Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done

The Art of Stress-free Productivity

Audiobook CD - 2008
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Based on the premise that productivity is directly proportional to one's ability to handle tasks in a relaxed manner, the author offers strategies for self-management that minimize stress and enhances one's focus and efficiency.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Audio, p2008
Edition: Unabridged ed
ISBN: 9780743571654
0743571657
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (ca. 8 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in

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1aa
Jan 09, 2018

This audiobook is well and clearly read by the author. The advice is mostly useful for those who have a lot of control over how they do their work; its not of much use to everyone else. Often the explanations for the techniques is so long and complicated its hard to take notes in order to make use of it (one would be better served by the book in this respect). The easiest thing one can do is say no more often and add a banner over anything that one regularly handles or looks at that says "what is the next action?" (or develop this into a kind of mantra incorporated into one's life); nevertheless, a couple of simple things can help a lot. Trying to incorporate all of the advice at once strikes me as nearly impossible: just do one, and when one gets used to it after two or three weeks, incorporate another one and keep at it until one gets used to that, and so on. Although he mentions that distraction is a big productivity killer, he never suggests avoiding contacting someone else if one's contact with them will be a distraction to them: there has to be a coordination policy for blocking distractions and making distractions.

f
Fionaenzo
Aug 29, 2013

This guy spends wayyyy too much time describing the problem. We all know what the problem is.

d
danielestes
Mar 16, 2012

Getting Things Done by David Allen is perhaps the most left-brained book I've ever read. List making and to-do tracking doesn't exactly make for a thrilling read. And yet, this is an important and forever practical book IF you put into practice the core of what Allen is saying. I'm a daily list maker and I live by my calendar. I never read a book on personal organization though I've invested much of my adult life in it.

Here are the most important points of the book, in my opinion: (1) Get all your to-do's (All. Of. Them.) out of your head and write them down. This will free your mind from having to think about them incessantly. (2) Give all of your immediate to-do's a next action. (For example, "get a dental check-up" should instead be "call and make a dental appointment.") If you can't do the next action at any given time, then transfer it to a separate list to be reviewed sometime later. (3) Don't worry about the what tools to use to organize your life. Start simple with a paper, pen and perhaps a folder and grow from there. Most complex organizational tools are probably too specifically customized for what you need anyway. And (4), every single one of your to-do's is an arranged agreement with yourself. If you put it off or forget about it, you feel the guilt in your mind consciously or not. Having them written down helps your meet your own commitments as well as saying no to commitments you now know you can't keep.

There's many more steps to keeping your personal organization optimized than the above points (for example, defining separate lists such as the "tickler" and the "someday/maybe"), but those I feel are the most crucial. Doing boring stuff like what Getting Things Done advocates would seem soul-sucking to a more right-brained type, but I firmly believe creativity is at its best when it is organized.

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