Friday, March 13, 2009

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done by David Allen - "The Art of Stress-Free Productivity"

GTD is an interesting book, that gives you advises on how to become more efficient in your everyday life.

More efficient meaning
- 1- always know what you have to do
- 2- always know the things you are not doing
- 3- Focus better because your mind stops worrying about 1 & 2

Basic idea stripped down to its core is to use to-do lists.
The author explain several ways of creating, organizing and processing them for maximum optimization.

Most of us already do lists, or more probably one list, however we would gain more by doing this if were following this process all the way.
=> do not leave anything unlisted
Then your mind really stops worrying, and you will feel better and be more focused.
Also don't only list the things you have to do, list also the things that you are waiting for (from others, or at a particular date/event)

Another good advise that I will keep is that, you should write your to-do list(s) in terms of actions. You should write the first physical action you need to perform to get that project going. The thinking and decision making must be done beforehand so your mind won't mind picking up the task anytime and doing it.

The first part of the book explains this theory.
The second part of the book is very detailed explanations and tip on how to implement it. This part is probably better for people that feel like they can't manage with a single list or that they are still overwhelmed and need more rigorous methods.
You will spend more time getting things off your head, but if it is what it takes to free your mind this is what you need to do.

This organization will help you trust yourself on what you choose to do and what you choose to not do. You will feel better with your decisions, knowing that you sacrifices item X for item Y because it was more important to you.

It is crucial that your list must be available anytime, anywhere, simple and fast to update.

Maintain your email inbox at less than 10 items: act on, file, delete or put in to do list all emails as soon as possible.

One state of mind that the book tries to convince you to adopt is that everything that will take more than 2 minutes should be done immediately. You will waste more time to postpone it, add it to your to do list or keep worrying about it and finally do it.

so do not delay any short tast that you can do right at the moment, work, personal, even something misplaced.

Having a list of short /easy things to do will allow you to multi-task better in dead times (waiting for someone, on hold, etc).

This need to become systematic, a habit, you will be seen as a more reliable personne and with this gain of reliability and efficiency you will son be doing much more, and be given more to do. Be ready!

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