Often times, the more limited your parameters, the more creative you'll become because you have to. — David AllenWe've looked at scheduling your priorities using an approach from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. We've looked at using a scanner to turn paper into searchable, electronic files. This time, we'll look at improving your workflow using ideas from Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen.
You can only feel good about what you're not doing when you know what you're not doing. — David AllenThree Big Lessons
You'll find many similarities among different approaches to organizing your life. GTD gave me three new ideas
- capture everything (which validates my approach)
- get things out of your head and into a system you trust
- misfiling is fine if you follow a simple alphabetic system: your phone bill could be under Utilities, Phone, Telephone or Bell (the name of your phone company) but you can easily find the file
Your head's for having ideas, not for holding them. — David AllenWhen do you remember that the batteries in your flashlight are dead? Probably when you need the flashlight, not earlier when you were standing in front of the batteries in your favourite store. Your mind doesn't have one.
If you can't get things out of your head, you burden your brain by having it keep track of too many things. You'll left with an uneasy feeling that you've forgotten something even if you haven't. With things on paper (for example), you can easily see what you need to do. You can then use your brain to set priorities.
What you can do depends on where you are and what you have. If you need a computer to view an email attachment and you're not at yours, then don't worry about that task. Four factors help you pick the ideal task at a given moment.
- context (e.g., you may need a phone, a file or a computer)
- time available
- physical energy available
- mental energy available
There are five steps to Getting Things Done
- Collect: gather and
- Process: decide on the goal (successful outcome) and the next action step
- Organize: use lists that you can create and review quickly
- Review: ideally weekly
Planning brings the future into the present. — Brian TracyIn Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy recommends that we work from lists. This lets us separate the vital few from the trivial many (in essence a 20/80 rule). Checking off completed items gives a sense of positive forward momentum.
- David Allen official website
- Getting Things Done (Wikipedia)
- Getting Things Done (Colorado College)
- Getting Started With Getting Things Done (43 Folders)
- Saving Paper, Time and Space
- David Allen page (Spark Insight)
- Reach your goals with Pick Four from Zig Ziglar and Seth Godin
- Scheduling your priorities the Seven Habits way