept)

 

Processing and Organizing Workflow

 

Overview of the GTD fundamentals:


enlarged view (2.5 mb)

 

The Natural Planning Model

 

Also see Ready for Anything

 

       

 

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker


The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context

 

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It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point

 

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