Getting Things Done Summary 2023 - Deepstash

Your one stop book summary, audiobook and book review spot for:

Getting Things Done Summary

About Getting Things Done Book

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations Plan projects as well as get them unstuck Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed Feel fine about what you're not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

See More

Also grab Getting Things Done Audiobook, with the Deepstash App.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

4.6/5 (0281 reviews)

Audio and text

Download free PDF

Work No Longer Has Explicit Boundaries

Work No Longer Has Explicit Boundaries

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.


Basic Requirements for Managing Commitments

Managing commitments well requires the implementation of some basic activities and behaviors:

  • If it's on your mind, your mind isn't clear. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind, that you know you'll come back to regularly and sort through.
  • You must clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to fulfill it.
  • Once you've decided on all the actions you need to take, you must keep reminders of them organized in a system you review regularly.


Why Things Are On Your Mind

  • You haven't clarified exactly what the intended outcome is.
  • You haven't decided what the very next physical action step is.
  • You haven't put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust.

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.


David Allen

"The reason most organizing systems haven't work for most people is that they haven't yet transformed all the stuff they're trying to organize. As long as it's stuff it's not controllable"



#1 Capture

#1 Capture

... everything that has your attention.

For this, you can use

  1. Paper-tray: Where you will keep all the new information documents (hard copy).
  2. Personal NoteBook: This is for your own personal ideas which you can write it down.
  3. Note-taking app: You also can use any note-taking app like - google keep, EverNote, notion, OneNote, etc.

Just keep a note of everything that may be important for you later on. Don't just keep it in your mind.



"Your mind is for having Ideas not (for) holding them."



The third book in my review of Josh Kaufman's best business books. The GTD system is incredible, and once you put it into practice you will not only get more done but also feel less stressed about what you have to do. The two-minute rule alone can significantly increase your productivity.

GTD Unlocked: Mastering Stress-Free Productivity

David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology revolutionizes productivity. It’s centered on the idea of moving tasks out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable items.

This process reduces stress and mental clutter, allowing for clearer thinking and more focused work. GTD’s essence lies in five key stages: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage.

Start by capturing every task or idea that comes to mind. Then clarify these into actionable steps, organize based on priority, review regularly, and you can engage with your tasks confidently.


GTD Workflow Wisdom: Five Steps to Clarity and Control

In 'Getting Things Done', David Allen outlines five essential stages to manage workflow effectively: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage.

Start by capturing every task and thought in a trusted system outside your mind.

Then clarify what each item means – is it actionable? If so, what’s the next step?

Organize these actions and tasks into lists and reminders.

Regularly reflect on your system to update and prioritize tasks.

Finally, engage by choosing the right tasks to work on at the right time. This systematic approach brings clarity, focus, and productivity.


Capture It All: The First Step to GTD Mastery

In 'Getting Things Done', capturing every task and idea is the first crucial step.

David Allen emphasizes the importance of a reliable capture system – a place where all your to-dos, notes, and thoughts are collected. This could be a digital app, a physical notebook, or a combination of both.

The key is consistency and immediacy; capture everything as soon as it comes to mind. This practice clears the mind, reduces stress, and ensures no idea or task is forgotten. Begin by choosing a capture tool that suits your lifestyle and make it a habit to record everything without delay.


"Getting Things Done" (GTD) by David Allen is a time management and productivity methodology that provides a systematic approach to organizing tasks, managing commitments, and reducing stress.



Establish a reliable system to collect all tasks, ideas, and commitments. This could be a physical inbox, a digital tool, or a combination of both. The goal is to ensure that nothing is left to memory, freeing the mind for more focused thinking.




For each captured item, clarify what the next actionable step is. If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately. If it requires more time or planning, decide on the next specific action needed to move it forward. This eliminates ambiguity and makes tasks more manageable.




Once clarified, organize tasks into categories. Use context lists to group tasks based on the tools, location, or energy level required to complete them. Prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency, and maintain separate lists for different aspects of your life or work.


Share your ideas, stop owning them, let them loose because they need to become reality.


Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.


Getting Things Done a book you must read if you are having trouble with the things you haven't done yet and are still on your mind.

" Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought."



"You can fool everyone else but you can't fool your own mind.



A New Practice For A New Reality

A New Practice For A New Reality

Firstly Be clear about what you want If you have an idea write it down with due date if you don't then your mind will get distracted.

Second, try to give your 100% on task at hand. When you're clear about goal and you are in distraction free work zone, you'll be in control and not feel stressed.


Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.



Feeling Too Much Stress?

Try to minimize the amount of inboxes you have. Your car, back pack, kitchen counter top, etc. are not good inboxes.


Mapjes in email

  1. Actie
  2. Wachten op
  3. Nog te bekijken


Als iets meer 2 minuten duurt,doe het meteen

Speaks for itself


Weekly review

  • Wat heb je gedaan
  • Wat niet en mag mee naar komende week
  • Hoe ziet komende week eruit


Get Deepstash Pro & replace doomscrolling with personal growth

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates