Getting Things Done (GTD)

January 19, 2007 at 11:25 pm | Posted in GTD, organization, productivity | Leave a comment

So I read this great book before I went back to work and school to help me get a “handle” on things. It’s called Getting Things Done and it was written by David Allen (I included appropriate links at the bottom of this post). Now it’s not as if I wasn’t getting things done before I read this book, it’s just that I knew that I could be doing better. With the new job and the start of a new semester at UNCA, it seemed like the perfect time to try out a new system. So what is the “system”? Well, in short, it is a methodology to facilitate increased productivity, whether it be work, school, life, or whatever.

The underlying principle is that our brains are not good at keeping track of what needs to be done, what’s on our mind, and what’s in front of us right now. By leaving everything in our head and not placing it into some sort of organizational system, it just creates noise. The example that I liked that illustrated this the best was the toilet paper example (I think Merlin Mann mentioned this on his pod-cast interview with David Allen). When do you think about buying toilet paper? When your headed down the aisle at the grocery store? If you are like most people, probably not. You probably remember you need toilet paper when you reach over and see there is none left – oops!

So how have I implemented this methodology so far (because I know you’re just dying to know)? Well I am currently using Kinkless GTD via OmniOutliner Pro to keep me digitally organized. I have minimized my in-boxes and am trying to funnel everything through those in-boxes. I incorporate this information into a running “project” list which is complete with “next actions” and “contexts” so that at a glance I know exactly what is going on and what needs to be done next to move forward. So far so good – I really like how it “feels”; that is, it feels so much better to get everything off my mind and start getting things done. It’s hard to describe how nice it is not to feel overwhelmed, just for that reason you should give the book a try. I’ll keep this blog updated with my progress…We’ll see I guess!

Here is a link to the book…you should buy it – trust me.

I’ve also included a link to the author’s website; it may be worth a look-see. Also check out 43 Folders on the blogroll.

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