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Getting Things Done
by David Allen
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In the last half of the 20th century, what "work" represented in the industrialized world was transformed from an assembly line, make-it and move-it kinds of activity to "knowledge work."
Back then, work was self-evident. Now there are no edges to most of our projects.
Managing commitments well requires the implementation of some basic activities and behaviors:
Until those thoughts have been clarified and those decisions made, and the resulting data has been stored in a system that you absolutely know you will think about as often as you need to, your brain can't give up the job.
Stuff" means anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn't belong where it is, but for which you haven't yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step.
The reason most organizing systems haven't worked for most people is that they haven't yet transformed all the "stuff" they're trying to organize. "Stuff" means these things are not controllable.
The essential element in managing all of your "stuff" is managing your actions. And it's very hard to manage actions if you haven't identified them.
A lack of time is not the major issue; the real problem is a lack of clarity and definition about what a project really is, and what the associated next-action steps required are. Clarifying things on the front end, when they first appear on the radar, rather than on the back end, after trouble has developed, allows people to reap the benefits of managing action.
All of the organizational categories need to be physically contained in some form.
Everything that might potentially require action must be reviewed on a frequent enough basis to keep your mind from taking back the job of remembering and reminding.
Elements of the weekly review:
If the negative feelings come from broken agreements, you have three options for dealing with them and eliminating the negative consequences:
All of these can work to get rid of the unpleasant feelings.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
GTD is a productivity method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and schedule in a way that makes them all manageable.
Its 5 principles are:
In the 1950s, work shifted from being labour-intensive towards being mind-intensive and eventually started to overload people’s cognitive abilities.
This led to the personal productivity bo...
Various organizational tools, production methods and other ways towards efficiency appealed to the logical mind, but slowly it dawned to many that the basic concept of these systems were the industrial processes themselves, and just a reusing of repetitive, mechanical motions, repackaged for knowledge workers.
These systems, however logical and appealing they looked, were not aiding productivity even though it seemed like that on the surface.
A productivity method called ‘Inbox Zero’ by Merlin Mann, a productivity hacker and creator of many other productivity tools like 43 folders, became a rage in 2007. It was based on the fact that all email should be answered or categorized until the inbox has zero emails left.
While sounding great, this personal productivity method actually increased a person’s email, leading to a circular path of pseudo-work: replying to the endless email.
If you focus on getting the small stuff done but not the big stuff, or switch between tasks all the time, you’ll be less effective.
Pick one important thing to focus on at a time and learn to evaluate what tasks and projects are of higher value to you.
It's best done by focusing on the smallest first step and practicing just launching into that.
Pick the tiniest first step, and launch into it.